With 68 days left until Election Day 2018, Democratic incumbents Gov. Tom Wolf and Sen. Bob Casey maintain double digit leads over GOP challengers Scott Wagner and Rep. Lou Barletta in the newly released Franklin & Marshall College poll. The poll also indicates that President Donald Trump plays a factor in the way people will vote for their Congressional representative.
Wolf leads Wagner 52% to 35% among likely voters, while 12% of voters remain undecided. In this poll, 33% of Independents remain undecided, while 16% of Republicans and 6% of Democrats are still not sure as well. 48% hold a strongly or somewhat favorable view of Wolf’s job performance, while 36% hold a strongly or somewhat unfavorable view of the incumbent governor and 13% don’t know.
Casey leads Barletta 47% to 34% among likely voters, while 19% are still undecided. Currently, 38% of Independents are undecided, while 21% of Republicans and 14% of Democrats also fall in that category. 42% hold a strongly or somewhat favorable view of Casey’s job performance, while 29% have a strongly or somewhat unfavorable view of him with 25% fall under the category of “don’t know.”
The poll, surveying 511 Pennsylvania registered voters, included 243 Democrats, 200 Republicans and 68 Independents from August 20-26, 2018. The margin of error for this survey is +/- 6.1percentage points.
Although Trump will not be on the ballot in November, he is impacting the way Pennsylvanians are selecting their Congressional representatives in 2018. 67% of those who plan to vote for a Democratic congressional candidate are casting their ballot as a vote against Trump and the Republicans in Congress, while an even larger, 74% of those who plan to vote for a Republican congressional candidate are doing so in sign of support for Trump and the GOP members of Congress.
Nearly identical from the previous F&M poll conducted in June, 39% hold a strongly or somewhat favorable view of the President’s job performance in Pennsylvania, while 57% view Trump’s job performance in a strongly or somewhat unfavorable view.
As Pennsylvania is viewed as one of the closest watched states for which party will control Congress next year, 48% of registered voters prefer the Democratic candidate while 39% are in favor of the Republican.
This polling garnered two very different reactions from members on opposing sides of the aisle, one a member of Wagner’s campaign and the other for Casey.
Andrew Romeo, who works on the communication end of Wagner’s campaign, had an issue with the sample of “likely voters.”
We’ve been over this – D+8 is a nonsense sample of “likely voters” given historical data in Pennsylvania. Just another poll you can throw in the garbage. https://t.co/keoTPvwi6V
— Andrew Romeo (@andrewromeo33) August 30, 2018
The last poll F&M released before the 2016 election, based on the results of interviews conducted Oct 26-30, 2016, both showed Sec. Hillary Clinton and Democratic Senate candidate Katie McGinty holding double digit leads over Trump and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey. The poll showed Clinton leading Trump 49% to 38% and McGinty leading Toomey 43% to 33%. Both polls were towards the left end of many public polls leading up to the 2016 election.
Max Steele, who works on the communications end of Casey’s campaign, boasted about the most recent polling from this morning.
The @louforsenate team also insists their internals show them down 5-6. The fact that they refuse to release them tells you what you need to know about how confident they are in those numbers. #PASEN https://t.co/viO3cs95hg
— Max Steele (@maxasteele) August 30, 2018
Another key takeaway from the F&M poll is that 54% of registered voters are “very interested” in the 2018 midterm elections. 60% of registered Democrats are very interested, while 53% of Republicans are very interested and just 33% of Independents fall in this column as well.
See the full data here.