Saturday, July 30, 2005

Liberal Lighthouse: Casey vs. Santorum - As of July 22, 2005, Rasmussen has Pennsylvania's Democratic Candidate for the Senate, Bob Casey Jr., ahead of Republican Incumbent Rick Santorum, by a double digit margin: 52% to 41%. Personally, I think Bob Casey Jr. will win this in a landslide. Here are my reasons for this assessment:

(1) Santorum, while a reliable social conservative, has some damage repair to do among his own base after having supported the moderate Republican, Arlen Spectre, in the last Senate GOP primary race against the much more socially conservative Pat Toomey.
(2) Santorum, with his outspoken support for a Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage, has been labelled (whether rightly or wrongly) as an intolerant homophobe. His attitudes and positions on this issue have made him seem unforgiving and judgmental. This hard edge will not sit well with moderates and conservatives who value compassion and understanding if not agreement with the besieged gay minority.
(3) Casey is a pro-life, pro-social justice Catholic who will win over some of Santorum's previous Catholic supporters who vote pro-life, but who also highly value a pro-social justice orientation in political candidates.
(4) Pennsylvania is a reliably democratic state, having elected a Democratic Governor and having gone decidedly for both Gore and Kerry in the past two presidential electoral cycles -- something neither Santorum nor Spectre could overcome for the national GOP; and this fact may not elicit the type of enthusiastic interest by the national Party as Santorum will probably need to have to win in this election.
(5) Casey is a much more likeable and personable individual than Santorum. Casey rubs people the right way, whereas Santorum tends to rub people the wrong way. People either love or hate Santorum; but no one hates Casey.

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