March 30, 2016

It’s Groundhog Day For Katie McGinty

Katie McGinty is stuck in her own version of Groundhog Day, rolling out establishment endorsements one after another as more and more press reports full of blind quotes from local Democrats decrying her dismal campaign are published.

In today’s episode, McGinty finally got the nod from President Obama and Vice President Biden, which, like last week’s DSCC endorsement, most observers of the race had assumed had already happened.

The announcement came moments after a Morning Consult report highlighted the utter ineffectiveness of McGinty’s big-name endorsements to date:

National Democrats in recent years have excelled at anointing candidates in key races, avoiding costly primaries and wounded nominees…

…But in the Keystone State, the anointed favorite this year is doing something unusual: She’s losing.

State and national Democrats are backing Katie McGinty, a former state Environmental Protection secretary and chief of staff to Gov. Tom Wolf. Wolf, former Gov. Ed Rendell and the DSCC have all publicly endorsed McGinty; so has Sen. Bob Casey, who made an unusual foray into a Democratic primary earlier this month.

And yet a month ahead of the April 26 primary, a Franklin & Marshall Center for Opinion Research poll found McGinty trailing her chief rival, former Rep. Joe Sestak, by a wide 31 percent to 14 percent margin. A third candidate, Braddock Mayor John Fetterman, sits in third place with 7 percent.

And a Roll Call analysis published just hours later noted that the endorsement seemed like an eleventh hour bid to save McGinty’s failing campaign, and could easily backfire:

The endorsements from Obama and Biden are a mild surprise given their timing less than two months before the state’s April 26 primary. Also, many Washington Democrats maintain their belief that Sestak, who was the party’s 2010 nominee for Senate, can also defeat vulnerable Republican incumbent Sen. Pat Toomey in the fall.

Obama may soon find himself starring in his own version of Groundhog Day – he endorsed the losing candidate in 2010’s Pennsylvania primary, too: