McGinty leading over Toomey at press time
By The Associated Press
With 78 percent of the precincts in, Democrat Katie McGinty was leading the most expensive political race in U.S. Senate history, according to the Associated Press.
At press time Tuesday night, she had earned 2,361,022 votes with incumbent Republican Pat Toomey earning 2,303,573 votes.
On Tuesday night, Pat Toomey said he voted for Trump, revealing his choice after saying for months that he had not been persuaded to support the GOP nominee.
Toomey did not campaign with Trump or talk about him during stump speeches. He has been critical of Trump for months, and remained critical of Trump on Tuesday night.
“I think there are serious questions about his temperament and judgment, and policy positions he’s taken that I disagree with,” Toomey told reporters after voting at a church near his Allentown-area home. “I had to weigh that against the possibility of what could be accomplished if he were president. … In the end, I decided we’ve just got to change the course we’re on, so I voted for Donald Trump.”
McGinty had tried to make Toomey’s indecision in the presidential stakes a campaign issue, characterizing Toomey as unable to stand up to Trump.
“Come on, Senator Toomey, let us know: Are you standing with Donald Trump or not?” McGinty told reporters Tuesday morning after voting at a church in the Philadelphia suburb of Wayne. “It’s long, long past due for (him) to have stood up for what’s right … and denounced Donald Trump. It’s really, actually, too late.”
McGinty allied herself closely with Clinton and campaigned with her across Pennsylvania. Toomey characterized McGinty as a “rubber stamp” for a Clinton White House. McGinty worked in Bill Clinton’s White House and was recruited by top Washington Democrats to challenge Toomey.
Toomey is one of the most vulnerable Senate incumbents after the fiscal hawk compiled one of Congress’ most conservative voting records. He has placed an emphasis on appealing to moderate Democrats and independent voters willing to split their tickets, particularly in Philadelphia’s heavily populated suburbs.
In an illustration of his challenge to get re-elected, Toomey has sought to parlay his arm’s-length distance from Trump and a party-crossing vote on background checks on firearms purchases into support from moderate voters.
Toomey even ran a TV ad in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with 2013 footage of Obama — often the target of Toomey’s toughest criticism — praising Toomey for his work on the background checks legislation, despite the bill’s failure.
The 53-year-old McGinty has never held public office and is trying to become Pennsylvania’s first female U.S. senator. Toomey, 54, also served three terms in U.S. Congress from the Allentown area.
McGinty was backed by public-sector unions, the AFL-CIO, abortion-rights activists and environmental advocacy groups. Toomey was backed by business advocacy organizations, police unions, anti-abortion rights activists and conservative fiscal policy groups.