Election 2012

PA Senator Slams Opponent's Tea Party Connections, Opponent Rises in the Polls

That's what we call a miscalculation

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U.S. Sen. Bob Casey suddenly has a real race on his hands — and his own ads might be partially to blame.

Until the past few weeks, the race between Casey, a first-term Democratic senator, and Republican challenger Tom Smith was considered a non-event. Casey was coasting toward re-election, and Smith, who won a five-way primary among a group of unknowns in April, was hardly considered a top-tier candidate for the Republicans.

A farmer and coal executive from Armstrong County, Smith had plenty of money to make the race competitive, but as a political novice, he was miles behind Casey when it comes to name recognition.