Toomey stops at York Rotary Club meeting

David Weissman
  • Incumbent U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., won't vote for Clinton but has reservations about Trump.
  • Toomey trails challenger Katie McGinty in most recent F&M poll, but others have him leading.

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, stuck in a tight race with the election less than three weeks away, continues to assert he hasn't decided who will receive his vote for president.

Stopping off in York County two days after his debate with challenger Katie McGinty, the Republican said he won't "under any circumstance" cast his vote for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, but he still has many reservations about Republican nominee Donald Trump.

"I feel stuck," Toomey said.

Asked if he would consider voting for a third-party candidate or leaving his ballot blank at the top, Toomey said, "I will not not vote."

Toomey, coming off his first term as a U.S. senator, trails by six points among likely voters, according to the most recent Franklin & Marshall College poll. Other more recent polls show the race ranging from a two-point lead for McGinty to a four-point lead for Toomey.

McGinty has continuously attacked Toomey, including at their recent debate, for failing to fully denounce Trump, as many others in his party have done.

United States Sen. Pat Toomey speaks Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016, during a meeting of the Rotary Club of York at the Yorktowne Hotel in York City. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Toomey, speaking at the Rotary Club of York meeting Wednesday, said he has been critical of his party's nominee, while McGinty has failed to disagree with Clinton on any of her proposed policies.

"It's looking like Hillary has a good chance (of winning)," Toomey said. "I'm not happy about that, but it looks like that's the way we're heading."

Toomey said McGinty would simply be a "rubber stamp" for any Clinton policy proposals, while he has shown he can complete bipartisan legislation.

If Trump does get elected president, Toomey said he believes he would pass positive legislation, including tax reform and repealing the Affordable Care Act, but he added that the Senate and House would have to be "assertive" with him to keep the businessman in line.

Throughout his speech, Toomey harped on how the economy isn't working for most Americans, and he believes that is because of failed policies imposing new regulations and increasing government spending.

He also covered topics including cyber security, the Iran nuclear deal, the country's rising deficit and his disappointment with the presidential candidates' rhetoric.

"Some of the language in this presidential election is appalling," Toomey said ahead of the third and final presidential debate Wednesday night. "I'm very disappointed with the choices we have."

— Reach David Weissman at or on Twitter at @DispatchDavid.