Instapundit reports on some polling that has him beating both Sestak and Specter. My advice to Pat Toomey would be to play the middle. Pennsylvanians tend to reject extreme viewpoints, on both sides of the political spectrum. That’s how you get pro-life and pro-gun Democrats, and Republicans like Specter and Tom Ridge, who not many people would call arch conservatives.
My instincts tell me that Joe Sestak is too far to the left, and too egomaniacal to appeal to a great many Pennsylvanians, but that Pennsylvanians are also kind of tired of Arlen. Given that Arlen’s been making more than a few faux pas interacting with constituents, and generally pissing everyone off, I wouldn’t say Sestak doesn’t have a chance of knocking him off, but I think it’s unlikely he’ll beat Arlen in the primary. If it’s Arlen v. Pat, I think Pat has a good chance, but he has to be careful to avoid the problems that Rick Santorum created for himself. If Toomey runs as a fiscal hawk, I think he has a chance, and I don’t think his pro-life position hurts him that much in Pennsylvania. But being a Republican does, in a state that’s been Blue for a while now in statewide elections. He should distance himself from the party establishment, and sell himself as his own man. It’s a careful balancing act he will have to play, but I think he can run as a conservative candidate and win. He just has to focus on the parts of the conservative agenda that motivate Pennsylvanians, but avoid going so far he loses the middle.