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Harper Poll: Kane Leads 2016 Senate Primary


Attorney General Kathleen Kane leads a hypothetical matchup against Admiral Joe Sestak for the Democratic nomination to face Senator Pat Toomey in 2016, according to Harper Polling.

Unlike Sestak, she hasn’t declared her intention to run for the seat but she leads him in a head-to-head match-up 47% to 24%.

29% are undecided, more than two years away from the election.

Sestak has been boldly campaigning since 2010 when Toomey eked out a win over him in the general election. Kane on the other hand, hasn’t made any statements inferring her intention to run, but she raised eyebrows when she hired fundraising guru Aubrey Montgomery last December.

Kane’s lead is bolstered by the Pittsburgh/Southwest region where she leads 49% to 17%.  Sestak’s name ID in that region is only 37%.

She’s got a favorable image in that region too, 46% favorable to 10% unfavorable.

Sestak leads by 6% in the Philadelphia/Southeast region, 35% to 29%.  His image in the Southeast is 46% favorable to 9% unfavorable while Kane’s image is 38-13%.  His stronger performance in the Southeast is likely due to the time he spent as a Congressman representing Delaware County in the 7th District.

Unsurprisingly, Kane holds a 31% lead among women but she also holds a 15% lead among men.

Ideologically, she polls consistently higher than Sestak. Among liberals, 47.89% to 26.76%. Among moderates, 49.13% to 24.86%. Among conservatives, 44.68% to 31.91%.

Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro was not surveyed, but his strong fundraising report from 2013 fuels the rumor that he will also be in the Democratic field for Senate.

The sample size for the survey is 501 likely voters and the margin of error is +/-4.38%.   The Interactive Voice Response (IVR) automated telephone survey was conducted February 22-23, 2014 by Harper Polling.  The total percentages for responses may not equal 100% due to rounding.


9 Responses

  1. To Diano Should STFU :
    There are some posters to this forum who deserve to be ignored, but no one deserves this vulgar feedback. Get some class.

  2. Diano,

    Just shut the fuck up already.

    Thank you,

    Normal people who want to read non-Diano comments.

  3. Phil-
    You need to get your facts straight.

    1) Sestak was originally offered the chance to be the candidate, and turned it down.
    2) The party got Specter to flip to our side, and vote with us for Stimulus and ACA.
    3) Then, after having said he wasn’t interested, Sestak decided to jump back in.
    4) When Sestak won the primary, he refused help that was offered to him by former Specter supports. (Apparently, they didn’t meet his loyalty test.)
    5) Sestak pulled his workers from operations with the state party rather than pay them at least minimum wage.
    6) Sestak distanced himself from the party and removed “Democrat” from his campaign advertising and got new t-shirts that said “Admiral” instead.
    7) Election day, Sestak’s GOTV door hangers had just him, and not the whole ticket like everyone else’s.
    8) Sestak has made it VERY clear since day one, that there is “the Democratic party” and “the Sestak party”. To Sestak, the Democratic party is a lazy/worthless organization. And nobody in the Sestak party lifts a finger to help out anyone but Sestak.

    He got away with this behavior in Delco because he ousted Weldon and no one (but me) was willing to call him out publicly. But privately, everyone knows how Joe treated them and look for other candidates to help.

  4. Sestak papering over his misdeeds? How about the misdeeds of Democratic party elites who wouldn’t support Sestak in ’10 because he dared run against Snarlin’ Arlen?

  5. Robbie-
    Kane already has great name recognition and would be running in presidential year (likely with Hillary and lots of female voters voting straight Dem).
    Toomey’s millions won’t make much difference.

    Sestak is wildly unpopular among real progressives and party leaders, in addition to being a crusty old creep.
    Sestak’s fundraising has slowed. Around $250k of his warchest is reserved for the general. Sestak came into 2010 primary with $4.5 million from his congressional campaign. Sestak will have trouble getting to half of that.

    His campaign is so desperate that they’ve been sending ME requests

  6. Attorney General Kane has two electoral options in 2016:

    1. Run for re-election as Attorney General, where she likely will face no opposition in the Democratic primary, will be favored significantly in the general election, can use every dime she raised and has in the bank, and has no limits on contributions; or

    2. Run for U.S. Senate, where she likely will face a primary opponent (who already has $1 million cash on-hand two years before the primary, and already has beaten a well-financed incumbent in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate), then (if she wins the Democratic primary) will have to face a fairly popular incumbent who already has $4 million cash on-hand nearly three years before the general election, cannot spend the $ she already has raised since becoming Attorney General, and has to comply with low per person and per PAC contribution limits (she may use her family money, but that probably is not nearly enough and closing the financing gap is very, very difficult with contribution limits, especially when you face a tough primary).

    Which do you think she will choose? Think about it a little.

    Unless you know Attorney General Kane’s thoughts (and I have had several people who claim to know her thoughts because they work/worked for her tell me she would run for Governor–how did that go?), be careful to act as though your predictions have meaning.

  7. Sestak has been boldly campaigning since 2010″

    I wouldn’t say “boldly” since he refuses to admit he is running. He’s using claim of “exploring” to dodge paying his staffers’ employment taxes and health benefits. (Except for his brother who is on payroll for $89/month and $582/month in health payments).

    It’s no surprise that Kane trounces Sestak. She’s a rising star and he’s a sinking ship taking on water.

    In the past, Sestak survived by screwing his running-mates, and using his “victory” to avoid scrutiny. However, when he lost in 2010, he showed his true colors to the rest of the party, and lost any chance of papering over his misdeeds.

  • Does the NYC Verdict Make You More or Less Likely to Vote For Trump in 2024?

    • Less Likely (36%)
    • More Likely (34%)
    • Makes No Difference (30%)

    Total Voters: 112

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