May 12, 2010 - Specter-Sestak Dem Primary Too Close To Call, Quinnipiac University Pennsylvania Poll Finds; Toomey Has Big Lead In Republican Primary

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U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak continues his stretch run in the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate primary and now trails incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter by a too-close-to-call 44 - 42 percent among likely Democratic primary voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Another 14 percent of Democrats are undecided, and 29 percent of those who name a candidate say they might change their mind.

The Democratic winner is likely to face Republican Pat Toomey who holds a 60 - 9 percent lead over Peg Luksik among likely Republican primary voters.

In the Democratic primary for Governor, Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato gets 38 percent of likely voters, trailed by state Auditor General Jack Wagner with 11 percent, State Sen. Tony Williams with 10 percent and Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Hoeffel with 9 percent. But 32 percent remain undecided and 56 percent of those choosing a candidate say they might change their mind.

The Democratic winner seems destined to face Attorney General Tom Corbett who leads State Rep. Sam Rohrer 57 - 14 percent in the GOP gubernatorial primary, compared to his 58 - 7 percent lead in Quinnipiac University's April poll.

The Specter-Sestak race has narrowed from a 47 - 39 percent Specter lead May 4 and a 53 - 32 percent Specter lead April 7.

"Sen. Arlen Specter has a history of winning close elections and he'll need that to continue because his once commanding lead is gone. His margin over Sestak is too close to call," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"The intangibles are clearly on Sestak's side. He has the momentum and the anti- incumbent wave sweeping the country is a good omen for the challenger," Brown added. "Troubling for Specter is that one in seven likely primary voters are undecided and incumbents - especially 30-year incumbents who have switched parties - rarely get much of the undecided vote."

Specter does better among women, 44 - 38 percent, while men go 47 percent for Sestak and 44 percent for Specter.

Specter's support is slightly weaker than Sestak's as 34 percent of the incumbent's voters say they might change their mind, compared to 25 percent of the challenger's backers.

Specter remains better known than Sestak, with a 50 - 33 percent favorability. By comparison, Sestak gets a 42 - 10 percent favorability, with 46 percent saying they don't know enough about him to have an opinion.

"Faced with these numbers, Pennsylvania TV viewers can expect to see as many television commercials as Specter can afford in the final week, trying to convince that 46 percent who don't know enough about Sestak that he is not their kind of guy," said Brown.

Onorato's lead over the rest of the Democratic gubernatorial field is little changed from last week when he received 36 percent, Hoeffel 9 percent, Wagner and Williams 8 percent each.

"Dan Onorato's lead over the Democratic field hasn't really grown over the past week, but with only seven days until the actual voting, his chances of winning the Democratic nomination for Governor certainly are better than the rest," said Brown. "Although more than half of likely voters say they might change their mind, the odds that enough of them do, and all go to the same candidate other than Onorato seem very, very small."

From May 5 - 10, Quinnipiac University surveyed 945 Pennsylvania likely Democratic primary voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percentage points, and 995 likely Republican primary voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent. The sample is drawn from registered voter lists based on people who have voted in recent elections.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research. For more data or RSS feed- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

1a. If the Democratic primary for Governor were being held today, would you vote for Dan Onorato, Jack Wagner, Tony Williams or Joe Hoeffel? (If undecided q1a) As of today, would you say that you lean a little more toward Onorato, Wagner, Williams or Hoeffel? (This table includes "Leaners".)
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
Onorato              38%    40%    36%
Wagner               11     13     10
Williams             10      9     10
Hoeffel               9     13      7
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -
DK/NA                32     23     37
 
TREND: If the Democratic primary for Governor were being held today, would you vote for Dan Onorato, Jack Wagner, Tony Williams or Joe Hoeffel? (If undecided q1a) As of today, would you say that you lean a little more toward Onorato, Wagner, Williams or Hoeffel? (This table includes "Leaners".)
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     May 12  May 4   Apr 7
                     2010    2010    2010
Onorato              38      36      20
Wagner               11       8      13
Williams             10       8       5
Hoeffel               9       9      15
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1       1       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -       -       -
DK/NA                32      37      47
 
 
1aa. (If express choice q1a) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the primary?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS......
                     CAND CHOICE GIVEN Q1a..........
                            CAND CHOICE Q1a.........
                     Tot    DO     JW     TW     JH
Made up              42%    45%    40%    31%    44%
Might change         56     53     57     68     56
DK/NA                 2      2      3      1      -
 
TREND: (If express choice q1a) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the primary?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     CAND CHOICE GIVEN Q1a
                     May 12  May 4   Apr 7
                     2010    2010    2010
Made up              42      36      27
Might change         56      60      70
DK/NA                 2       4       2
 
 
2a. If the Democratic primary for United States Senator were being held today, would you vote for Arlen Specter or Joe Sestak? (If undecided q2a) As of today, would you say that you lean a little more toward Specter or Sestak? (This table includes "Leaners".)
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
Specter              44%    44%    44%
Sestak               42     47     38
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -
DK/NA                14      8     17
 
TREND: If the Democratic primary for United States Senator were being held today, would you vote for Arlen Specter or Joe Sestak? (If undecided q2a) As of today, would you say that you lean a little more toward Specter or Sestak? (This table includes "Leaners".)
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     May 12  May 4   Apr 7
                     2010    2010    2010
Specter              44      47      53
Sestak               42      39      32
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1       -       -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -       -       -
DK/NA                14      14      15
 
 
2aa. (If express choice q2a) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the primary?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     CAND CHOICE GIVEN Q2a.
                            CAND CHOICE Q2a
                     Tot    AS     JS
Made up              70%    66%    74%
Might change         29     34     25
DK/NA                 1      1      1
 
TREND: (If express choice q2a) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the primary?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     CAND CHOICE GIVEN Q2a
                     May 12  May 4   Apr 7
                     2010    2010    2010
Made up              70      63      62
Might change         29      35      37
DK/NA                 1       2       2
 
 
3a. Is your opinion of - Arlen Specter favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
Favorable            50%    53%    48%
Unfavorable          33     37     31
Hvn't hrd enough     11      7     14
REFUSED               5      3      6
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Arlen Specter favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     May 12  May 4   Apr 7
                     2010    2010    2010
Favorable            50      57      60
Unfavorable          33      31      26
Hvn't hrd enough     11       9      12
REFUSED               5       4       2
 
 
4a. Is your opinion of - Joe Sestak favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
Favorable            42%    49%    37%
Unfavorable          10     10     10
Hvn't hrd enough     46     38     51
REFUSED               2      3      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Joe Sestak favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     May 12  May 4   Apr 7
                     2010    2010    2010
Favorable            42      43      33
Unfavorable          10      11       6
Hvn't hrd enough     46      44      58
REFUSED               2       2       2
 
 
5a. Is your opinion of - Dan Onorato favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
Favorable            43%    48%    41%
Unfavorable           9     12      8
Hvn't hrd enough     44     38     48
REFUSED               3      3      3
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Dan Onorato favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     May 12  May 4   Apr 7
                     2010    2010    2010
Favorable            43      46      27
Unfavorable           9       5       6
Hvn't hrd enough     44      46      64
REFUSED               3       3       2
 
 
6a. Is your opinion of - Jack Wagner favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
Favorable            19%    23%    17%
Unfavorable           6      7      6
Hvn't hrd enough     72     67     76
REFUSED               2      4      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Jack Wagner favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     May 12  May 4   Apr 7
                     2010    2010    2010
Favorable            19      17      20
Unfavorable           6       6       5
Hvn't hrd enough     72      75      73
REFUSED               2       2       2
 
 
7a. Is your opinion of - Joe Hoeffel favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
Favorable            15%    22%    11%
Unfavorable           7      9      6
Hvn't hrd enough     76     67     82
REFUSED               2      2      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Joe Hoeffel favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     May 12  May 4   Apr 7
                     2010    2010    2010
Favorable            15      15      18
Unfavorable           7       6       4
Hvn't hrd enough     76      77      75
REFUSED               2       2       2
 
 
8a. Is your opinion of - Tony Williams favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
Favorable            16%    17%    16%
Unfavorable          10     12      8
Hvn't hrd enough     72     70     74
REFUSED               2      1      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Tony Williams favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     May 12  May 4   Apr 7
                     2010    2010    2010
Favorable            16      17       6
Unfavorable          10       7       3
Hvn't hrd enough     72      73      90
REFUSED               2       3       1
 
 
9a. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you trust more to do in office what they say they will do during the campaign, Arlen Specter or Joe Sestak?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
Specter              40%    42%    39%
Sestak               33     38     30
NO DIFF(VOL)         10     11      9
DK/NA                17      9     23
 
TREND: Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you trust more to do in office what they say they will do during the campaign, Arlen Specter or Joe Sestak?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     May 12  May 4   Apr 7
                     2010    2010    2010
Specter              40      42      43
Sestak               33      31      26
NO DIFF(VOL)         10       7       6
DK/NA                17      20      25
 
 
10a. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you believe most shares your values, Arlen Specter or Joe Sestak?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
Specter              40%    39%    40%
Sestak               38     43     34
NO DIFF(VOL)          5      5      4
DK/NA                18     13     22
 
TREND: Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you believe most shares your values, Arlen Specter or Joe Sestak?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     May 12  May 4   Apr 7
                     2010    2010    2010
Specter              40      41      42
Sestak               38      34      26
NO DIFF(VOL)          5       3       4
DK/NA                18      22      27
 
 
11a. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you see as more consistently liberal, Arlen Specter or Joe Sestak?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
Specter              35%    35%    35%
Sestak               33     41     29
NO DIFF(VOL)          3      3      3
DK/NA                29     21     34
 
TREND: Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you see as more consistently liberal, Arlen Specter or Joe Sestak?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     May 12  May 4   Apr 7
                     2010    2010    2010
Specter              35      35      35
Sestak               33      29      26
NO DIFF(VOL)          3       3       2
DK/NA                29      33      36
 
 
12a. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you think would be more likely to win the November general election if nominated, Arlen Specter or Joe Sestak?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
Specter              54%    54%    54%
Sestak               29     32     27
NO DIFF(VOL)          1      2      1
DK/NA                16     12     19
 
TREND: Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you think would be more likely to win the November general election if nominated, Arlen Specter or Joe Sestak?
                     LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
                     May 12  May 4   Apr 7
                     2010    2010    2010
Specter              54      60      58
Sestak               29      23      21
NO DIFF(VOL)          1       1       1
DK/NA                16      17      20
 
 
1b. If the Republican primary for Governor were being held today, would you vote for Tom Corbett or Sam Rohrer? (If undecided q1b) As of today, would you say that you lean a little more toward Corbett or Rohrer? (This table includes "Leaners".)
                     LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
Corbett              57%    60%    55%
Rohrer               14     15     14
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      1      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -
DK/NA                28     25     31
 
TREND: If the Republican primary for Governor were being held today, would you vote for Tom Corbett or Sam Rohrer? (If undecided q1b) As of today, do you lean a little more toward Corbett or Rohrer? (This table includes "Leaners".)
                     LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS
                     May 12  Apr 7
                     2010    2010
Corbett              57      58
Rohrer               14       7
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -       -
DK/NA                28      35
 
 
1ab. (If express choice q1b) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the primary?
                     LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS
                     CAND CHOICE GIVEN Q1b.
                            CAND CHOICE Q1b
                     Tot    TC     SR
Made up              43%    40%    56%
Might change         54     57     41
DK/NA                 3      4      3
 
TREND: (If express choice q1b) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the primary?
                     LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS
                     CAND CHOICE GIVEN Q1b
                     May 12  Apr 7
                     2010    2010
Made up              43      32
Might change         54      64
DK/NA                 3       4
 
 
2b. If the Republican primary for United States Senator were being held today, would you vote for Pat Toomey or Peg Luksik? (If undecided q2b) As of today, would you say that you lean a little more toward Toomey or Luksik? (This table includes "Leaners".)
                     LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
Toomey               60%    68%    53%
Luksik                9      7     10
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -
DK/NA                31     24     37
 
 
2ab. (If express choice q2b) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the primary?
                     LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS
                     CAND CHOICE GIVEN Q2b.
                            CAND CHOICE Q2b
                     Tot    PT     PL
Made up              51%    53%    34%
Might change         48     46     62
DK/NA                 1      1      5
 
 
3b. Is your opinion of - Pat Toomey favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
Favorable            48%    58%    39%
Unfavorable           4      4      3
Hvn't hrd enough     47     37     57
REFUSED               1      1      2
 
 
4b. Is your opinion of - Peg Luksik favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                     LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
Favorable            12%    15%     9%
Unfavorable           6      6      5
Hvn't hrd enough     81     77     84
REFUSED               2      2      2
 
 
5b. Is your opinion of - Tom Corbett favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
Favorable            57%    63%    52%
Unfavorable           7      7      6
Hvn't hrd enough     34     28     38
REFUSED               3      2      4
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Tom Corbett favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS
                     May 12  Apr 7
                     2010    2010
Favorable            57      51
Unfavorable           7       3
Hvn't hrd enough     34      44
REFUSED               3       2
 
 
6b. Is your opinion of - Sam Rohrer favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
Favorable            19%    22%    17%
Unfavorable           3      3      3
Hvn't hrd enough     76     74     78
REFUSED               2      1      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Sam Rohrer favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY REP PRIMARY VOTERS
                     May 12  Apr 7
                     2010    2010
Favorable            19       8
Unfavorable           3       2
Hvn't hrd enough     76      88
REFUSED               2       2