In Newsweek's "The Gaggle" blog today, noted Pittsburgher Howard Fineman calls around to some Grant Street sources for the scoop on the Senate Democratic primary -- with the consensus being Dan Onorato has the gubernatorial bid locked up -- and finds some "Arlen fatigue" and a sense that Rep. Joe Sestak will do quite well in Western Pennsylvania. Full piece is here, some exerpts below:
No one seems to much like Sestak—they don't know him—but even though the Democratic establishment dutifully endorsed Specter (as did President Obama), their hearts don't seem to be in the Specter effort. ...
A former prosecutor, Specter fired up the chain saw the other week. Sestak had been bragging about his Navy record, but Specter pointed out—in a very tough ad—that Sestak had, at one point, lost a star and been relieved of command.
It was a bold, characteristic—and maybe even desperate—attack on the highest-ranking military officer ever to serve in Congress, and one with an otherwise fine record. All the experts (especially in Philly) thought that this would blow a hole in Sestak's boat, especially after the former admiral made a hash of half-denials and garbled explanation, and launched his own ad in which a vet calls Specter a "liar." This issue took up most of last Saturday's one televised debate.
But the exchange doesn't seem to be sinking Sestak; just the opposite, if a new poll from Muhlenberg College is to be believed. It has Sestak trailing Specter by only 6 points.