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A Second Surge
We Did It Before
It may be known for years to come as "The Sestak Surge". When in the two months leading up to the 2010 Democratic Primary, Joe Sestak erased a 20 percentage point deficit to defeat Republican turned Democrat Arlen Specter. With two months to go until the November General Election, Sestak once again faces a gap. This one is not quite as steep though.
There are some similarities between the two situations. In both cases, he's up against the "chosen candidate"; in the Primary it was Specter who had the backing of the Democratic leadership, leaving Sestak to rely on a more grassroots base. With Toomey, he's dealing with a candidate who has the support of the corps and their CEO's as well as their allies like the Chamber of Commerce and Pat Toomey's own Club For Growth. There's also likely some backing from the Tea Party, and it's mouthpieces like Beck and Limbaugh.
But there are also some new elements that could be brought into play. One is that the upcoming election is a general one, an effort to reach out to the moderate Republicans that made up Specter's base, and may feel isolated from the Tea Party's message of obstruction and extremist views. Sestak has had a few of these rational Republicans come to support him, would Specter himself endorse Joe?
Also, could Toomey be linked to the Tea Party types more closely. Attaching Toomey to the ideas of Sharron Angle, Rand Paul, etc may be enough to get people to see how Toomey would make Pennsylvania look to the rest of the country and perhaps even the world at large. This may also bring African-Americans, Latinos, and other groups out en masse.
Finally, if corps and their allies can spend freely on Toomey's behalf, why not have some progressive heavy hitters come up for Sestak. I've yet to see the AFL-CIO, MoveOn, the Sierra Club, etc put ads up in support of Joe.
One thing I am glad to see is a bit of coordination between campaigns. This past weekend I did a block canvass of several Harrisburg, PA neighborhoods for Joe, a candiate for US House and the Democratic Candidate for Goverenor. This is something that may go a long way.
On my first-ever hub here, I explained how I though the Tea Party was a corporate attempt to capture the grassroots spirit. Sestak winning in November would be a way to show what the real grassroots looks and acts like.