F&M Poll: Wolf 37%, Schwartz 20%, McCord 12%, McGinty 5%

wolf ad manufacturingTom Wolf maintains a double-digit lead in the latest poll from Franklin & Marshall College Polling.

Wolf takes 37% among likely voters, compared to his closest competitor, Allyson Schwartz who won 20%, followed by Rob McCord at 12% and Katie McGinty at 3%.

39% of all registered Democrats remain undecided.

Not only is the Wolf lead wide, but it’s also solid. According to the poll, half of Wolf (54%) and Schwartz (52%) voters report they are “certain” to vote for their candidates, giving them more certain voters than McCord (40%) or McGinty (26%).

By the beginning of May, more than four in five (83%) registered Democrats have seen a television commercial for governor. Most (93%) of these respondents have seen a Wolf advertisement, but McCord (67%), Schwartz (61%), and McGinty (44%) ads have also been seen.

Despite the negativity directed at Wolf in the latest advertisements of Schwartz and McCord, his favorability has improved. He is viewed 49% favorable and just 8% unfavorable; 43% are undecided or don’t know.

After Wolf, there’s a significant drop-off in favorability. Schwartz is viewed 30% favorable to 12% unfavorable; McCord is 21% favorable, 14% unfavorable; and McGinty is 14% favorable, 3% unfavorable.

Wolf’s lead is also consistent across demographic groups, including age, religion and gender. One area where a competitor catches up is ideology. Schwartz ties Wolf among self-identified liberals, each scoring 25% of their vote.

Overall, it’s a shrink in his lead since the last F&M poll back in April, but nothing to cause concern for Wolf’s frontrunner status a mere six days before the election. In April, he took 33% – 26 points more than his closest opponent. Schwartz earned 7%, McCord took 6% and McGinty won 4%.

The survey findings presented in this release are based on the results of interviews conducted May 6 – 12, 2014. The interviews were conducted at the Center for Opinion Research at Franklin & Marshall College under the direction of the poll’s Director Dr. G. Terry Madonna, Head Methodologist Berwood Yost, and Project Manager Jacqueline Redman. The data included in this release represent the responses of 530 registered Democratic voters in Pennsylvania. The sample of registered voters was obtained from Voter Contact Services. Survey results were weighted (region and gender) using an iterative weighting algorithm to reflect the known distribution of those characteristics as reported by the Pennsylvania Department of State.

The sample error for this survey is +/- 4.3 percentage points.

43 Responses

  1. Mike – Its obvious you care a little bit.


    When the McCordlies, McCord is a Narcissist, Rob McCocky, Desperate and Pathetics, etc don’t get to post then neither will I.

    My assertions aren’t based on nothing as you say. Everything I’ve said about Wolf’s company is absolutely true and verifiable. We can however differ on our opinions on whether its a character flaw to stand next to Robertson.

    If you knew anything about fundraising you would understand that typically someone polling 20-35 points ahead of his nearest challengers would not simply raise money on par with them. People do not like to donate to wealthy self funders and he is draining the entire war chest.

  2. JB: Your assertions mean absolutely nothing when they’re based on nothing, so nobody should really care if you have an opinion about the way Wolf runs his company.

    As far as your other concern, about money… are you kidding me? You’re acting as if Wolf would have to self-fund a general election?!? I’m not sure who you’re trying to compare him to here, but he has been raising money on pace with the other ‘front-runners’ in this election. Where is your concern about how McCord is going to keep loaning money to his campaign if he were to win the primary?

    Oh, that’s right, you don’t have any concerns about that, because you never come on here to voice actual concerns or opinions, you hide behind fake screen names and slander people you don’t like with phony outrage over nonsense.

    PoliticsPA, you SERIOUSLY need to stop allowing anonymous commenting on these stories, it turns the site into a trash can.

  3. I wasn’t a McCord supporter until the last debate. I’m still on the undecided fence, but the fact that he’s willing to seriously look at legalizing pot not just for medical but for recreational use, is very persuasive. Also he wants to tax fracking companies 10%, which I like.

  4. If Wolf ends up with the nomination, Republicans would be wise not to repeat McCord’s mistake.

  5. I think this shows that attack ads based on racial opportunism do not work.

  6. Weird Science – beyond my assertion that there are numerous holes in Wolf’s business and personal history to shoot at, one of my bigger concerns is how do you reup with money if you truly used everything you had down to the jeep as collateral?

    I’m not saying Corbett will beat Wolf but I don’t believe it’s a gimme.

  7. “why is she the only candidate to report a donation from every county?”

    Well, I’m sure she’ll get at least one vote from every county, but if you look at her percentage vote from each county on May 20th, I bet it drops off rapidly as you get away from Philly.

  8. McCord has really been disappointing since he won the 2008 contested Democratic primary for Treasurer against Mann and Cordisco. I don’t even remember who he beat in the 2008 general. Then in 2012, he really ran a play it safe re-election campaign against Sarah Palin wannabe Diana Irate Vaughn.

  9. It’s over. Wolf will carry every county west of the Susquehanna River by no less than15 points. Wolf is even with Schwartz in the philly region in this poll so there is no roadmap for victory for anyone else. I think the Dem primary for US Senate in 2016 will be much more exciting.

  10. The DEMS did it! ( cue a groaning sound sfx)

    They gave Corbett enough ammo with their crazy-off base- slagg-like attacks on Wolf that Corbett can save on opp. research!

    Prediction: two weeks after the election, Corbett drops a huge bomb on Wolf and then ramps UP from there.

    You can try to stay + and above the so-called mud, but real mud does not obscure, it reveals. And the reeps do bad mud ( ask McCord about bad mud–my gawd, clueless would be a better description) when they are behind by the margin of error…but what will their revealing mud look like…?

    So far, Corbett’s muscle truck vs. Wolf’s jeep has missed wildly, Corbett’s “Wolf’s HQ is Delaware” is a giant mc cord like miss.

    The best Corbett has done is have his wife pitch for him and make a play for women on TV…I can’t say enough good things about that spot. The comments I have heard: Corbett IS a human, Corbett cares! ( amazing), Corbett is the education gov.! ( super amazing) and lastly, Corbett can’t be all bad because he has a nice, well spoken wife.

    Wolf, the REEPS use real knives, not those prop rubber ones they gave out to the Schwartz-McCord-ites.

  11. Doylestown Deputy – Schwartz is losing by 20% or more in multiple public polls conducted just 1 week before election day. If larger comebacks have been made in federal, state, and local politics, cite them. You can’t cite even 1 federal, state, or local election where a candidate was losing by 20% or more in multiple public polls just a week before election day.

    Are you going to cite Michael Nutter’s 2007 Philly Mayor win? Nope. Nutter already was winning by 10% in a poll conducted two weeks before election day.

    What else do you have. We are awaiting you proving your great political knowledge by citing these mysterious polls you talk about. Cite away.

  12. This race will be closer than people think. I think Wolf will win but not by much. I will be voting Wolf

  13. Schwartz’s camp is still in disbelief….she announced ages ago her intentions to run for Governor…she seemed as if she just wanted to be Pennsylvania’s first woman Governor, but never really put in the time nor effort…almost as if it were ‘her’ time….Wolf stays the course and wins……..big.

  14. I think Doylestown Deputy is slightly delusional, but he makes some good points. David, if you’re such a polling guru, why don’t you acknowledge that Franklin and Marshall has been slightly off in democratic primary polling in recent memory? In what universe does 16% represent the entire Philadelphia area in terms of registered democrats in the state? Also, its very hard to take you seriously when you use emoticons at the end of your comments 🙂

  15. “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually believe it. Even the greatest propaganda will fail unless it adheres to one thing: It must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over again.” This is the guiding principle of the American consultant class and their masters the crony capitalists. Mr. Wolf had the deep pockets to maintain the propaganda at a high level for a longer time than his opponents.

  16. David,
    Which do you prefer? City elections? Local elections? State elections? If you’re trying to school me in polling/probability theory, save yourself some time. Did I say that Allyson would win? NO, nor do I support her. I said that I still believed that Wolf would be the likely nominee, I just think it’s foolish to dismiss her completely when she has the chops to pull of some surprise tactical moves. Also, if her entire base is located in the Philly region, why is she the only candidate to report a donation from every county?

  17. Doylestown Deputy-
    Please cite a single example anywhere in which a candidate beat the front runner with polls multiple polls this wide a week before an election.

    Especially when Schwartz’s entire base is in the Philly region.

    If she’s polling 15% to 20% statewide, and all of Philly represents 16% of the vote, and her base, how many votes is she going to get out of Philly?

    If she gets fully 1/2 of entire Philly vote, that’s only 8% of the total vote. Her influence/appeal diminishes exponentially as she gets away from Philly. There is just no way for her to get above 20% to 25% overall.

  18. “Desperate and Pathetic” It’s clear to me that you don’t understand SEVERAL things, politics being one of them. Last second, gigantic media buys are the norm in democratic primaries. What do you think Allyson is going to do with that $1.1 million war chest? Distribute 1.1 million water bottles to election day canvassers? Please. Larger comebacks have been made and with 39% still undecided (unusually large for a four candidate primary) anything is possible. Allyson made some severe tactical mistakes in March, but has rebounded nicely. She is a seasoned campaigner and don’t be surprised if she rolls out her national connections in the 11th hour. McCord’s campaign has been an utter disappointment. He himself has been strong, but the messaging, timing, etc has been Bush League. I do agree with you that Wolf will be the likely nominee, but to completely rule out any other possibility. I know Norm Coleman walked into election day with supreme confidence and look how that turned out.

  19. @Desperate and Pathetic (McCord and Schwartz)
    What I meant by my initial comment was that Tom Wolf’s early and massive TV buy gave him an insurmountable lead. This is in response to skeptics who say that TV ad buys are a waste of money.

  20. The unfavorable ratings revealed in this poll tell a very fascinating story, one that I believe will forever haunt the McCord campaign. McCord has the highest unfavorable rating than any other candidate, including Schwartz and yet he is still considered relatively unknown to voters especially compared to his opponents. That means, McCord is less known and less liked. In my professional opinion his unfavorable number is likely to only increase over the next few days. That’s very telling and being 6 days out before the election, an insurmountable disadvantage. I believe post-election analysis, which in some ways has already begun, will harshly criticize the McCord campaign strategy and will be a somewhat “what not to do” for future candidates, at least in Pennsylvania. McCord failed to introduce himself to the state; instead his only message was “don’t vote for the other guy.” The nail in the coffin for McCord was unapologetically and viciously going negative, even when elder party leaders and organizations like Fact Check called him out on it, McCord continue to engage in what many consider divisive and dirty politics. He came off as pompous during the debates; not like someone who can get things done or even someone you’d want to have a beer with. Ultimately, McCord failed to provide a plan to voters to move the commonwealth in a new direction and therefore failed to connect with voters or have a resonating message other than, “don’t vote for him, vote for me.”

  21. Hey-
    My point was that it doesn’t matter what the Philly ward leaders, machine, etc. do. Wolf doesn’t need a single vote out of Philly. Schwartz can get every Philly vote and she still cannot overtake Wolf’s lead, as it exceeds the total number of votes in Philly.

    That’s how far ahead Wolf is.

    And, of course, Wolf is going to get plenty of votes out of Philly. At least 25%.

  22. In digging deeper into who was polled you can see that white, retired or non working, women, and fairly highly educated responders made up the bulk of this poll.

    This follows what I’ve heard from many campaign operatives and elected officials – labor and working class votes and related endorsements are insignificant.

    We will soon find out if they have been correct. I have never discounted the ability to buy an election but I will always contend that if Wolf is the nominee, you don’t have the best candidate or one whose history aligns with what used to be Democratic values.


  24. I think the only way at this point for McCord to preserve any sense of dignity would be for him to withdraw from the race and endorse Wolf in an act of party unity. It’s highly unlikely he would do such a thing, but at this point, it’s hard to see any other avenue McCord has to attempt to rebuild his image, which has been severely tarnished by running a divisive and destruction campaign. As I mention in my previous post, this is a good lesson for future statewide candidates not to go negative, it’s also probably good advice not to hire a NYC political operative. Dirty politics don’t work in Pennsylvania.

  25. The full analysis of the F&M poll released today is very interesting from a political science standpoint. McCord’s unfavorable ratings dramatically increased. His negative campaign strategy has without a doubt backfired, badly. It’s a great lesson for future statewide candidates, especially for 2016 senate and presidential candidates; Pennsylvanian’s do not respond well to negative campaigns or misleading attack ads. In my professional opinion, again from strictly a political science point of view, McCord has severely hindered his ability to win any future statewide race.


  26. To David

    Schwartz has Brady and Philly Dems right endorsement right? McCord has Philadelphia Inquirer and Gay News endorsement, along with a major ward, major unions, the teachers and the Philadelphia Black Clergy. Wolf has Dwight Evans, Vince Hughes, Curtis Jones and Philadelphia Tribune.

    The point…the pie is really split up in Philadelphia. The F&M poll has Philadelphia at40 % undecided. 160,000 is gonna be really hard to come by.

  27. As expected/predicted, McCord’s attacks backfired hugely. My only surprise is that McGinty didn’t gain ground from people that wanted someone not in the fray.

    McCord should spend this last week writing his concession speech, with most of it devoted to apologizing for his baseless attacks on Wolf.

    The leaners and undecided tend to break with the decided voters.

    Given an expected 1 million Dem voters, Wolf’s ahead by more than the likely 160,000 votes out Philly.

  28. The bigger numbers that should be looked at in the FnM poll is the education data. 32% see it as the biggest issue facing Pennsylvanians. Tom Corbett is toast and that number proves it.

  29. @Desperate and Pathetic (McCord and Schwartz)

    You are a very disrespectful individual. You are entitled to your opinion on this election, just as everyone is (they call it voting). But the degree of inpropriety that you show when you make malicious comments about other people’s opinions and level of knowledge and stating that you are laughing at them for their views on a topic is just an eggreous violation of common dignity and spits in the face of what it means to be civically engaged and makes you appear as a horrendous individual devoid of any manners or principals. So on May 20, go vote for whoever you want, but don’t be a bully on here. And if you want to see pathetic, look in a mirror.

  30. I agree with desperate this race is over,and it never started.Schwartz made the wrong choice to sit back and let wolf rule the air ways, all by himself.so let’s all unite behind wolf and take down Corbett.

  31. @Jeremy
    It’s not that F&M polls don’t count leans – they present ALL of their data, and a publication can choose what to present.

    The data that PoliticsPA chose to present here is voter preference without leaners, and including only self-reported likely voters.

    I do not see much of a value in people self-reporting as likely voters, a better one to use would likely be the data among actual likely voters, based on previous primary elections.

    Among those, without leaners, the F&M poll has it as: Wolf 35 / Schwartz 13 / McCord 13 / McGinty 7

    If you INCLUDE leaners from this poll, among actual likely voters, the numbers become: Wolf 43 / Schwartz 16 / McCord 14 / McGinty 8

    Also, note to the editor here, based on the data set you chose, the title should have McCord at 12, not at 9.

  32. flynnbw – It’s clear you haven’t been paying attention to this campaign or made decisions on any serious campaign before. The Schwartz supporters have been saying “wait for the TV ads” and “wait until voters start paying attention” since Wolf jumped out to a 20% lead. It hasn’t even come close to happening. But now it will happen in the last 6 days? The Schwartz and McCord supporters will be saying the same thing next Wednesday. BTW, Wolf has more money to spend in the last week than Schwartz.

    “objectivevoter” – It’s clear you know nothing about politics. Your predictions are funny. But I suggest you remove “objective” from your name. Anybody who knows anything about politics (including Allyson and Rob) knows that Wolf wins the primary. We are laughing at you now, and we will be laughing harder at you next Wednesday.

    Jeremy – F&M surveys registered voters, which includes a lot of Philly voters who may not vote, and Harper surveys likely voters (a much more accurate sample). If you read the F&M study carefully, they also survey leaners as a subset. Including leaners, Wolf’s lead increases to 22%.

    It’s over. Understand it. Accept it.

  33. GOTV is the name the game.

    The “Undecided” of 39% generally and 40%+ when broken out regionally is a big opportunity for any of the campaigns.

    The race can turn on how aggressive and effective each campaigns E-day efforts are run.

  34. From what I have been told, the FNM polls do not count “leans”. So if someone “leans” towards Wolf, they are not counted in his percentage. This could explain the variance between FNM and the Harper poll just released.

  35. Reading the full analysis of the F&M poll released today is very interesting from a political science standpoint. McCord’s unfavorable ratings dramatically increased. His negative campaign strategy has without a doubt backfired, badly. It’s a great lesson for future statewide candidates, especially for 2016 senate and presidential candidates; Pennsylvanian’s do not respond well to negative campaigns or misleading attack ads. In my professional opinion, again from strictly a political science point of view, McCord has severely hindered his ability to win any future statewide race.


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