Pat Toomey is a first term Republican senator from Pennsylvania
He's locked in a tight battle with Democratic challenger Katie McGinty
Republican Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey, who is in a tight race for re-election, refused to say during a debate Monday night if he plans to vote for his party’s presidential nominee.
The first-term senator has repeatedly dodged when asked whom he would vote for and during the final Senate debate before Election Day, he told the crowd at Temple University that Donald Trump was “deeply flawed” but he would not go as far to disavow the top of ticket.
“If he were president, he would probably sign a bill repealing Obamacare, which we badly need,” Toomey said. “He’d probably sign a bill that would restore sanctions on Iran which we badly need. So there is this dilemma.”
After being asked three times by the debate’s moderator, Toomey tried moving past the question saying, “I don’t think my constituents care that much how one person is going to vote.”
His Democratic challenger, Katie McGinty, pounced on her opponent’s answer.
“The senator is in a class of his own on this issue,” she said. “He is the only person running for United States Senate in the entire country who has not leveled with his constituents.”
The numbers in Pennsylvania show why Toomey is walking a fine line. Polls consistently show an advantage for Hillary Clinton in the Keystone state but a much tighter race in the battle for the Senate.
In the latest Bloomberg Politics/Selzer poll of the state out October 13, McGinty and Toomey were statistically tied at 47% to 45%, respectively, well within the poll’s 3.5 percentage point margin of error.
Democrats are counting on picking up Republican Senate seats, such as Toomey’s, to regain control of the congressional chamber. They need four seats to tie the chamber 50-50, and five seats to take a majority.