All aboard or pump the brakes on the latest poll from this Democratic firm?
According to new polling from DFM Research, sponsored by SMART Transportation Division’s Pennsylvania State Legislative Board, Democratic congressional hopeful Eugene Depasquale is slightly ahead of Rep. Scott Perry (R-York) for the race in the 10th Congressional District. DePasquale leads Perry by 2 points, 46-to-44, while 9% remain undecided. It interviewed 384 likely voters in the district from August 6-9 and has a ± 5% margin of error.
According to the analysts at FiveThirtyEight, DFM Research polling favors Democrats by an average of 1.5% and has an overall B/C grade. As with any internal poll, the results should be taken with a grain of salt. According to DFM Research’s “Research Project” page, current and past clients include American Federation of Teachers in Connecticut; two Democratic statewide candidates for office in Minnesota in 2018; North Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming’s Democratic Party, and more.
Although this poll shows DePasquale with a slight edge over Perry, nearly a quarter, 24%, said that they never heard of the two term state Auditor General and 22% have a neutral opinion of him. He does carry a positive net approval rating in this poll with 38% saying that they have a favorable opinion of him, while 16% have an unfavorable opinion of the candidate.
Perry’s favorability rating is slightly above water with 40% saying that they have a favorable view of him, while 37% have an unfavorable view, 15% saying they have a neutral opinion, and 7% saying that they never heard of him.
The DePasquale campaign believes the polling shows that their message is resonating with voters in the district.
“Numbers don’t lie, and this latest poll reinforces what we have said all along, South Central Pennsylvanians are sick and tired of Scott Perry putting them second to his special interest donors in Washington,” said Kunal Atit, DePasquale Campaign Communications Director. “From voting against lowering prescription drug costs, voting to repeal protections for pre-existing conditions, or exploding the deficit to give billion dollar tax breaks to the corporations that bankroll his political career, Scott Perry has made clear where his priorities lie.”
The Perry campaign declined to comment for the story, although the National Republican Congressional Committee said that the poll is fitting for DePasquale’s “train wreck of a campaign.”
“It’s fitting that Eugene DePasquale and his train wreck of a campaign have outsourced their polling to the railroad union,” said NRCC Spokesperson Michael McAdams.
Two other Democratic elected officials, Sen. Bob Casey (41-to-40) and Gov. Tom Wolf (52-to-45), also held positive net approval favorability ratings. President Donald Trump (47-to-52), former Vice President Joe Biden (48-to-50), and Sen. Pat Toomey (31-to-49) all have negative favorability ratings.
The poll also shows a tight race for president, but has Biden in the lead.
Biden leads Trump by 2 point, 48-to-46, in the 10th Congressional District. In 2016, these boundaries supported Trump by nearly 10 points over Sec. Hillary Clinton.
44% of likely voters think Pennsylvania is off on the wrong track, while 41% think that the state is heading in the right direction, and 15% are unsure.
The polling also included likely voters’ opinions on several Amtrak related questions.
42% said that Amtrak should have more than the 10 passenger rail services from Harrisburg to Philadelphia; 35% said that the passenger rail services should be kept at the same level; 2% said that the passenger rail service should be reduced; 1% said it should be eliminated; and 20% are unsure.
73% said that they supported H.R. 2, which included a railroad provision requiring a minimum crew of two to operate freight trains in the United States, while 9% said they opposed this provision, and 18% said they were unsure.
This is now the second poll in the race for the 10th District. In late May, days before the Democratic Primary, DePasquale’s campaign commissioned a poll conducted by GBAO that showed Perry leading by 3 points, 50-to-47.
Perry, who is serving in his fourth term in Congress, edged out Democrat George Scott by just over 2.5 points in 2018 in the newly drawn district with boundaries that voted for President Donald Trump by 10 points in 2016. Perry’s latest bid was his closest victory since being voted into Congress in 2012 in the old conservative 4th District.
DePasquale launched his first television ad of the general election this week, after the interviews were conducted for this polling, in a 30 second spot that touts his working class roots.
A trio of national ratings outlets have this currently rated as the tightest congressional race this fall. Inside Elections lists the race in PA10 as Tilt Republican; Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball has it as Leans Republican, and the Cook Political Report has it as a Toss-Up.