PA-Sen: F&M Poll: Sestak 17% McGinty 13% Fetterman 6%

Joe-Sestak-headshotThe Senate Democratic primary is up for grabs.

That’s the conclusion one reaches when looking at the results of the latest Franklin & Marshall poll.

A whopping sixty-one percent of respondents are undecided right now. Another four percent answered “another candidate”.

Among those that have made a choice, though, former Congressman Joe Sestak leads. He takes 17% against former Chief of Staff to Governor Wolf Katie McGinty’s 13%. Braddock Mayor John Fetterman is in third with 6%.

The polls have been static in this race so far. Last August, Sestak lead McGinty by three points (16/13) and in October it was two (15/13). The biggest movement was with Fetterman, who doubled his support from the 3% he received in the October survey.

This survey is quite different from the recently released Harper Poll, which had Sestak leading McGinty 33% to 28% with Fetterman garnering 11%. Just 28% were undecided in that poll.

This poll was conducted by the Center for Opinion Research at Franklin & Marshall College. They surveyed 361 registered Democratic Pennsylvania voters from January 18th to January 23rd. The margin of error is +/- 3.6%.

January 28th, 2016 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Senate, Top Stories | 28 Comments

28 thoughts on “PA-Sen: F&M Poll: Sestak 17% McGinty 13% Fetterman 6%”

  1. eagleswing says:

    Persons who give opinions on ‘the law’ on this site should be careful to have actually read , and accurately cite, ‘the law.’ under PA law, PA ‘residency ‘ can be based on ANY combination of the following factors. In fact there are exceptions in both state and federal election law for those who, having been elected to a federal position, choose to have 2 residences–one in the home state, one one near the federal job.

    § 95.2. Residence requirements.

    (a) Resident defined. A resident is a person who resides, and who has manifested the intent to continue to reside in this Commonwealth or a former resident of this Commonwealth who meets the criteria in paragraph (2)(i) or (ii).

    (1) Evidence of intent to continue to reside in this Commonwealth includes the following:

    (i) Rent, lease or purchase of a property which the applicant has made a primary residence in this Commonwealth.

    (ii) Payment of State and local taxes.

    (iii) Registration of personal property, such as bank accounts, stocks, and bonds and automobiles within this Commonwealth.

    (iv) Possession of a current Pennsylvania driver’s license.

    (v) Current registration to vote in this Commonwealth.

    So, mere ownership of property in VA does not disqualify Sestak. (You can be sure Toomey would have raised it had Diano’s theory been true.) We’ve been hearing this ‘theory’ of Diano’s for some time time. Time to give it a rest ? let’s hope the ‘other campaigns’ who have been fed this ‘info’ by Diano have the common sense not to go negative in the primary, thus reducing Dem chances to gain this Senate seat.

    AND FYI Dave- Santorum did NOT ‘ own property’ in Penn Hills, PA. during his last campaign for US Senate. He claimed to have ‘rented’ a house which was owned by his in-laws the Garbers; however neither he nor his family were ever seen there.

  2. David Diano says:

    Jerry Policoff-

    No, I’m the one who uncovered it from a former Sestak staffer. I passed the information onto the rival campaigns so they could use their resources to track down the witnesses and verify the story. That’s ALWAYS been the case. You must have misread or missed a memo along the way. When revealed, Joe’s reputation will finally be corrected to match his lack of integrity.

    The residency issue has been around for a long time, and isn’t going away. Again you missed the point. Sestak claims that he DOES live with his family. But, the problem is that he lies and claims he lives with his family here in Delco, when his family unquestionably lives in Alexandria, VA.

    Joe has published his false claim in his campaign literature. This sets him up for false advertising with the FEC and contradictory statements should he take the stand. Also, the key issue is “primary” residence, and his home in PA would fail that criteria.

    From the PA code:
    “Rent, lease or purchase of a property which the applicant has made a primary residence in this Commonwealth.”

    Sestak’s primary residence is in Virginia not in this Commonwealth.

    I say it’s not even close to ambiguous. Sestak fails the residency test, and is merely a property owner in PA.

  3. Jerry Policoff says:

    Your story is evolving David. In the past you were suggesting that whatever this so-called “scandal” is, it had been developed by others who were biding their time, waiting to spring it, and they had for some strange reason confided it to you. Now you seem to suggest that this is information you developed and that you are sharing it with the campaigns.
    I also looked up Pennsylvania residency requirements, and while they are a bit ambiguous (I suspect to allow for latitude), they do not preclude having two residences, nor do they require ownership of their Pa. residence, nor do they require the candidate to live with his or her family. It appears that it is enough to simply have residency here for a specified period of time. Nothing in those regulations would pose a residency problem for Sestak as far as I can see, even if everything you allege is true. I honestly cannot see anyone challenging his candidacy based on his residency. Such a challenge would surely fail and would backfire on whoever made the challenge.

  4. David Diano says:

    Jerry Policoff-

    That’s still going to happen. I was telling people about it at Montco Dems event last night. They agreed it would prove to everyone that Sestak has zero integrity.

    I’ve turned over the information to McGinty and Fetterman campaigns. It’s their time-table to release it for maximum effect, not mine.

    My recommendation is that they spring it on Sestak in a taped/televised debate with the witnesses present to talk to reporters.

    As for his residency, my understanding is that the McGinty campaign has looked into financials and property records. I don’t know if they are going to pursue it sooner or later. They may want to see how the polls shake out before going nuclear/negative.

    If they can beat Sestak on merit (message, advertising, issues) they don’t have to destroy him by exposing the real Sestak to the voters. But, if it will make the difference between winning and losing, expect the knives to come out.

    Toomey could also challenge Sestak on his residency. Stick Sestak and his wife in court under oath testifying about their living arrangements isn’t going to help Sestak. His claim of living with his wife and daughter in Edgmont is demonstrably false, as the wife and child certainly don’t live in PA. So, if Sestak lives with them, as he claims, then he must logically live in VA.

    Did you notice that Sestak didn’t post any pictures from the blizzard? Want to bet he was trapped in VA and couldn’t take any because they would have showed he wasn’t in PA?

    Jerry, the things I respect about you are that you have no fear of being dead wrong nor embarrassing yourself, when posting under your own name.

    P.S. If you knew what Sestak did, you would agree he has no integrity.

  5. Jerry Policoff says:

    Hey David, I notice you’ve stopped pedaling your “inside knowledge” of some major scandal that would take down Sestak. Your shameless slanders know no bounds, and when you are proven wrong you just invent new ones without ever looking back or apologizing. I have no doubt that the Democratic Leadership, which hates Sestak, would have challenged him long ago if they bought your interpretation of his residency.
    There is truly only one thing about you that I respect. You are one of the few buffoons around here who does not sling your mud and insults from behind a mask of anonymity.

  6. David Diano says:

    Jerry Policoff-

    Actually, it does matter. The Virginia residence is his PRIMARY/MAIN residence, and he is merely a property holder in PA. Santorum owned the property he rented out.

    His wife and child live in VA. Joe claims that he lives with his and child, but then lies to say he lives with them in Edgmont, PA. That’s simply not even close to true. His wife works in VA and his daughter goes to school there. I’ve heard his wife is registered to vote in VA (she’s not registered in PA).

    Santorum’s status was a big issue because he tried collecting money from PA for his kids home schooling. Santorum is still registered in PA and Virginia.

    Joe is simply a fraud top to bottom. You are a fool for not being able to see it.

    actually –
    Thanks.

    McGinty’s revolving door to $$$-

    Policoff’s analysis proves he doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground.

    Barty-
    It’s Toomey’s race to lose. McGinty is the most able to compete with him financially, but Toomey is going to have a lot more money and incumbency. He probably won’t lose in a referendum as he hasn’t made waves. His worse scenario is a Dem wave year.

  7. Lou says:

    Let’s put the weasel Sestack in…the ships already sinking…oh he will float after the ship sinks…why…you know what floats…

  8. Jerry Policoff says:

    To Barty Crouch:
    I don’t generally talk down to people, and in fact I have often deplored the lack of civility that prevails in too many of these threads, but I have simply lost patience with David Diano who shows no intellectual capacity at all that I can see, and who is constantly resorting to name calling, often very crude name calling. I have never responded in kind, but I truly have come to the conclusion that he is a moron, so I decided to call him one. I don’t mean it as a slur, just an obvious fact.

    However, since you accuse me of talking down to people don’t you think your comment “It’s time to let the adults handle things” is just a wee bit patronizing?”

  9. McGinty's revolving door to $$$ says:

    So, Sestak has won the last 2 polls in the last 2 days. While, that’s great to hear for supporters like me, Policoff’s analysis still proves these polls suspect. Sestak’s margin in each poll is, however, consistent, a little larger % wise in F&M. So, I guess we have to wait for the poll conducted April 26th. Go Joe!!!!

  10. Barty Crouch says:

    It’s funny how Jerry talks down to people like he’s Larry freaking Sabato while supporting a looney candidate that everyone (and all polling) knows is sinking ship. I’m sure he’s shaken your hand 20 times at sparsely attended county part events, but Toomey has a big nasty fortune waiting for the general. It’s time to let the adults handle things.

  11. Jerry Policoff says:

    I won’t debate polls any further with a certifiable moron, but regarding where Sestak lives, it really does not matter if Sestak maintains a residence in Virginia, or how much time he lives there. He has a Pennsylvania residence where he lives at least part of the time. You may recall that Rick Santorum claimed residence in a house he had never even lived in and that he had rented out, yet that did not result in his expulsion from the ballot.
    So long David. You are wasting my time, and you bore me.

  12. PoliticsPA Fashion Police says:

    Plus his tie selections are the only thing worse than the ratty bomber jacket. DID YOU KNOW I SERVED IN THE MILITARY??????? #desperate

  13. David Diano says:

    Jerry
    The polls are consistent proportionally.

    The greater undecided count is likely to do with the wording of how strongly they indicates the threshold for committed vs leaning.

    Among people who did express a preference, the proportions were the same.

    The higher undecided in the one poll showed how soft the support is.

    You really don’t understand how to read a poll. When a poll comes out that uses cellphones, you are sure to misinterpreted it as well.

    None of this changes the fact that Sestak really lives in VA and is ineligible to run in PA.

  14. Jerry Policoff says:

    Wow. First you write:
    “Basically, these numbers [F&M] are half the numbers of the Harper poll…”

    And then you suggest I am “foolish to dismiss consistent info from two separate polls.”

    So two polls taken at around the same time show results that are radically different from each other (the only thing that is consistent about them is that both show Sestak ahead), and you say they are consistent and I am foolish to dismiss them. I rest my case. You are a certifiable idiot.

  15. Jerry Policoff says:

    FYI, David, the last poll I can find that include cell phone in its sample was a PPP poll last October. It did not ask any questions about the Democratic primary, but it put Toomey at + 3% versus Sestak, 41 to 38.
    Until we see more methodologically sound polls (i.e. cell phone households included in the sample) we simply will not know how well or badly Sestak is doing or how undecided the voters are. Incidentally, you yourself noted how the Harper pol and the F&M poll differed from each other. That in itself is reason enough to dismiss both of them.
    Unlike you, I refuse to accept pols just because they show Sestak in the lead.
    As for Sestak’s fundraising, I frankly do not know how well or poorly he is doing, but I do know that the Democratic Leadership is pressuring its fund raising base not to give money to Sestak. Just as Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the DNC have their thumbs on the scale for Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Establishment has its thumb on the scale for McGinty. Is it working? Who knows
    given the absence of reliable polling data, but even the unreliable polls you are so fond of citing have Sestak in the lead.

  16. David Diano says:

    Jerry

    It really doesn’t matter in this case. Joe’s supporters are more likely to be old farts with landlines. Fetterman will be better with cell phone crowd.

    You are foolish to dismiss consistent info from two separate polls, over pulling stuff out of your ass.

    It’s ridiculous to even imagine that the result with cellphones would be significantly different in a race like this, which isn’t on the radar of voters.

    Joe has the most actively ignorant supporters. Guess they have to be.

  17. actually says:

    Landline polling in PA where the senior vote is quite significant, during a snowstorm when everyone is stuck at home, is actually a solid barometer of where people are now. This is a tight race, within the margin of error, that does not have the public’s attention yet. Diano is on the right track, this will likely come down to TV time and effectiveness in messaging. The advantage is definitely with the McGinty campaign unless we see some surprising fundraising numbers out of Sestak and Fetterman.

  18. Jerry Policoff says:

    And David, all those polls may be right but I believe all or nearly all of those polls involved only a landline sample, and they therefore are meaningless. You don’t seem to be able to get it into your thick skull that methodology matters.

  19. David Diano says:

    Jerry
    EVERY poll for this race has shown weak support for Sestak (as do his anemic fundraising #’s).

    All him years of campaigning have failed to propel him to a huge lead. The large undecided vote shows how little progress he’s made.

    Of the 3.4 million dems in the state, 1/2 million of them weren’t even registered the last time Sestak ran.

    Oh, and Sestak still lives in VA not PA.

  20. Jerry Policoff says:

    I point out why the polls you love to selectively cite are methodologically flawed to the point where they are worthless and you respond with irrelevant rants and raves about Sestak and, wadya know, those same polls. Typical. You have no retort to offer so you just change the subject while ignoring the evidence. This is why I avoid debating you David. You are clueless, obtuse, and not terribly bright.

  21. David Diano says:

    Jerry Policoff-

    The polls are clear: Joe hasn’t made a dent. People aren’t flocking to vote for him. No one stands out, despite his 6 years of running.

    Joe is not likable, and he comes off as VERY strange (because he is).

    You’ve got a half million Dems who have registered in PA since Joe last ran. They’ve got no connection to him from last cycle.

  22. Jerry Policoff says:

    Wrong again David Diano. It doesn’t mean a thing because the F&M poll also lacks the funds to buy a cell phone sample and therefore publishes data they know is meaningless.
    I just posted something on the earlier thread that is relevant here as well so here it is again:

    Jerry Policoff says:

    January 28, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    Just as a postscript to my previous post, there are two kinds of error in sampling. One is statistical error which is determined by such things as the size of the sample and how closely the sample matches up to the various demographics such as age, sex, geography, et al. This can be addressed to some degree by weighting the sample to more closely match the universes. So when Harper claims a 3.8% margin of error they are referring to the statistical probability that there is a 95% chance that the true number is + or – 3.8 points versus the number forecast by the poll.
    Then there is sampling error which occurs when the sample misses or seriously under-represents some segments of the population. Sampling error cannot be estimated since there is nothing to weight. The most famous example of this was the famous Chicago ribune poll that trumpeted “Dewey Wins.” That poll was based on a telephone sample at a time when a statistically significant percentage of the population still did not have a phone. It just so happens that those homes were much more Democratic and were much more likely than the general population to be union households. A much larger percentage of the population today use cell phones only, and a significant percentage of homes with both cell phones and land lines are predominantly cell phone users. This is all probably way over David Diano’s head, but you can’t exclude cell phone users from a poll sample and claim to have a valid poll. The margin of error assumes that you have a representative sample frame. Harper does not have a representative sample frame. And by the way neither Does F&M’s Keystone poll, nor the Lorus poll which gives Hillary Clinton a huge lead over Bernie Sanders in Iowa, but which determines who likely voters are by mostly including only voters who voted in 2012 and 2014. Other polls project a large turnout of first time voters this year in Iowa, and they overwhelmingly favor Sanders.

  23. McGinty's revolving door to $$$ says:

    It’s funny you adopted Rachel Carson’s name–an environmentalist–while you support McGinty——- who is anything but. That’s really odd.

  24. Rachel Carson says:

    McGinty’s revolving door, why do you keep saying Joe always finds a way to win when he lost his last election to Toomey?

    He’s been campaigning since that loss… you’d think he could pull a little better than 17%.

  25. McGinty's revolving door to $$$ says:

    So much for polls. I like that Sestak is ahead, but these polls are nuts. And how about the PoliticsPA poll—how could Rand Paul go from 2% the other day to 40% today. Was this site hacked? Not sure what’s going on. Sestak always finds a way to win. So, let’s rally around our next Senator.

  26. jake o. says:

    Good luck beating Toomey,sestak mcginty ran statewide before and this is all they got,

  27. Senator Rutherford B. Cattywampus says:

    McGinty, stuck at 13.

  28. David Diano says:

    Basically, these numbers are half the numbers of the Harper poll, and there are A LOT of undecided.

    That means that no candidate has captured the minds/imaginations of the voters, and the voters aren’t even paying attention yet.

    So, it looks like TV advertising is going to make a big difference in this race for getting the message out (or just getting voters to recognize the name of the candidates).

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