November 1, 2010 - Toomey Up 5 Points In Pennsylvania Senate Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Republican Has 10-Point Lead In Governor's Race

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Republican former Congressman Pat Toomey holds a 50 - 45 percent likely voter lead over Democratic U.S Rep. Joe Sestak in the race to be Pennsylvania's next U.S. senator, while Republican Tom Corbett, the attorney general, is cruising with a 52 - 42 percent lead over Democrat Dan Onorato, the Allegheny County executive, in the race for governor, according to Quinnipiac University poll released today.

The GOP candidates' domination among independent voters is the reason for their leads, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University survey conducted by live interviewers and completed Saturday, finds. Toomey leads Sestak among independents 52 - 39 percent and Corbett does even better, leading 53 - 34 percent among independent voters.

"The candidates each hold their party bases pretty well, each getting more than 80 percent of the votes of their own party members," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "But it is independent voters, as is often the case in close elections, that swings the balance of power."

In the governor's race overall, 6 percent of likely voters are undecided and 14 percent of voters who name a candidate say they might change their mind. More Onorato supporters, 17 percent, say that is the case than the 11 percent of Corbett backers.

"It is difficult to see how Dan Onorato becomes Pennsylvania's next governor," said Brown.

Likely voters give Onorato a 40 - 36 percent favorability rating compared to Corbett's 51 - 25 percent rating.

In the Senate race, 5 percent of likely voters are undecided and 13 percent of those who name a candidate say they might change their mind. Here too, slightly more of the Democratic candidate's supporters say they might change their mind than those backing Toomey.

Toomey's favorable/unfavorable ratio is 47 - 32 percent compared to Sestak's 40 - 40 percent split with the likely voter pool.

"The Senate race has been neck-and-neck most of the way with Toomey slightly ahead. It looks like that is how the candidates will cross the finish line," said Brown.

From October 25 - 30, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,244 Pennsylvania likely voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 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.


1. If the 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? (If undecided) If you had to choose today, would you vote for Onorato or Corbett? (This table includes Leaners)
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Onorato              42%     7%    83%    34%    38%    45%
Corbett              52     89     13     53     58     46
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      1      1      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 6      4      4     11      4      9
 
 
1a. Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                            CAND CHOICE Q1
                     Tot    DO     TC
 
Made up              86%    82%    89%
Might change         14     17     11
DK/NA                 1      1      -
 
 
2. Is your opinion of - Dan Onorato favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Favorable            40%    15%    70%    38%    39%    42%
Unfavorable          36     61     11     36     38     34
Hvn't hrd enough     21     22     18     22     20     22
REFUSED               3      2      1      4      3      3
 
 
3. Is your opinion of - Tom Corbett favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Favorable            51%    84%    21%    50%    58%    44%
Unfavorable          25      4     48     25     23     29
Hvn't hrd enough     20     12     28     20     16     24
REFUSED               3      1      3      4      3      4
 
 
4. If the 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? (If undecided) If you had to choose today, would you vote for Sestak or Toomey? (This table includes Leaners)
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Sestak               45%     8%    88%    39%    38%    52%
Toomey               50     90      9     52     57     43
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      1      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 5      2      3      8      5      4
 
 
4a. Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                            CAND CHOICE Q2
                     Tot    JS     PT
 
Made up              86%    84%    87%
Might change         13     15     12
DK/NA                 1      2      -
 
 
5. Is your opinion of - Joe Sestak favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Favorable            40%    12%    75%    35%    37%    43%
Unfavorable          40     71      9     41     44     36
Hvn't hrd enough     18     16     16     22     17     19
REFUSED               2      2      1      3      3      2
 
 
6. Is your opinion of - Pat Toomey favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Favorable            47%    81%    13%    46%    54%    40%
Unfavorable          32      5     60     32     29     35
Hvn't hrd enough     19     12     26     20     16     21
REFUSED               2      2      2      2      1      4