United States Senate election in Pennsylvania, 2012

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United States Senate election in Pennsylvania, 2012
Pennsylvania
2006 ←
November 6, 2012
Class 1 Senator
→ 2018

Turnout 59.4% (voting eligible)[1]
  Bob Casey, official Senate photo portrait, c2008.jpg Tom Smith PA cropped.jpg
Nominee Bob Casey, Jr. Tom Smith
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 3,021,364 2,509,132
Percentage 53.69% 44.59%

Pennsylvania Senatorial Election Results by County, 2012.svg

U.S. Senate election results map. Blue denotes counties/districts won by Casey. Red denotes those won by Smith.

U.S. Senator before election

Bob Casey, Jr.
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Bob Casey, Jr.
Democratic

The 2012 United States Senate election in Pennsylvania was held on November 6, 2012, alongside a presidential election, other elections to the United States Senate in other states, as well as elections to the United States House of Representatives and various state and local elections. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Casey, Jr. ran for and won re-election to a second term, defeating Republican nominee Tom Smith, and Libertarian nominee Rayburn Smith.

The requisite primary elections occurred on April 24, 2012, during which the Republicans and Democrats selected nominees for the general election. The Republican primary was a five-way contest. Tom Smith, the eventual nominee, faced David A. Christian, Sam Rohrer, Marc Scaringi, and Steve Welch. The Democratic primary was not heavily contested. Incumbent Bob Casey, Jr., defeated Joseph Vodvarka by a wide margin. The Libertarian Party nominated Rayburn Smith.

Casey led most pre-election polls and eventually defeated his opponents to win re-election to a second term in the U.S. Senate. In so doing, Casey became the first Democratic Senator from Pennsylvania elected to a second term in 50 years.

Background[edit]

On November 7, 2006, Bob Casey, Jr., the State Treasurer and son of former Governor Bob Casey, Sr., defeated two-term incumbent Republican Senator Rick Santorum with 58.64% of votes cast. Santorum's margin of defeat was the largest for an incumbent Republican Senator in Pennsylvania history; it was also the first time a Democrat was elected to a full Senate term from Pennsylvania since Joseph Clark was re-elected in 1962. The 2012 election would also become the first time a Democrat won re-election to the U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania since the 1962 election.

Pennsylvania is considered a battleground state; since the 1970 election of Governor Milton Shapp, no governor has lost his bid for re-election and partisan control of the governorship has alternated between Democratic and Republican. Additionally, Republicans have controlled the State Senate since 1995, while Democrats assumed control of the State House following the 2006 election, only to lose control in the 2010 election, though the Democrats have won the state in every presidential election since 1992.

Democratic primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Results[edit]

Democratic primary results[5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Bob Casey, Jr. 565,488 80.9%
Democratic Joseph Vodvarka 133,683 19.1%
Totals 699,171 100%

Republican primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

On ballot[edit]

Withdrew[edit]

Declined[edit]

Campaign[edit]

In January 2012, the Pennsylvania Republican Party officially endorsed Steve Welch for U.S. Senate.[23] The largest state newspaper, Philadelphia Inquirer, also endorsed Welch. He was also endorsed by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. However, he was criticized for changing his party registration. In 2008, he became a Democrat so he could vote for Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary. In 2006, he donated money to Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak.

Tom Smith spent nearly $3 million in the first three months of 2012, outspending Welch 2-1. Smith has spent a wide majority of it in television advertising.[24] Like Welch, Smith has also registered as a Democrat. However, unlike Welch who was a registered Democrat for only a few years, Smith was a Democrat for 42 years.[25] Smith was a Plumcreek Township Supervisor and allegedly raised taxes 9 times (including the real estate, earned income, and per capita taxes).[26] Over the past decade, he donated over $185,000 to Republican candidates. The only Democrat he donated to was Congressman Jason Altmire, a moderate Blue Dog.[27]

Sam Rohrer, a former State Representative, ran for statewide office again after losing to State Attorney General Tom Corbett in the 2010 Republican primary for Pennsylvania Governor. Rohrer was endorsed by various tea party organizations, as well as U.S. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.[28]

David Christian, a Vietnam war veteran and businessman, also ran. He previously ran for congress in 1984 and 1986. He was endorsed by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.[29]

Polling[edit]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Tim
Burns
David
Christian
Laureen
Cummings
John
Kensinger
Sam
Rohrer
Marc
Scaringi
Tom
Smith
John
Vernon
Steve
Welch
Other Undecided
Franklin & Marshall College March 20–25, 2012 505 ± 4.2% 1% 7% 1% 9% 1% 81%
Public Policy Polling March 8–11, 2012 564 ± 4.1% 10% 16% 8% 12% 5% 48%
Tribune-Review/WPXI-TV February 2–6, 2012 500 ± 4.4% 1% 3% 10% 1% 8% 1% 72%
Public Policy Polling November 17–20, 2011 400 ± 4.9% 15% 2% 25% 0% 3% 1% 1% 8% 43%

Results[edit]

Republican primary results[5][30]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Tom Smith 299,726 39.5%
Republican Sam Rohrer 169,118 22.3%
Republican Steve Welch 158,181 20.9%
Republican David Christian 79,581 10.5%
Republican Marc Scaringi 51,908 6.8%
Totals 758,514 100%

General election[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Debates[edit]

Fundraising[edit]

Candidate (party) Receipts Disbursements Cash on hand Debt
Bob Casey, Jr. (D) $7,664,686 $2,754,060 $6,226,560 $5,261
Tom Smith (R) $7,954,211 $5,673,558 $2,280,655 $6,475,000
Source: Federal Election Commission[32][33]

Top contributors[edit]

[34]

Bob Casey, Jr. Contribution Tom Smith Contribution
Comcast Corp $95,175 Rosebud Mining $26,000
Blank Rome LLP $65,500 Tj Smith Trucking $15,000
Reed Smith LLP $61,800 Penneco Oil Co $12,500
Cozen O'Connor $44,975 Transportation Equipment Supply Co $11,500
University of Pennsylvania $44,450 R&S Machine Co $10,250
Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney $43,098 Citizens United $10,000
K&L Gates $42,650 Mepco LLC $10,000
Pride Mobility Products $40,250 Snyder Armclar Gas $10,000
Blue Cross & Blue Shield $39,950 Stitt Management $10,000
National Amusements Inc. $39,250 Penn Waste $10,000

Top industries[edit]

[35]

Bob Casey, Jr. Contribution Tom Smith Contribution
Lawyers/Law Firms $2,095,026 Retired $104,725
Lobbyists $407,472 Mining $87,800
Real Estate $389,559 Republican/Conservative $43,500
Health Professionals $336,023 Oil & Gas $40,750
Financial Institutions $335,998 Misc Business $35,300
Retired $329,132 Financial Institutions $25,500
Pharmaceuticals/Health Products $313,597 Misc Manufacturing & Distributing $19,650
Hospitals/Nursing Homes $296,737 Leadership PACs $19,000
Entertainment Industry $237,825 Misc Energy $18,000
Insurance $221,750 Trucking $15,250

Polling[edit]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Bob
Casey, Jr. (D)
Tom
Smith (R)
Other Undecided
Angus Reid Public Opinion November 2–4, 2012 507 ± 4.2% 53% 46% 1%
Public Policy Polling November 2–3, 2012 790 ± 3.5% 52% 44% 3%
Muhlenberg College/Morning Call November 1–3, 2012 430 ± 5% 48% 42% 2% 9%
Tribune-Review/Susquehanna October 29–31, 2012 800 ± 3.4% 46% 45% 2% 8%
Franklin & Marshall College October 23–28, 2012 547 ± 4.2% 46% 36% 4% 13%
Philadelphia Inquirer October 23–25, 2012 600 ± 4% 49% 42% 9%
Rasmussen Reports October 24, 2012 500 ± 4.5% 46% 45% 9%
Pharos Research October 19–21, 2012 760 ± 3.6% 52% 42% 6%
Muhlenberg College Poll October 17–21, 2012 444 ± 5% 45% 37% 2% 16%
Angus Reid Public Opinion October 18–20, 2012 559 ± 4.2% 51% 45% 4%
Quinnipiac October 12–14, 2012 1,519 ± 2.5% 48% 45% 7%
Public Policy Polling October 12–14, 2012 500 ± 4.4% 50% 39% 11%
Muhlenberg October 10–14, 2012 438 ± 5% 41% 39% 1% 18%
Susquehanna Polling October 11–13, 2012 1,376 ± 2.6% 46% 48% 1% 5%
Rasmussen Reports October 9, 2012 500 ± 4.5% 49% 45% 1% 5%
Philadelphia Inquirer October 4–8, 2012 600 ± 4% 48% 38% 14%
Susquehanna Polling October 4–6, 2012 725 ± 3.7% 46% 44% 9%
Siena Poll October 1–5, 2012 545 ± 4.2% 44% 35% 16%
Muhlenberg College September 22–26, 2012 427 ± 5% 44% 36% 7% 13%
Quinnipiac/CBS/NYT Poll September 18–24, 2012 1,180 ± 3% 49% 43%
Franklin & Marshall September 18–23, 2012 392 ± 4.9% 48% 38% 8%
Rasmussen Reports September 19, 2012 500 ± 4.5% 49% 42% 2% 7%
Muhlenberg College September 10–16, 2012 640 ± 4% 45% 33% 5% 18%
Philadelphia Inquirer August 21–23, 2012 601 ± 4% 53% 34% 13%
MCall/Muhlenburg Poll August 20–22, 2012 422 ± 5% 49% 30% 18%
Franklin & Marshall College August 7–12, 2012 681 ± 3.8% 35% 23% 2% 39%
Quinnipiac July 24–30, 2012 1,168 ± 2.9% 55% 37% 8%
Public Policy Polling July 21–23, 2012 758 ± 3.6% 46% 36% 18%
Rasmussen Reports July 18, 2012 500 ± 4.5% 49% 38% 9%
We Ask America July 9–10, 2012 1,227 ± 2.8% 53% 39% 8%
Quinnipiac June 19–25, 2012 1,252 ± 2.8% 49% 32% 1% 17%
Quinnipiac June 5–10, 2012 997 ± 3.1% 51% 32% 1% 14%
Franklin & Marshall College May 29–June 4, 2012 412 ± 4.8% 42% 21% 2% 35%
Rasmussen Reports May 21, 2012 500 ± 4.5% 48% 41% 3% 7%
Public Policy Polling May 17–20, 2012 671 ± 3.8% 49% 33% 19%
Public Policy Polling March 8–11, 2012 689 ± 3.7% 49% 31% 20%
Public Policy Polling November 17–20, 2011 500 ± 4.4% 48% 32% 20%

Results[edit]

United States Senate election in Pennsylvania, 2012[36]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Bob Casey, Jr. 3,021,364 53.7% -4.9%
Republican Tom Smith 2,509,114 44.6% +3.3%
Libertarian Rayburn Smith 96,926 1.7% +1.7%
Majority 512,250 9.1% -
Turnout 5,627,404
Democratic hold Swing -4.9%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dr. Michael McDonald (February 9, 2013). "2012 General Election Turnout Rates". George Mason University. Retrieved April 6, 2013. 
  2. ^ Itkowitz, Colby (November 21, 2010). "Mellow Casey has to up profile for re-election". The Morning Call. Retrieved November 25, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Malloy, Daniel (November 26, 2010). "Murrysville native planning for 2010 run against Casey". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved November 26, 2010. 
  4. ^ Itkowitz, Colby (February 15, 2012). "Petitions filed for Pa. primary". The Allentown Morning Call. Retrieved February 22, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "2012 General Primary: United States Senator". PA Department of State. Retrieved April 25, 2012. 
  6. ^ "2012: David Christian Enters U.S. Senate Race". Pike County Republican Committee. Retrieved September 24, 2011. 
  7. ^ Reabuck, Sandra K. (September 28, 2011). "New Paris pharmacist seeks GOP nomination". The Tribune-Democrat. Retrieved September 30, 2011. 
  8. ^ Levy, Marc (November 4, 2011). "Sam Rohrer to run for Casey's Senate seat". MSNBC. Retrieved November 6, 2011. 
  9. ^ Guerriero, John (September 29, 2011). "Armstrong County Republican announces candidacy for U.S. Senate in Erie". Erie Times-News. Retrieved September 30, 2011. 
  10. ^ Gibson, Keegan (September 13, 2011). "Welch to Enter Senate Race". PoliticsPA. Retrieved September 14, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Burns Exits Senate Race". PoliticsPA. February 2, 2012. Retrieved February 2, 2011. 
  12. ^ Gibson, Keegan (January 14, 2012). "Cummings Drops Out of Senate Race, Endorses Burns". Politics PA. Retrieved January 16, 2012. 
  13. ^ Jerry, Tara (January 16, 2012). "Vernon Endorses Burns for Senate". Politics PA. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  14. ^ http://www.statecollege.com/news/local-news/corman-not-running-for-us-senate-in-2012-he-says-797097/
  15. ^ a b Itkowitz, Colby (December 10, 2010). "Dent versus Casey?". The Morning Call. Retrieved December 10, 2010. 
  16. ^ a b Jacobs, Jeremy P. (November 16, 2010). "GOP Looking For A Casey Challenger". National Journal. Retrieved November 25, 2010. 
  17. ^ a b "Is Casey closer to a serious challenger?". August 4, 2011. Retrieved August 8, 2011. 
  18. ^ http://www.delcotimes.com/articles/2011/09/16/news/doc4e72bc962d92c253852817.txt?viewmode=fullstory
  19. ^ Hundt, Brad (August 31, 2011). "U.S. Rep. Murphy says he won't run for Senate next year". Observer-Reporter. Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  20. ^ Sullivan, Sean (December 5, 2011). "Pileggi Won't Challenge Casey in Pa.". National Journal. Retrieved December 5, 2011. 
  21. ^ "Schweiker: Senate Run "Not in the Cards"". PoliticsPA. January 14, 2011. Retrieved January 15, 2011. 
  22. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: State Senator Kim Ward Emerges as Potential Challenger to Bob Casey". PoliticsPA. December 8, 2010. Retrieved December 9, 2010. 
  23. ^ Levy, Mark (January 29, 2012). "Pa. GOP endorses Welch to challenge Sen. Casey". Associated Press. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Smith outspends, outraises Welch in US Senate race". Associated Press. April 13, 2012. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  25. ^ Gibson, Keegan (April 16, 2012). "Where's Tom Smith?". PoliticsPA. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  26. ^ Gibson, Keegan (March 26, 2012). "Smith Tax Votes Play in Senate Campaign". PoliticsPA. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  27. ^ Gibson, Keegan (August 17, 2011). "Sen. Candidate Smith a Heavyweight GOP Donor". PoliticsPA. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  28. ^ Gibson, Keegan (March 28, 2012). "Bachmann Endorses Rohrer". PoliticsPA. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  29. ^ "Primary 2012: Nominate Christian". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  30. ^ Brennan, Kevin (24 April 2012). "Smith Wins Pennsylvania Senate Primary". National Journal. Retrieved April 25, 2012. 
  31. ^ "11/6/2012 2012 GENERAL ELECTION GENERAL CANDIDATE LIST". Pennsylvania Department of State. Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  32. ^ Campaign Finances
  33. ^ Campaign Finances
  34. ^ [http://www.opensecrets.org/races/contrib.php%7CCenter for Responsive Politics
  35. ^ by industry, opensecrets.org
  36. ^ "2012 General Election - United States Senator". Pennsylvania Department of State. Retrieved 8 November 2012. 

External links[edit]

Official campaign websites