Political Polling in Pennsylvania: Wave 1

Monday, August 31, 2009

Washington, DC - Ipsos' latest poll carried out on behalf of Reuters and published today shows that the Republicans lead in both the Senate and Gubernatorial races. Toomey leads Sestak by 10 points (47% to 37%) and Corbett leads Onorato by 15 points (49% vs. 34%) among likely voters.

When we asked Pennsylvania voters to imagine that Arlen Specter had won the Democratic primary for Senate, the figures were fairly similar, with Toomey on 52% and Specter on 40%. This suggests that the GOP has genuine momentum here outside of the identities of individual candidates and isn't necessarily just benefiting from the fallout from the Democratic Primary (although the primary certainly didn't do the party's image any good, with one in seven PA voters naming 'government, politics and politicians' as a key problem facing the state).

Three in five (59%) registered voters say that Obama's endorsement of Specter over Sestak makes 'no difference' in their decision on how to vote. Small minorities of Democrats (19%) and Republicans (15%) say that Obama's endorsement of Specter has made them more likely to support Sestak, and just 12% of Dems say it has made them less likely to support Sestak.

Other key findings:

  • The Enthusiasm Gap is less extreme in Pennsylvania than other states we have polled in, with 48% of Democrats and 57% of Republicans certain to vote.
  • Over half (55%) think that things in PA are 'off on the wrong track', with the economy being named as the top problem (48%). Concern about the budget/deficit (16%), government generally (14%) and taxes (14%) are also fairly high.
  • About half (52%) disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is doing his job as Governor and 43% approve; this is not split entirely along party lines, as 41% of Dems and 65% of Republicans disapprove of the way he has been doing his job

More data and full technical details are available in the topline document which is available for download on the right-hand side of this page.

For more information on this press release, please contact:

Julia Clark
Ipsos Public Affairs

Clifford Young
Managing Director, Public Sector Practice
Ipsos Public Affairs

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Political Polling in Pennsylvania: Wave 1

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Topline Results


Julia Clark
Senior Vice President, US
Ipsos Public Affairs