Headed to Washington on Wednesday evening for a fundraiser in his honor hosted by the campaign arm of the Senate Republicans, candidate Tom Smith is bruised by dismal results of a poll that shows him trailing Bob Casey by 18 points. (For what it's worth, that's how much Casey beat former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum by in 2006)
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who heads the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., are throwing the Senate candidate a cocktail reception to raise money and the profile of a man largely unknown inside the Beltway and across the Commonwealth. (h/t Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
Smith needs to show polls closing to make a convincing case for heavyhitters to invest in his campaign. But the poll of "likely Pennsylvania voters" found Casey up 55 percent to 37 percent and leading by double digits among independents and women, two key voting blocs. The poll was a joint effort of Quinnipiac University, New York Times, CBS News.
“Sen. Bob Casey seems to be sailing toward re-election as his Republican coal mine owner opponent Tom Smith fights a name recognition battle and fails to gain any traction,” said Tim Malloy of Quinnipiac.
The race is barely registering on the natioanl political scene. National Journal ranked the 20 Senate races this cycle, listing the Pennsylvania contest 18th and concluding: "Businessman Tom Smith only seems to get press when he serves as a Romney surrogate -- unless it's in a conservative publication here in Washington. Casey isn't feeling any heat yet."
Smith, for his part, is trying. He's been on hand at Republican events across the state. At rally in Lancaster this week featuring Ohio U.S. Sen. Rob Portman he blasted Casey, saying the senator "wound up on third base, and actually thinks he hit the triple."