Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Two against one in the McGinty-Trump debate

It was a tag-team match at the first debate between Pennsylvania's two U.S. Senate candidates yesterday.

It was Republican incumbent Pat Toomey on one side.

On the other was Democratic challenger Katie McGinty. And her running mate. That would be Donald Trump.

It did not take long for McGinty to pounce on what has been the non-stop drumbeat of her campaign, link Toomey to Trump and hammer the incumbent for his refusal to divorce himself from the guy at the top of the Republican ticket.

The very first question focused on whether the candidates supported the leaders of their prospective tickets.

McGinty leaped at the chance to say she backed Hillary Clinton, then set the tone for the affair by attacking Toomey, using the Trump Card to beat him over the head.

For his part, Toomey countered that unlike his opponent, who cannot get past her partisan sentiment, he can admit that he has serious disagreements with Trump and has said so repeatedly.

I wrote about Toomey and his Trump problem in my Monday print column.

Clearly this is not going to go away.

Toward the end of yesterday's debate, Toomey was asked if at some point he would tell his constituents if he planned to vote for Trump, and he replied that he likely would. Whether or not that comes before the election remains to be seen.

For now, this race is two against one.

Most experts still consider this race a dead heat. It already has set records as the most expensive U.S. Senate race in the country. Don't look for McGinty to stop linking Toomey to Trump anytime soon.

You can read about the debate here.

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