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.