May 13, 2010 - Sestak Surges Against Toomey In November Matchup, Quinnipiac University Pennsylvania Poll Finds; Corbett Has Small Lead In Governor's Race

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U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, who has narrowed the gap against Sen. Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary, also is surging against likely Republican candidate Pat Toomey, getting 40 percent of registered voters to Toomey's 42 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This compares to a 42 - 34 percent Toomey lead in an April 8 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

Toomey leads Specter 47 - 40 percent, compared to 46 - 41 percent last month.

Republican State Attorney General Tom Corbett leads his most likely Democratic opponent for Pennsylvania Governor, Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, 43 - 37 percent.

President Barack Obama remains "underwater" in Pennsylvania, with a negative 46 - 48 percent job approval. President Obama, however, rates better than lame duck Gov. Ed Rendell, who gets a negative 40 - 51 percent job approval rating.

"Although the Quinnipiac poll of likely Democratic primary voters finds that many more think Sen. Arlen Specter is the better general election candidate, Congressman Joe Sestak actually runs a good deal better against Toomey in a trial heat," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "The money that Sestak has been spending introducing himself to Democratic primary voters with TV ads seems to be having an effect on general election voters as well. The difference is largely among independent voters, who favor Toomey 52 - 31 percent over Specter, but only 46 - 30 percent over Sestak."

Specter, seeking his sixth term in the Senate, gets his worst approval rating ever, a negative 38 - 51 percent. He also gets a negative 36 - 50 percent favorability rating.

By comparison, Toomey gets a 29 - 9 percent favorability with 60 percent who don't know enough about him. Sestak has a 32 - 14 percent favorability with 52 percent who don't know enough about him.

"Even if Specter gets by next Tuesday's Democratic primary against Sestak, he faces a tough re-election fight in November against Toomey," said Brown. "It's worth noting that Toomey has been biding his time, raising money and organizing for the November election while the Democrats scratch each other's eyes out."

Attorney General Corbett has led the polls since the race began, but his six-point margin over Onorato, who is ahead in next week's four-way Democratic gubernatorial primary, marks the first time that the GOP candidate's lead over any of the four Democrats has dropped into single digits.

"All those television commercials Dan Onorato has been airing to introduce himself to the voters outside of the Pittsburgh area who had not known who he was get viewed by Republicans and independents, too. But like Toomey, Corbett has been saving his money for November and letting his potential opponents go at each other," said Brown.

In an Onorato-Corbett November matchup, the GOP candidate's margin comes from his 42 - 29 percent lead among independent voters. Corbett leads 82 - 9 percent among Republicans as Onorato takes Democrats 68 - 11 percent.

Corbett begins the general election campaign with larger and more positive name recognition than Onorato. Almost half of all registered voters, 49 percent, view him favorably, with 13 percent unfavorably, while Onorato gets a 34 - 13 percent favorability, with 51 percent who haven't heard enough about him to form an opinion.

While Rendell and Obama are plagued by low scores, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey gets a 47 - 30 percent approval rating.

From May 4 - 10, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,161 Pennsylvania voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points.

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.

5. If the 2010 election for Governor were being held today and the candidates were Dan Onorato the Democrat and Tom Corbett the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
Onorato              37%     9%    68%    29%    35%    39%    39%
Corbett              43     82     11     42     52     35     44
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -      2      -      1      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      -      1      1      1      1      -
DK/NA                19      9     20     27     12     25     17
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
Onorato              55%    61%    34%    31%    34%    29%    30%
Corbett              37     15     45     44     44     54     49
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      1      -      2      -      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      2      2      -      2      -
DK/NA                 8     23     19     21     21     15     20
 
TREND: If the 2010 election for Governor were being held today and the candidates were Dan Onorato the Democrat and Tom Corbett the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     May 13  Apr 8   Mar 3   Dec 17  Sep 30
                     2010    2010    2010    2009    2009
Onorato              37      33      32      30      28
Corbett              43      45      42      45      47
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1       1       1       1       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1       1       1       1       1
DK/NA                19      21      24      22      24
 
 
6. If the 2010 election for Governor were being held today and the candidates were Jack Wagner the Democrat and Tom Corbett the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
Wagner               28%     4%    57%    17%    24%    31%    29%
Corbett              47     86     14     49     55     40     48
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      1      2      1      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      1      1      2      1      1      1
DK/NA                23      8     28     29     18     28     22
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
Wagner               37%    42%    24%    25%    22%    30%    24%
Corbett              41     23     54     46     52     51     53
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       3      -      -      1      -      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      3      1      1      2      1      -
DK/NA                18     33     22     27     25     16     22
 
TREND: If the 2010 election for Governor were being held today and the candidates were Jack Wagner the Democrat and Tom Corbett the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     May 13  Apr 8   Mar 3   Dec 17  Sep 30
                     2010    2010    2010    2009    2009
Wagner               28      29      30      33      29
Corbett              47      48      42      43      44
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1       1       1       1       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1       1       1       1       1
DK/NA                23      21      26      23      25
 
 
7. If the 2010 election for Governor were being held today and the candidates were Joe Hoeffel the Democrat and Tom Corbett the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
Hoeffel              26%     3%    55%    15%    21%    31%    30%
Corbett              49     87     18     47     58     41     49
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      1      4      2      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      1      2      1      1      2      -
DK/NA                22      8     24     33     18     26     20
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
Hoeffel              22%    58%    23%    35%    20%    15%    17%
Corbett              48     22     56     42     56     57     56
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       4      1      -      1      -      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4      -      1      -      2      4      1
DK/NA                21     19     21     22     22     23     25
 
TREND: If the 2010 election for Governor were being held today and the candidates were Joe Hoeffel the Democrat and Tom Corbett the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     May 13  Apr 8   Mar 3   Dec 17
                     2010    2010    2010    2009
Hoeffel              26      28      30      30
Corbett              49      50      41      46
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1       -       1       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1       1       1       1
DK/NA                22      21      27      23
 
 
8. If the 2010 election for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were Arlen Specter the Democrat and Pat Toomey the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
Specter              40%     9%    73%    31%    36%    43%    42%
Toomey               47     86     12     52     55     41     48
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      -      -      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      1      1      1      2      1      -
DK/NA                12      4     14     15      7     15     10
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
Specter              47%    59%    37%    43%    30%    34%    33%
Toomey               40     24     55     44     52     52     55
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      1      -      -      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      2      1      -      1      -      2
DK/NA                11     15      7     13     17     14      9
 
TREND: If the 2010 election for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were Arlen Specter the Democrat and Pat Toomey the Republican, for whom would you vote? (Data available upon request back to May 2009)
                     May 13  Apr 8   Mar 2   Dec 18  Oct 1   Jul 22  May 28
                     2010    2010    2010    2009    2009    2009    2009
Specter              40      41      49      44      42      45      46
Toomey               47      46      42      44      43      44      37
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -       -       -       1       1       -       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1       1       1       -       1       -       3
DK/NA                12      12       8      11      13      10      14
 
 
9. If the 2010 election for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were Joe Sestak the Democrat and Pat Toomey the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
Sestak               40%    10%    71%    30%    36%    43%    41%
Toomey               42     81      9     46     50     35     40
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      1      1      -      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      1      2      1      1      1      1
DK/NA                16      8     18     23     12     20     19
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
Sestak               41%    63%    39%    45%    28%    41%    30%
Toomey               42     20     48     36     49     47     49
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -      -      1      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      -      1      2      1      4      -
DK/NA                14     17     12     16     21      9     21
 
TREND: If the 2010 election for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were Joe Sestak the Democrat and Pat Toomey the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     May 13  Apr 8   Mar 2   Dec 18  Oct 1   Jul 22  May 28
                     2010    2010    2010    2009    2009    2009    2009
Sestak               40      34      36      35      35      35      37
Toomey               42      42      39      40      38      39      35
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -       1       1       1       1       1       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1       1       1       2       1       1       3
DK/NA                16      22      24      22      25      23      23
 
 
10. Is your opinion of - Arlen Specter favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
Favorable            36%    17%    56%    30%    33%    38%    38%
Unfavorable          50     74     24     58     57     44     46
Hvn't hrd enough     12      7     16     10      8     15     13
REFUSED               2      1      4      1      2      3      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Arlen Specter favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                             FAVORABLE....
                                                             High    Low
                     May 13  Apr 8   Mar 2   Dec 18  Oct 1   Nov 26  May 13
                     2010    2010    2010    2009    2009    2008    2010
Favorable            36      40      44      43      42      56      36
Unfavorable          50      46      43      45      46      23      50
Hvn't hrd enough     12      11      11       9      10      19      12
REFUSED               2       3       1       3       2       3       2
 
 
11. Is your opinion of - Pat Toomey favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
Favorable            29%    55%     6%    32%    36%    24%    26%
Unfavorable           9      1     15      9     11      7     13
Hvn't hrd enough     60     43     76     59     52     68     61
REFUSED               1      -      2      -      1      1      -
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Pat Toomey favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                             FAVORABLE.....
                                                             High    Low
                     May 13  Apr 8   Mar 2   Dec 18  Oct 1   Dec 18  Mar 25
                     2010    2010    2010    2009    2009    2009    2009
Favorable            29      29      26      35      34      35      14
Unfavorable           9       9       8      10      12      10       6
Hvn't hrd enough     60      61      65      55      53      55      78
REFUSED               1       1       1       1       1       1       2
 
 
12. Is your opinion of - Joe Sestak favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
Favorable            32%    23%    40%    31%    34%    31%    36%
Unfavorable          14     17     10     18     17     12     18
Hvn't hrd enough     52     59     46     50     48     55     44
REFUSED               2      1      4      1      2      2      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Joe Sestak favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     May 13  Apr 8   Mar 2   Dec 18  Oct 1   Jul 22  May 28
                     2010    2010    2010    2009    2009    2009    2009
Favorable            32      20      18      20      21      23      18
Unfavorable          14      11       6       9       8       7       5
Hvn't hrd enough     52      68      74      70      70      69      76
REFUSED               2       1       1       1       2       1       -
 
 
13. Is your opinion of - Dan Onorato favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
Favorable            34%    22%    46%    34%    36%    33%    35%
Unfavorable          13     20      6     15     17     10     18
Hvn't hrd enough     51     57     46     49     46     55     45
REFUSED               1      1      2      2      1      2      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Dan Onorato favorable, unfavorable or haven't you eard enough about him?
                     May 13  Apr 8   Mar 3   Dec 17  Sep 30  Jul 21
                     2010    2010    2010    2009    2009    2009
Favorable            34      21      20      18      17      16
Unfavorable          13      11       8       9      11       6
Hvn't hrd enough     51      66      71      72      71      78
REFUSED               1       2       1       1       2       1
 
 
14. Is your opinion of - Jack Wagner favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
Favorable            19%    11%    27%    19%    21%    17%    23%
Unfavorable           7      9      5      7     10      5      9
Hvn't hrd enough     73     79     67     73     68     77     67
REFUSED               1      1      1      1      1      1      -
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Jack Wagner favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     May 13  Apr 8   Mar 3   Dec 17  Sep 30  Jul 21
                     2010    2010    2010    2009    2009    2009
Favorable            19      18      20      22      22      18
Unfavorable           7       8       7       5       6       4
Hvn't hrd enough     73      72      71      72      71      76
REFUSED               1       2       2       1       1       1
 
 
15. Is your opinion of - Joe Hoeffel favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
Favorable            14%     7%    20%    14%    14%    13%    18%
Unfavorable          11     13      7     13     11     10     12
Hvn't hrd enough     75     80     71     73     74     76     70
REFUSED               1      1      1      -      -      1      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Joe Hoeffel favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     May 13  Apr 8   Mar 3   Dec 17  Sep 30
                     2010    2010    2010    2009    2009
Favorable            14      14      15      13      13
Unfavorable          11      10       7       7       7
Hvn't hrd enough     75      75      77      79      80
REFUSED               1       1       1       1       1
 
 
16. Is your opinion of - Tony Williams favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
Favorable            12%     5%    23%     7%    12%    12%     9%
Unfavorable           8     10      5     10      9      7      8
Hvn't hrd enough     79     84     72     82     78     80     83
REFUSED               1      1      1      -      1      1      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Tony Williams favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     May 13  Apr 8   Mar 3
                     2010    2010    2010
Favorable            12       3       3
Unfavorable           8       3       2
Hvn't hrd enough     79      94      95
REFUSED               1       1       1
 
 
17. Is your opinion of - Tom Corbett favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
Favorable            49%    73%    31%    50%    54%    45%    55%
Unfavorable          13      4     20     13     18      9     14
Hvn't hrd enough     36     23     46     36     27     44     30
REFUSED               1      -      3      -      1      2      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Tom Corbett favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     May 13  Apr 8   Mar 3   Dec 17  Sep 30  Jul 21
                     2010    2010    2010    2009    2009    2009
Favorable            49      47      43      43      43      38
Unfavorable          13      13       7       6       7       6
Hvn't hrd enough     36      38      48      50      49      55
REFUSED               1       2       2       1       1       1
 
 
18. Is your opinion of - Sam Rohrer favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
Favorable             9%    17%     2%     9%    12%     7%     6%
Unfavorable           5      5      5      5      6      4      6
Hvn't hrd enough     85     77     91     85     82     87     87
REFUSED               1      1      2      -      1      1      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Sam Rohrer favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     May 13  Apr 8   Mar 3
                     2010    2010    2010
Favorable             9       7       5
Unfavorable           5       4       3
Hvn't hrd enough     85      88      91
REFUSED               1       1       1
 
 
19. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling his job as Governor?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
Approve              40%    22%    61%    32%    36%    44%    47%
Disapprove           51     72     29     56     59     44     47
DK/NA                 9      6     10     12      5     13      7
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
Approve              39%    70%    38%    60%    25%    23%    27%
Disapprove           51     18     54     34     65     66     62
DK/NA                10     12      8      6      9     11     10
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling his job as Governor?
                                                     APPROVE.......  DIS...
                                                     High    Low     High
                     May 13  Apr 8   Mar 3   Dec 17  Feb 7   Jul 21  Jul 21
                     2010    2010    2010    2009    2007    2009    2009
Approve              40      45      43      43      61      39      39
Disapprove           51      45      49      49      30      53      53
DK/NA                 9      10       8       7       9       8       8
 
 
20. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
Approve              25%    18%    37%    17%    21%    28%    31%
Disapprove           59     71     44     68     70     50     61
DK/NA                16     12     19     15     10     21      8
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
Approve              26%    42%    17%    37%    18%    22%    15%
Disapprove           58     43     68     49     63     60     68
DK/NA                15     16     15     14     19     18     16
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job? (*Low also 25% Dec 2009)
                                                             APPROVE.....
                                                             High    Low
                     May 13  Apr 8   Mar 3   Dec 17  Sep 30  Apr 10  May 13
                     2010    2010    2010    2009    2009    2003    2010*
Approve              25      31      29      25      27      49      25
Disapprove           59      54      59      64      64      24      59
DK/NA                16      14      12      11       9      27      16
 
 
21. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Arlen Specter is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
Approve              38%    17%    59%    34%    34%    41%    38%
Disapprove           51     77     25     57     58     45     47
DK/NA                11      6     16      9      8     14     15
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
Approve              47%    52%    31%    39%    35%    30%    34%
Disapprove           46     35     54     49     55     56     56
DK/NA                 7     13     14     12     10     14     10
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Arlen Specter is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     May 13  Apr 8   Mar 2   Dec 18  Oct 1   Nov 26  May 13
                     2010    2010    2010    2009    2009    2008    2010
Approve              38      44      48      47      44      62      38
Disapprove           51      47      45      45      48      25      51
DK/NA                11       9       6       8       9      13      11
 
 
22. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bob Casey Jr. is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
Approve              47%    29%    67%    42%    48%    46%    52%
Disapprove           30     47     11     36     35     25     26
DK/NA                23     24     22     22     17     29     22
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
Approve              54%    62%    41%    44%    46%    40%    45%
Disapprove           30     15     36     30     31     28     33
DK/NA                16     23     23     26     23     31     22
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bob Casey Jr. is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     May 13  Apr 8   Mar 2   Dec 18  Oct 1   May 28  Mar 28
                     2010    2010    2010    2009    2009    2009    2007
Approve              47      48      53      53      53      56      46
Disapprove           30      30      29      29      29      21      18
DK/NA                23      22      18      18      18      23      35
 
 
23. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
Approve              46%    11%    80%    41%    38%    54%    54%
Disapprove           48     85     16     49     56     41     43
DK/NA                 6      4      4     11      6      5      3
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     May 13  Apr 8   Mar 2   Dec 18  Oct 1   May 4   Apr 8
                     2010    2010    2010    2009    2009    2009    2010
Approve              46      45      49      49      49      66      45
Disapprove           48      49      46      45      42      29      49
DK/NA                 6       6       4       6       9       5       6