The survey, conducted by DC-based Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, showed former Congressman Joe Sestak in the lead with 21% of a Democratic primary. Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz was in second at 16% and Pa. Treasurer Rob McCord third at 7%. At 3%, Wolf was in fourth.
But based on the 45% of respondents who were undecided and the additional 25% who chose a candidate but expressed only soft support the pollsters conclude that there’s room for Wolf.
“The outcome of this race is far, far from settled and voters will afford each of the candidates an opportunity to make their case over the next year,” the pollsters wrote in a memo. “When that process is simulated, Tom Wolf becomes a very formidable statewide candidate.”
The full memo is below.
Wolf formally announced his bid on Tuesday and told supporters that he was planning to spend $10 million of personal funds in the primary. That number is a game changer.
Schwartz and McCord have not declared their candidacies yet, but are expected to. Sestak, who ran statewide for U.S. Senate in 2010, has not given an indication whether he will run.
The pollster surveyed 602 likely Democratic primary voters from March 2 – 7. The margin of error is plus or minus 4%.
As with any internal poll, it should be taken with a grain of salt. Campaigns tend to release internal polls when they either bolster their own viability or diminish that of an opponent. In this case, it’s the former. They say Wolf’s numbers improved when respondents read positive bios on all the candidates. The polling memo does not include the language used in those bios, nor any cross tabulations.
That said, the numbers reflect other polls and the conventional wisdom of the race: Sestak and Schwartz start out with an advantage but not a prohibitive one.
Here is the memo: