Underwhelmed by the effort thus far of Democrats to win back the U.S. Senate seat held by Pat Toomey? You're not alone.
The University of Virginia has released the latest edition of Sabato's Crystal Ball, and Kyle Klondik, the project's managing editor, isn't especially impressed either – he's moved Pennsylvania from a tossup in the 2016 Senate race to leaning Republican, a startling assessment given the widely held belief that Mr. Toomey is one of 2016's more vulnerable incumbents.
Why the change? For starters, Mr. Toomey is, well, boring, and that's apparently what we like in a senator. To be more specific, Mr. Klondik writes that the incumbent is "mild mannered and low-key," qualities that "resonate well with the Pennsylvania electorate." So, yeah ... Mr. Toomey is dull, and we like it that way.
But we're not especially fond of any of the alternatives, either. Democratic Party officials would come around to back Joe Sestak if he's the nominee, but for now, the former congressman isn't the favorite of the party, animosity that's left over from 2010 challenge of Arlen Specter. Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski? His gubernatorial run last year has been practically forgotten. Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro? Who?
Let's be clear – Mr. Klondik specifies "that this is a very tenuous Leans Republican" rating, and a strong showing by Hillary Clinton here next year could be the start of a landslide that buries Mr. Toomey, regardless of his opponent. But for now, this is a big swing for Republican, both here and at the national level.