United States Senate election in Pennsylvania, 2006

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
United States Senate election in Pennsylvania, 2006
Pennsylvania
2000 ←
November 7, 2006
→ 2012

  Bob Casey, official Senate photo portrait, c2008.jpg Rick Santorum official photo.jpg
Nominee Bob Casey, Jr. Rick Santorum
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 2,392,984 1,684,778
Percentage 58.64% 41.28%

Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Results by County, 2006.svg

County results

U.S. Senator before election

Rick Santorum
Republican

Elected U.S. Senator

Bob Casey, Jr.
Democratic

The 2006 United States Senate election in Pennsylvania was held on November 7, 2006. Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Rick Santorum ran for re-election to a third term, but was defeated by Bob Casey, Jr.[1] Casey was elected to serve between January 3, 2007 and January 3, 2013. Santorum trailed Casey in every public poll taken during the campaign. Casey's margin of victory (nearly 18% of those who voted) was the largest ever for a Democratic Senate nominee in Pennsylvania, and the largest margin of victory for a Senate challenger in the 2006 elections.[2]

Democratic primary[edit]

The Democratic primary was held on May 16, 2006. The candidates were Pennsylvania State Treasurer Bob Casey, Jr., University of the Arts history professor Chuck Pennacchio, and Philadelphia attorney Alan Sandals.[3]

Candidates[edit]

Results[edit]

Casey won a landslide victory in the primary.[6]

Pennsylvania U.S. Senate Primary Election, 2006[7][8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Bob Casey, Jr. 629,271 84.5% N/A
Democratic Chuck Pennacchio 66,364 8.9% N/A
Democratic Alan Sandals 48,113 6.5% N/A
Democratic Others 1,114 0.1% N/A
Majority 115,591 68.9% N/A
Turnout 744,862 +1.3%

Republican primary[edit]

John Featherman, who ran against Santorum in 2000 as a Libertarian, had been expected to challenge him in the 2006 Republican primary. However, Featherman withdrew his candidacy after a GOP petition challenge because he did not have the necessary number of signatures to get on the ballot.[9]

Candidates[edit]

Results[edit]

Santorum was unopposed in the Republican primary.

General election[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Major[edit]

Minor[edit]

  • Carl Romanelli (G)- rail industry consultant, and was removed from the ballot by a Commonwealth Court judge on September 25, 2006 following a challenge from Democrats for failing to collect enough valid signatures required of third-party candidates. He lost the appeal to the state Supreme Court challenging the required number of signatures, on October 3, 2006[10] Carl Romanelli was ordered to pay more than $80,000 in legal fees stemming from his failed effort to make the ballot.[11]

Campaign[edit]

Santorum's support for Arlen Specter[edit]

Republican strategists took as a bad omen Santorum's primary result in 2006, in which he ran unopposed for the Republican nomination. Republican gubernatorial nominee Lynn Swann, also unopposed, garnered 22,000 more votes statewide than Santorum in the primary, meaning thousands of Republican voters abstained from endorsing Santorum for another Senate term. This may have been partly due to Santorum's support for Arlen Specter, over Congressman Pat Toomey in the 2004 Republican primary for the U.S. Senate. Even though Santorum is only slightly less conservative than Toomey, he joined virtually all of the state and national Republican establishment in supporting the moderate Specter. This led many socially and fiscally conservative Republicans to consider Santorum's support of Specter to be a betrayal of their cause.[13][14][15] However, Santorum says he supported Specter to avoid risking a Toomey loss in the general election, which would prevent President George W. Bush's judicial nominees from getting through the Senate.[16] Santorum says Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito would not have been confirmed without the help of Specter, who was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time.[16]

Santorum's controversial views[edit]

In the Senate, Santorum was an outspoken conservative from a state with a history of electing moderates. This led many political commentators to speculate that his low approval ratings were due to some of his more controversial statements and opinions.

Among these controversies were his views on the privatization of Social Security[17][18] and the teaching of intelligent design in public schools.[19] In addition, his involvement in the Terri Schiavo case was considered by many in his state to be out of place.[20][21]

All this left Santorum in a precarious position throughout the race. On May 31, 2006, the polling firm Rasmussen Reports declared that Santorum was the "most vulnerable incumbent" among the Senators running for re-election.[22] SurveyUSA polling taken right before the election showed that Santorum was the least popular of all 100 Senators, with a 38% approval rating and a net approval rating of -19%.[23]

Santorum's residency[edit]

While Santorum maintained a small residence in Penn Hills, a township near Pittsburgh, his family primarily lived in a large house in Leesburg, a suburb of Washington, D.C. in Northern Virginia. Santorum faced charges of hypocrisy from critics who noted the similarities between his living situation and that of former Representative Doug Walgren, who Santorum defeated in 1990. Back then, Santorum had claimed that Walgren was out of touch with his district; these claims were backed up with commercials showing Walgren's home in the Virginia suburbs.[24]

On NBC's Meet the Press on September 3, 2006, Santorum admitted that he only spent "maybe a month a year, something like that" at his Pennsylvania residence.[25]

Santorum also drew criticism for enrolling five of his six children in an online "cyber school" in Pennsylvania's Allegheny County (home to Pittsburgh and most of its suburbs), despite the fact that the children lived in Virginia. The Penn Hills School District was billed $73,000 in tuition for the cyber classes.[26]

Casey's momentum[edit]

Santorum began his contrast campaign against Casey early, charging him with relentlessly seeking higher political office[27] and failing to take definitive stands on issues.[28] While these charges kept the race competitive, in late September and through October, Casey's campaign seemed to regain the momentum it had had throughout most of the campaign, as most polls showed Casey widening his lead after a summer slump. In a Quinnipiac University Polling Institute poll, released on September 26, 2006, Casey was favored by 14 points.[29] An October 18, 2006 poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports showed Casey with a similar double-digit lead. In the Rasmussen poll, only 46% of voters surveyed had a favorable view of Santorum, while 57% of voters viewed Casey favorably.[30]

Negative advertisements[edit]

At least one of Santorum's television ads called into question his campaign's use of the facts regarding Casey and people who had donated money to the Casey campaign.[31] The ad, which aired in September, showed several men seated around a table, while talking amongst themselves and smoking cigars, inside a jail cell. While none of the figures, who were played by actors, were named personally, the narrator provided the job descriptions, previous donations to Casey, and ethical and/or legal troubles of each. The Santorum campaign later provided the names of the people portrayed. An editorial in Casey's hometown newspaper, The Times-Tribune, pointed out that all but one of the contributions "[was] made to Casey campaigns when he was running for other offices, at which time none of the contributors were known to be under investigation for anything."[32] In fact, two of the persons cited in the Santorum campaign ad had actually given contributions to Santorum's 2006 Senate campaign. Another of the figures portrayed had died in 2004. Political scientist Larry Sabato called the ad "over the top" and suspected that the fallout would hurt Santorum.[33]

Polling[edit]

Source Date Casey (D) Santorum (R)
Strategic Vision (R) November 6, 2006 52% 40%
Mason-Dixon/McClatchy-MSNBC November 5, 2006 52% 39%
Muhlenberg/Morning Call November 3, 2006 51% 43%
Reuters/Zogby International November 2, 2006 48% 40%
Keystone November 1, 2006 53% 38%
Quinnipiac November 1, 2006 52% 42%
Temple/Philadelphia Inquirer October 29, 2006 54% 38%
Rasmussen October 28, 2006 55% 42%
West Chester University October 27, 2006 50% 39%
Rasmussen October 16, 2006 55% 43%
Muhlenberg/Morning Call October 8, 2006 46% 41%
Zogby International/Reuters October 5, 2006 48% 36%
Rasmussen October 5, 2006 50% 37%
Mason-Dixon/McClatchy-MSNBC October 2, 2006 49% 40%
Strategic Vision (R) September 28, 2006 50% 40%
Quinnipiac September 26, 2006 54% 40%
Temple/Philadelphia Inquirer September 24, 2006 49% 39%
Rasmussen September 20, 2006 49% 39%
Keystone September 18, 2006 45% 38%
USA Today/Gallup August 27, 2006 56% 38%
Keystone August 24, 2006 44% 39%
Rasmussen August 22, 2006 48% 40%
Strategic Vision (R) August 17, 2006 47% 41%
Benenson Strategy Group (D) August 16, 2006 51% 37%
Quinnipiac August 15, 2006 47% 40%
Rasmussen July 26, 2006 50% 39%
Strategic Vision (R) July 20, 2006 50% 40%
Quinnipiac June 21, 2006 52% 34%
Rasmussen June 19, 2006 52% 37%
Strategic Vision (R) June 15, 2006 49% 40%
Rasmussen May 22, 2006 56% 33%
Quinnipiac May 11, 2006 49% 36%
Strategic Vision (R) May 10, 2006 49% 41%
Keystone May 4, 2006 47% 41%
Muhlenberg/Morning Call April 26, 2006 46% 38%
Rasmussen April 20, 2006 51% 38%
Strategic Vision (R) April 13, 2006 50% 40%
Quinnipiac April 6, 2006 48% 37%
Rasmussen March 29, 2006 50% 41%
Rasmussen March 14, 2006 48% 38%
Mansfield University March 7, 2006 45% 31%
Rasmussen February 16, 2006 52% 36%
Quinnipiac February 13, 2006 51% 36%
Keystone February 9, 2006 50% 39%
Strategic Vision (R) January 25, 2006 50% 40%
Rasmussen January 15, 2006 53% 38%
Strategic Vision (R) December 18, 2005 50% 39%
Quinnipiac December 13, 2005 50% 38%
Strategic Vision (R) November 16, 2005 51% 36%
Rasmussen November 10, 2005 54% 34%
Keystone November 10, 2005 51% 35%
Strategic Vision (R) October 16, 2005 52% 36%
Quinnipiac October 3, 2005 52% 34%
Keystone September 13, 2005 50% 37%
Strategic Vision (R) September 12, 2005 52% 38%
Strategic Vision (R) July 31, 2005 51% 40%
Rasmussen July 22, 2005 52% 41%
Quinnipiac July 13, 2005 50% 39%
Keystone June 6, 2005 44% 37%
Quinnipiac April 23, 2005 49% 35%
Keystone March 22, 2005 44% 43%
Quinnipiac February 16, 2005 46% 41%

Results[edit]

General election results[34]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Bob Casey, Jr. 2,392,984 58.64 +13.2
Republican Rick Santorum (inc.) 1,684,778 41.28 -11.1
Write-in 3,281 0.08
Majority 710,204 17.36 +10.5
Turnout 4,081,043
Democratic gain from Republican Swing -24.4

At 9:45 PM EST on Election Night, Santorum called Casey to concede defeat.[35]

References[edit]

  1. ^ James O'Toole. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Santorum in cross hairs for 2006 election." January 17, 2005. Accessed February 8, 2007.
  2. ^ Borys Krawczeniuk. The Times-Tribune. "Casey dominated like no one before." November 9, 2006. Accessed February 8, 2007.
  3. ^ James O'Toole. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Voters Guide 2006: 2 battle Casey for Democratic U.S. Senate nomination." May 8, 2006. Accessed February 8, 2007.
  4. ^ Bob Casey for US Senate. "Hafer endorses Casey for U.S. Senate." June 7, 2006. Accessed February 8, 2007.
  5. ^ Peter Jackson, The Associated Press. The Times-Tribune. Casey to seek Senate nominationl; Hafer and Hoeffel out." March 4, 2007. Accessed February 8, 2007.
  6. ^ Pennsylvania Department of State. Commonwealth of PA - Elections Information. Accessed February 8, 2007.
  7. ^ "PA US Senate- D Primary". Our Campaigns. Retrieved December 22, 2011. 
  8. ^ "PA US Senate- D Primary". Our Campaigns. Retrieved December 22, 2011. 
  9. ^ Kimberly Hefling, The Associated Press. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Santorum's only GOP challenger bowing out of primary." March 16, 2006. Accessed February 8, 2007.
  10. ^ James O'Toole. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Green Party hopeful is out; win for Casey." October 4, 2006. Accessed February 8, 2007.
  11. ^ The Citizens Voice - Breaking News: Romanelli ordered to pay more than $80,000
  12. ^ James O'Toole. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Democratic long shots seek limelight." March 21, 2006. Accessed February 8, 2007.
  13. ^ Jerry Bowyer (October 10, 2006). "Outside Santorum's Sanctum". New York Sun. 
  14. ^ Stephen Moore (April 15, 2004). "Santorum's Shame". National Review. 
  15. ^ Timothy P. Carney (November 1, 2009). "Betrayal in Pennsylvania". AFF's Brainwash. 
  16. ^ a b In Iowa, Specter endorsement haunts Rick Santorum
  17. ^ Maeve Reston. Pittsburgh-Post Gazette. "Santorum finds many minds made up on Social Security." February 22, 2005. Accessed February 8, 2007.
  18. ^ Americans United. "Americans United announces "Mobilization against Privatization." April 19, 2005. Accessed February 8, 2007.
  19. ^ The Associated Press. The Washington Post. Santorum breaks with Christian Right law center." December 23, 2005. Accessed February 8, 2007.
  20. ^ Tom Barnes. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Santorum defends Schiavo visit." June 18, 2005. Accessed February 8, 2007.
  21. ^ Page Rockwell. Salon. "Rick Santorum's Schiavo woes." April 25, 2005. Accessed February 8, 2005.
  22. ^ Rasmussen Reports. "Pennsylvania Senate: Casey by 23." May 31, 2006. Accessed February 8, 2007.
  23. ^ SurveyUSA. "Approval Ratings for all 100 U.S. Senators as of 10/24/06." October 24, 2006. Accessed February 8, 2007.
  24. ^ Brian O'Neill. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Santorum: Hoisted on his own back yard." May 25, 2006. Accessed February 8, 2007.
  25. ^ Meet the Press with Tim Russert. "MTP Transcript for Sept. 3." September 6, 2006. Accessed February 8, 2007.
  26. ^ Vera Miller (September 20, 2006). "Dems Press Cyber Cost Issue". Penn Hills Progress. 
  27. ^ RickSantorum.com. "Hey There, Hi There, Ho There." August 26, 2006. Accessed February 12, 2007.
  28. ^ Bill Toland. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Santorum, Casey go toe-to-toe in debate." October 13, 2006. Accessed February 12, 2007.
  29. ^ Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Casey leads Santorum among likely voters, Quinnipiac University Pennsylvania poll finds; incumbent's momentum has stalled." September 26, 2006. Accessed February 8, 2007.
  30. ^ Rasmussen Reports. "Pennsylvania Senate: Santorum trailing by 13." October 18, 2006. Accessed February 8, 2007.
  31. ^ RickSantorum.com. "Corner Bar." September 13, 2006. Accessed February 8, 2007.
  32. ^ The Times-Tribune. "Santorum hurls the low hard one." September 15, 2006. Accessed February 8, 2007.
  33. ^ Larry Eichel. The Philadelphia Inquirer. "Santorum ad impugns ethics of Casey 'team.'" September 14, 2006. Accessed February 8, 2007.
  34. ^ Commonwealth of PA - Elections Information
  35. ^ Carrie Budoff and Emilie Lounsberry. The Philadelphia Inquirer. "Sen. Santorum loses in a landslide." November 8, 2006. Accessed February 8, 2007.

External links[edit]