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The Numbers Landscape for 2012

We have another US Senate race in Pennsylvania. With the incumbent Bob Casey being a fairly mild fellow, it could go either way. However, he should probably rethink his political brand just a bit with these numbers coming out today:

Sen. Bob Casey Jr. has a 44 – 24 percent approval rating, but even after four years in office, 31 percent of the state’s voters are undecided about him.

I guess the fact that nearly 1/3 of the electorate has no opinion on him after 4 years is not a completely bad thing. At the 7 month mark, not even his own staff knew if he was alive.

6 Responses to “The Numbers Landscape for 2012”

  1. ThomasF says:

    Bob Who?….. I didn’t know PA had a second senator, who’d a thunk it…..

  2. David says:

    Let’s see he’s pro ACORN, anti coal and natural gas. I’m sure people in Pa will become aware of his record shortly.

  3. Bitter says:

    Who will bring it up? The GOP needs to find some qualified potential candidates soon.

  4. Adam Z says:

    @ Bitter: I know he lost the primary run to Tom Corbett, but do you think Sam Rohrer would be a good senatorial candidate for the 2012 election? Would be up to it to run again and could he gather a big enough warchest to combat the Dems? Just a thought…

  5. I think Sam Rohrer should make a go at it.

    I am really really starting to despise Senator Casey. And not for ANYTHING about his policies or views.

    But everytime I contact his office I get a form letter response so generic that it’s utterly ridiculous. Occasionally, the first sentence of a 1-2 page letter will “Thank me for my concern on xxxx topic” and then go on to expound on dozens of other matters.

    I really really really dislike his “office” practices. I want him out.

    • Bitter says:

      For some reason, every time I start to reply to Adam’s question, I end up making some kind of gesture over my Macbook Air that takes me to another screen. One day I’ll figure this damn thing out.

      Anyway, Sam Rohrer would be a terrible Senate candidate. Why? Not because of his political positions. (I thought he was great in the State House. I wish he would have stayed there.) His primary proved that he wasn’t capable of running a serious statewide campaign. His campaign did a lot of local events that often turned out 50-200 people. That normally sounds like a great grassroots campaign strategy. In some ways, it can get voters talking to their friends and neighbors more than a larger typical political rally. But what many campaign observers noticed is that he kept talking to the same groups over and over. He never branched out beyond typical Tea Party-type events. In politics, you have to build a coalition of voters to win. It’s why the typical politician has more than one issue listed on their “issues” webpages. You can be a single-issue voter, but you can’t have a single-issue representative.

      The other big red flag for Sam Rohrer is how he prioritized his spending. His gubernatorial fundraising account has a whooping $272.25 left in it. Oh, and that’s only if he decides to ignore the $10,000 loan he made to his own campaign that is still outstanding. Considering the average cost to win a Senate seat in 2010 was $8.28 million (and you’ll be competing with presidential candidates in 2012 for airtime expenses), starting off $9,727.75 in the hole isn’t exactly the best place to be a little over a year out from the primary. Rohrer didn’t have a lot of money to work with, so he really needed to use it wisely. Instead, he paid Aaron Tippin $10,000. A concert? Really? Three days before an election it’s time to get out the vote, not goof off in Harrisburg. He paid $2,000 directly to Joe the Plumber for his support. (There’s an additional listing for his services combined with some robocalls for $17,429. It’s not clear just how much of that went to Joe the Plumber.) Joe the Plumber’s 15 minutes were up by then, and he certainly doesn’t have any serious connections to groups of voters in Pennsylvania.

      Unfortunately, Rohrer’s campaign tried to rely on political stunts to get media coverage. He made no effort to build a coalition of support. That’s no way to run a statewide campaign, something I think is accurately reflected in the results of the election (more than 2-1 loss). The other issue that Rohrer has working against him are his own supporters. I realize that’s not his fault, but some of them have left a very bad impression with other coalition groups. Many took that attitude that if their guy didn’t win, they would take their ball back home and sit out completely. That’s not the way to build a serious coalition to support your current or future favored candidates.

      If somehow Rohrer could raise money in a heartbeat, teach his most vocal supporters how to play well with others so they can successfully recruit into the cause, make an effort to actually reach out to non-Tea Party groups, and demonstrate he’s learned how to effectively spend money on getting out the vote, then he could have potential. That’s not going to happen in one year. Unfortunately, we would have been better served had Rohrer remained in the General Assembly.

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