The Other McCain

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PA-10: Greetings From Williamsport

Posted on | October 18, 2010 | 3 Comments

Traveling with Pete Da Tech Guy is not just a job, it’s an adventure. We left the home of William Jacobson in Ithaca, N.Y., about 3:30 p.m. and arrived in Williamsport about 6:30. We had called and left messages on the phone number listed on Tom Marino’s Web site, but got no return calls, and the Web site also doesn’t list an office address for the campaign.

So when we got to Williamsport, we had no idea where the headquarters would be. We drove down Third Street through town, turned a couple of corners, then went the other way on Fourth Street, looking for the headquarters. Then we drove past a Sons of Italy lodge. “Hey, Marino’s Italian. I bet they’ll know where the campaign headquarters is.” Pete goes inside, comes out 10 minutes later and says, “Marino’s sister was there. She gave me directions.” I’m sure Sicilian hand gestures were involved.

Pennsylvania’s 10th District is the first stop on this tour that’s actually rated “leans Republican,” and the most recent poll shows Republican Tom Marino leading 44-38 over Democrat Chris Carney. Currently, five Democrat-held seats in this state — PA-3, PA-5, PA-8, PA-10 and PA-11 — are rated “lean Republican” by Real Clear Politics, so if the Big Red Wave hits on Nov. 2, Pennsylvania will be Ground Zero.

Gallup’s “generic ballot” poll currently shows Republicans with a 17-point lead among likely voters:

If that number holds for the next two weeks, we’re talking about a historic wipeout for the Democrats — Republican gains of 60+ seats. But let’s not take anything for granted.


UPDATE: Jim Geraghty analyzes 118 districts and concludes:

Roughly 100 seats are in play under the broader definition, and it’s hard to see Republicans winning fewer than 40 of them. The ceiling depends on how angry the country is on November 2, but it is pretty darn high . . . 60? 70? 80?

Tom Marino’s campaign manager just arrived here at the Lycoming County Victory Center.

UPDATE II: Marino’s communication director, Jason Fitzgerald, just gave us a briefing on the PA-10 campaign. In June, this campaign was pronounced “DOA” because they only raised about $10,000 in the second quarter (April-June). But in the third quarter (July-September), Marino outraised Carney and, when polls showed the Republican leading, suddenly the campaign took off.

There are only two full-time staffers on this campaign, which relies heavily on grassroots volunteers. One of those volunteers, Hughey Woodring, just got interviewed by Pete Da Tech Guy.

Hughey is the gray-haired guy on the left, and Jason’s the young guy on the right. Pete’s the guy with the camera, of course.

UPDATE III: Get out and volunteer and get the word out!”


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