Harper Poll: Wolf at 40%, Schwartz at 14%


In the last Harper Poll held in November, former Revenue Secretary and gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf found himself in the back of the pack with 5%. In the latest poll, he leads every other candidate with 40%.

This meteoric rise, no doubt due to his television blitz, has put him paces ahead of his competitors. The early-on frontrunner in the race, Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz took just 14% in this poll. State Treasurer Rob McCord got 8%. Former Auditor General Jack Wagner  – who announced his bid last week – got 7% and tied with Former DEP Secretary John Hanger, and Katie McGinty got 6%.

19% of those polled remain undecided.

This is a drastic change-up from the November poll, where in a hypothetical 6-way primary, Schwartz took 22%, Katie McGinty 15%, Rob McCord 12%, John Hanger 7%, Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski – who since left the race – got 6% and Tom Wolf fell to last, at 5%. 34% were undecided.

Wolf’s name identification in the last poll was 23% among likely Democratic primary voters. It is now 65%.  His image is now 58% favorable-to-6%, up from 11% favorable to 11% unfavorable in November.

Statewide, Wolf is the big winner in this poll – but geographic crosstabs show that Wolf is gaining in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh areas, which were presumed strongholds for Schwartz and Wagner, respectively.

His highest level of support comes from his home South Central region where he garners 56% of the vote. Wolf lives in York.  In the Philadelphia/SEPA region, Wolf leads Schwartz 37% to 31%.  In the Pittsburgh/Southwest region, Wolf leads Wagner 36% to 18%.

Wolf leads his competitors across each age group, except young voters (18-35) where he and Schwartz both take 25.64%. In the 66 and older crowd, Wolf takes 44.63% and his closest challenger is Schwartz at 9.92%.

Women in this poll do not appear primarily split between McGinty and Schwartz. McGinty scored 5.78% amongst women, and Schwartz earned 12.44%. Wolf took 40.44%.

Respondents were also asked where they would put themselves ideologically; 45% said moderate, 37% said liberal, 12% said conservative and 5% weren’t sure.

On the ideological scale, Wolf does just as well with liberals as he does with moderates and only slightly dips with conservatives: 41.26%, 41.38% and 36.96%, respectively. The only other candidate who makes a double-digit dent in liberal voters is Schwartz, with 21.68%.

Harper Polling, a Republican firm based in Harrisburg, polled 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.

Although not polled, Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz remains in the race.

40 Responses

  1. I don’t understand why some of you just can’t be decent human beings and respect each other. You are the ugliness of the world.

  2. David Diano believes that any day now the Democrats will dig up Arlen’s corpse and run him against Corbett. Of course, David Diano also believes that ObamaCare is a massive success. Living in a fantasy world is always better than reality for effeminate male liberals.

  3. I am amused that the former Revenue Secretary under a Democrat Gov with Democrat House denies any responsibility for the lack of a natural gas severance tax.

  4. Sorry Joe,

    It’s the talent that’s moving OUT of the state that is the problem. Your idea that people who are free to move here are causing problems is flawed…

  5. Sad that his ads are enough to convince 40% or voters to choose him. I find the ads patronizing. So what if he donated his salary to charity? When you have $100 million, $100,000 is meaningless. And the ad with school kids I guess is supposed to tug at my heart?? It didn’t work. I am less inclined to vote for him by seeing his ads.

  6. Another stooge for the Scum of the Earth, Michael Bloomberg. Pennsylvania is being turned into (by the filthy transplants from the 2 states) The Peoples’ North Korean Republic of New Joysey, and The Soviet Socialist Republic of New Yewawk!

  7. wolfs campaign was smarter than the other campaigns dont say cause he has 10 million to go on tv schwartz and mccord each have 6 million there campaign managers should be fired for letting one candidate rule the airwaves now they will go on air after the damage is done good luck to all the other candidates trying to catch wolf you guys have know one to blame but yourselves.

  8. Mr. W has put 4 minutes of propaganda on the tv and repeated it umpteen times. This is not a reflection on Mr. W; it is a mirror to this sad, degenerating primary electorate who took this 4 minutes as all they need to know to make a choice. It is why the U.S. has spent 2 trillion in Iraq because 18 Saudis flew planes into a field and famous buildings. It is why there have been no prosecutions or jail time for the pranksters; why Snowdon is on the run; why Guantanamo is still open. This electorate is happy to set aside thinking for a dose of propaganda.

  9. Cindy
    Every voter knows who Corbett is. (That’s why he’ll lose).

    Would you rather voters didn’t know and picked candidates by region (as Wagner is counting upon) ?

  10. Well…the election will be bought. People will not vote for who they do not know. Tom Wolf has enough money to make sure every voter knows who he is. The rest do not. Too bad for our Democracy.

  11. Let’s face it…. Marketing works that is why companies spend billions of dollars on it a year.

    The other part of this is that Wolf has a great story. He shared his wealth. He didn’t take a state car. He donated land to his local school district.

    Wolf is hard to beat.

    40% Wolf
    41% not-Wolf (split 5 ways)
    19% undecided

    The only way someone else can win is to take some of the 40% away from Wolf. Even Schwartz at 14% plus 19% only gets her to 33%. The other factor is Wolf will hold on to probably 20% . I think some people have made up their mind already and Wolf looks good. There is no reason not to support him. His support won’t dip below 20% with 88 days until May 20th!

  12. Finally! I’ve been waiting for somebody to gauge the effect of Tom Wolf’s saturation advertising. Given the way he’s blanketed the airwaves with his very engaging ads, these numbers are not terribly surprising. What is surprising is that the rest of the pack just sat back and let it happen. I understand that not everyone can self-fund, but I would have thought that Allyson Schwartz, at least, who has money in the bank and is allegedly a strong fundraiser, would have reacted to the Wolf-blitz by now. The numbers will no doubt tighten up somewhat, but if the rest were having trouble raising money before these numbers, it’s only going to get harder with somebody else polling at 40%.
    Having said that, this is Harper polling, after all, so I’ll reserve judgment until TIPP, Ipsos, or PPP weighs in with a bigger sample.

  13. @robbie thanks for biting on the lure you know and lol i know this but the average voter dont it happen under his watch when he was tax collector thats why the republicans call him tom the tax man.first republicans slammed schwartz now wolfs turn.

  14. No one is getting 40%. When the others advertise, watch the numbers change. Was this Republican poll based on registered Dems or on Golden Voters? This race has just begun.

  15. I know this is difficult news for @frank, a supporter of Congresswoman Schwartz who has been bragging about her inevitability for months, to accept, so I will explain slowly how government works.

    NO SECRETARY OF REVENUE IS PERMITTED TO RAISE OR DECREASE ANY TAXES. All taxes must be raised by statutory law enacted by both chambers of the legislature (the Senate was controlled by the GOP during Governor Rendell’s entire tenure, and the House was controlled by the GOP in Governor Rendell’s first term ), and the rate has nothing to do with the Secretary of Revenue.

    Second, the Sales and Use Tax (what @frank thinks of as the “sales tax”) was raised during Governor Rendell’s term only in select areas that asked the legislature to raise it by 1%, then it was raised by the General Assembly and Governor (at the request of those areas), NOT THE REVENUE SECRETARY. The “sales tax” in most of PA is 6%, a rate that has been unchanged for decades. Also, I think @frank really is talking about Governor Rendell and the Republican Senate and Republican House raising the Personal Income Tax. That happened, with bipartisan support, SEVERAL YEARS BEFORE TOM WOLF WAS REVENUE SECRETARY.

    Finally, does @frank think Congresswoman Schwartz (in her 24-year legislative career) or Tom Wolf (in his one year as Revenue Secretary, an administrative position only) has more of a record of supporting and voting for tax increases? Or is it that @frank merely is hoping his preferred candidate, Congresswoman Schwartz, is not in trouble in the primary?

  16. It is very amusing to watch everybody make excuses for the candidates they support, backtracking while trying to save face.

    As for “@Smarter,” I find it interesting he/she complains about others making “ad hominem attacks” on Treasurer McCord, but, in the next breath, does not hesitate to attack Tom Wolf on how he earned his Ph.D. Did “@Smarter” really review Tom Wolf’s academic records or qualifications for MIT’s Ph.D program, read Tom Wolf’s dissertation, or know him at all? Do you really think a guy who owned a small family business making kitchen cabinets in York, PA (Wolf’s father when Tom Wolf went to MIT) had much influence at MIT? Probably not.

    I also note Tom Wolf has not said a negative word about any candidate. The same cannot be said for the preferred candidate of “@Smarter,” Treasurer McCord, who seemed petulant to many when he complained of Tom Wolf being able to spend more personal $ than him. It seems to be the supporter (“@Smarter”) is similar to the preferred candidate (Treasurer McCord).

  17. Everybody on here is saying how warm and fuzzy tom wolf is and i met him personally and he is a very nice guy but lets not overlook this is the same guy as revenue secretary raised the sales tax in pa and im sure corbetts people are already to jump on him for this and they will tie him to rendell this front runner status wont last long people are not engaged yet.

  18. JohnRM brings up great point about policy papers from the candidates. This is very important for me when deciding who to support in the primary. Wolf, Schwartz, and Hanger all have substantial issues sections with in-depth detail on the problems we face in PA and how to fix them. The others have a paragraph or two for each area and that doesn’t cut it in my opinion. You need substance.

  19. I support Tom Wolf, not because of his ads–I have seen them–but rather because I watched the debates, read through his positions, studied his merits, and considered the alternatives. I will support the Democratic Party candidate no matter who it is, but I think that Mr. Wolf is the best candidate at the moment. To say that my support has been bought by TV ads is simply insulting.

  20. This is why America is a great country. Supposedly the most active of Democratic voters … the most engaged in the political process … a full 40% of them choose a guy based solely on 4 minutes of self promotion repeated over and over for 60 days. It slices, it dices. The Bass-O-Matic. Get it today,

  21. What’s interesting is that the “19% of those polled remain undecided” is less than the gap separating Wolf from the rest. So, no one can claim getting the undecideds would make a difference. This comes out to
    40% Wolf
    41% not-Wolf (split 5 ways)
    19% undecided

    Wolf’s a great candidate and has raised his Q-rating through the roof.

    However, the other candidates will be putting out ads of their own eventually, so the race will be a bit tighter than a 40% blowout. Wolf has definitely made himself the man to beat.

  22. I think that the ad hominem attacks against McCord are unwarranted. If you want to comment on political data or something, fine, but anyone who calls McCord arrogant has clearly never met McGinty, Schwartz or to some extent even Tom “This is my Daddy’s PHD from MIT” Wolf.

    McCord is a statewide 2nd term incumbent State Treasurer, who fits the demographic mold (and without the legislative baggage) for most likely to defeat Corbett. He’s warm and personable, and people like him.

    I don’t work for any of the campaigns, but here is my point – there are a number of great Democrats running, and McCord is a serious candidate, not to be discounted.

  23. With these poll results i think katie mcginty shoul drop out give her support to Schwartz and maybe we can make history with the first female governor if not its rendell all over again.

  24. Wolf is intriguing, but his decision to associate himself with Dwight Evans reflects poorly on his judgement. Lie down with dogs….I hope he reconsiders and distances himself before the primary. Love Sheff’s comment on McCord, too funny!

  25. Last year I had the opportunity to meet Wolf before he was running at Fresco’s in Harrisburg, and when he was running at a bunch of rallies in Philly. Frankly, I’m not surprised by this because he’s an extremely approachable and nice person, and he has a huge campaign story to run on.

    On top of his campaign spending, Wolf put out one of the most comprehensive campaign white papers so far this year as well.

  26. McCord and Schwartz couldn’t match the early spending of Wolf because their fundraising hasn’t been going very well. A lot of $ is sitting on the sidelines this primary and Wolf made the choice to put his own skin in the game and start early with TV/Radio/Internet ads. This strong # will help build both grassroots and fundraising momentum behind Wolf. Let’s see what the other candidates do.

  27. I know Cordisco is getting a special chuckle over McCord being outspent. McCord jumped into the first Treasurer race with millions more than Cordisco. Sometimes crow is better served cold.

  28. This poll shouldn’t come to a shock to anyone wolf has spent millions on tv.to the average voter looks like he is the only one running for governor.what is more disturbing is the other candidates running just sat and watched and did nothing to raise their own name id.i think that strategy may prove fatal to Schwartz and mccord i thought mccord would do alot better than this but u guess they see him as a typical candidate maybe this poll will wake the others up to realize wolf is a serious candidate.

  29. Wolf is the ” Man ” with every voter that is signing petition’s in many of the voting districts I am working.

  30. No one is crying for the most arrogant politician on the planet Rob McCord. Hope you enjoy sucking hind nipple Rob

  31. PaDem suggests that Wolf will face a Republican legislature and is unprepared to handle/work with them. PaDem did not suggest any Dem who IS prepared to deal with a GOP General Assembly. I think that Wolf has successfully dealt with business people (read Republicans) across the State. That should help.

  32. I think what wolf did was genius run ads get name id and play catch me if u can the mccord campaign has to be sick seeing this as a sitting treasure name id is horrible.these guys better hit tv soon or this race well be over before it starts that said i will take wolf over mccord anyday.

  33. I hope voters consider that Wolf is going to be faced with a GOP legislature that is going to say no every step of the way. Wolf is not prepared to take that on. Dems need to elect and candidate who knows how to handle a republican legislature, hold hostages on important issues and use their leverage.

    Sad to see PA supporting the ‘uncandidate,’ and that people are convinced Wolf is an outsider.

  34. This continues to show that McCord is a weak candidate. While I like Hanger, Wolf is more and more intriguing and could help convert those business-minded conservatives that Dems would need to win the general.

  35. Cue the McCord supporters with their we are going win because we have IBEW Local 303042828373 and some county chair with 4 teeth. How does it feel to be in a statistical tie with John Hanger?

Comments are closed.

  • When Should The Special Elections For The PA House Be Held?

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