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Monmouth Poll: Shapiro Maintains Double Digit Lead, Ahmad and Torsella Hold Narrow Advantage

Attorney General Josh Shapiro maintains a double digit advantage in his reelection bid, while Treasurer Joe Torsella and Democratic Auditor General candidate Nina Ahmad hold narrow leads over their GOP opponents, according to a new Monmouth University poll.

Shapiro leads Heather Heidelbaugh, a former Allegheny County Councilwoman and Pittsburgh-area attorney, by 15 points, 53-to-38, in the race for Attorney General among registered voters in the state, while 7% remain undecided. Torsella leads Stacy Garrity, an Iraq War veteran and businesswoman, by 6 points, 47-to-41, among registered voters in the state in the race for Treasurer, while 10% are undecided. In the race for Auditor General, 46% of registered voters said that they would vote for Ahmad, a former Deputy Mayor of Philadelphia, while 40% said that they’d vote for Tim DeFoor, a Dauphin County Controller, and 12% that said they are undecided.

All three Democrats maintain their leads in the high likely voter turnout model and the low likely voter turnout model, although the margins do shift a bit in each race. 

Shapiro maintains a 15 point lead over Heidelbaugh, 54-to-39, among likely voters in the high turnout model. The margin narrows slightly among likely voters in the low turnout model with Shapiro leading Heidelbaugh by 13 points, 53-to-40. Shapiro’s lead in all three models are beyond the poll’s margin of error.  

Torsella holds a 5 point lead over Garrity, 47-to-42, among likely voters in the high turnout model. Torsella’s lead over Garrity shrinks to 4 points, 47-to-43, among likely voters in the low turnout model.

Ahmad leads DeFoor by 4 points, 46-to-42, among likely voters in the high turnout model. Ahmad only has a 1 point edge over DeFoor, 45-to-44, among likely voters in the low turnout model. 

While the Democrats hold leads in all three statewide contests, only Shapiro’s lead is outside the poll’s margin of sampling error

This is the second time that Monmouth University has polled the races for Attorney General, Auditor General, and Treasurer. In comparison to their poll among registered voters of all three contests conducted in late-August, Shapiro has expanded his lead by 5 points over Heidelbaugh, while Ahmad added 4 points on to her lead over DeFoor, and Torsella gained an additional point over Garrity.

This latest polling from Monmouth also shows former Vice President Joe Biden expanding his lead over President Donald Trump in the Keystone State, in comparison to the previous poll. Biden leads Trump by 12 points, 54-to-42, among registered voters in the state in today’s poll, while Biden only held a 4 point lead over Trump, 49-to-45, in the poll conducted in late-August

Another noteworthy shift in this latest polling is that each Democrat has a double digit advantage with Independent voters polled. 

In the race for Attorney General, Shapiro leads Heidelbaugh by 34 points, 57-to-24, among Independent voters. 89% of Democrats said that they will vote for Shapiro, while 14% of Republicans said that they will vote for the incumbent Democrat for Attorney General. 84% of Republicans said they will vote for Heidelbaugh, while 6% of Democrats said they will back the GOP candidate for Attorney General. 

Ahmad leads DeFoor by 19 points, 47-to-28, among Independent voters in the race for Auditor General. 86% of Democrats said they will vote for Ahmad, while 4% of Republicans said they’d back the Democratic candidate for Auditor General. 89% of Republicans said they’d vote for DeFoor, while just 2% of Democrats said they’d support the GOP candidate for Auditor General.

In the race for Treasurer, Torsella leads Garrity by 16 points, 45-to-29, among Independent voters polled. 88% of Democrats said they will vote for Torsella, while 6% of Republicans said that they’d back the incumbent Democrat. 88% of Republicans said that they will vote for Garrity, while 4% of Democrats said they’d vote for the GOP challenger. 

In Monmouth’s poll conducted in late-August, Garrity led Torsella by 7 points among Independent voters, while DeFoor led Ahmad by 10 points among Independent voters. Shapiro was the lone Democrat to have the advantage with Independents in that previous poll. 

Although there are the only two public polls in the races for Auditor General and Treasurer, a GOP friendly pollster showed a much tighter race for Attorney General. 

A Trafalgar Group poll of likely voters commissioned by the American Industry Project in mid-September showed Shapiro leading Heidelbaugh by just over 3 points, 46.7%-to-43.2%, while 5.3% are undecided. 

In 2016, Shapiro bested Republican John Rafferty by about 2.5 points for the open AG seat. Torsella defeated Republican Otto Voit by 6 points in the 2016 election for the open Treasurer seat. Auditor General Eugene DePasquale (D) secured two terms as AG and fended off a challenge from GOP candidate John Brown by 5 points in 2016. 

Monmouth surveyed 500 Pennsylvania registered voters from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4. The poll has a margin of error of +/-4.4%. FiveThirtyEight gives Monmouth an “A+” rating, although the poll favors Democrats by an average of 1.3%. 

The full crosstabs for the Monmouth University Poll can be found here.

3 Responses

  1. IMO, when you compare the record and background of Tim DeFoor vs Nina Ahmad, there is no reason whatsover why he loses…he is simply the best qualified person for the job…

    All indications is his race has been non ideological and positive. He could start tommorrow. Simply could not say the same for his opponent.

    Just look at DeFoor’s resume:

    Timothy L. DeFoor

    Current Position:
    • Dauphin County Controller, first Elected November 2015, first and only African American to be elected as a Row Officer in the history of Dauphin County, Re-elected November 2019 with no opposition.

    Achievements as Dauphin County Controller:
    • Created Dauphin County’s first Audit Division.
    • Recovered and saved Dauphin County taxpayer’s over $1 million since taking office in January 2016.
    • Changed how Dauphin County reports it finances from an Independent Audit to a more detailed and transparent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.
    • Started Dauphin County Controller’s Financial Literacy Initiative with Harrisburg University (HU) of Science and Technology.
    • Created the first internship program within the Controller’s Office
    • Prepared Dauphin County’s first ever Annual Retirement Fund Report
    • Lead the efforts make it mandatory for investment managers to disclose all management and investment fees.

    Professional Awards as Dauphin County Controller
    • 2017 – Received Dauphin County’s first Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association for our Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for fiscal year 2016. Received subsequent awards for fiscal years 2017 and 2018. 2019 is being prepared.
    • 2017 – Received Dauphin County’s first Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting certificate from the Government Finance Officers Association for our Popular Annual Financial Report for fiscal year 2016. Received subsequent awards for fiscal years 2017 and 2018. 2019 is being prepared.

    Past Professional Background over +25 years of Auditing Experience:
    • Retired Special Agent – Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Office of Attorney General. Investigated alleged violations of the Medicaid Fraud Control Act and prescription drug diversion, along with violations of the Drug Devise and Cosmetic Act
    • Former Special Investigator – Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Office of Inspector General. Investigated allegations of fraud, waste, and abuse in state departments under the Governor’s jurisdiction. Investigated and audited state contractors to determine if Small Diverse Business minority-owned business, woman-owned business, veteran-owned business, service-disabled veteran-owned, disability-owned, were given a fair opportunity to bid with prime contractors during the Request for Proposal (RFP) process.
    • Former Internal Auditor, Quality Manager and Fraud Investigator for University of Pittsburgh Medical Center – Health Plan (UPMC) and various federal contractors. Investigated allegations of healthcare fraud, waste and abuse within Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial insurance products (UPMC-Health Plan). Also audited subject matter experts to assure they, and their personnel met the professional qualifications to do the work they were contracted, such as ISO 9001-2008 standards.

    • Master of Science, Project Management, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology (HU), Harrisburg, PA,
    • Bachelor of Arts, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
    • Associates of Arts, Para Legal Studies, Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC), Harrisburg, PA,
    • Susquehanna Township High School, Harrisburg, PA

    Current Community Service:
    • Chair, HACC Foundation Board of Directors (July 2018 – March 2020 Resigned as Chair to run for Auditor General)
    • Board Member, HACC Foundation Board of Directors
    • Co-Chair, HU, Financial Literacy Education Conference
    • Board Member, Chris “Handles’ Franklin (Harlem Globetrotters) Foundation Board
    • State YMCA of Pennsylvania Board of Directors
    • Life Member Greater Harrisburg Area National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
    • Member, Pennsylvania State Fraternal Order of Police and Greater Harrisburg FOP Criminal Investigators Lodge #78

    Prior Community Service (Since 2002):
    • Board Member, Susquehanna Township High School Alumni Association, 2012 to 2016
    • Trustee, Hanna Educational Foundation, 2013 to 2016
    • Chairman, STHS Alumni Annual Golf Tournament, 2011 to 2015 (which raised funds for the Susquehanna Township Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Alumni Scholarship fund)
    • Chair, HACC Multicultural Advisory Committee, 2002 to 2005

    Awards for Community Service:
    • Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives Central PA Chapter, November 1991
    • Honored by Harrisburg Camp Curtain Branch YMCA Black Achievers Program, 1999
    • HACC Outstanding Alumni Award, 2003
    • HACC Distinguished Alumni Award, 2005
    • Named to the HACC Circle of Distinction, 2005
    • Perseverance Award presented by the Pennsylvania Diversity Coalition, January 2016
    • Harrisburg University, Alumni Spotlight Award, March 2019
    • Bro2Go “2020 Trailblazer Award” for my social impact and contribution to Dauphin County. Award will be given on October 24th, 2020

  • Understanding that basic education funding should/will be first, what should be the next highest priority for the General Assembly?

    • Raising The Minimum Wage (25%)
    • Legalizing Adult-Use Marijuana (24%)
    • None of the above. Something Else. (20%)
    • Economic Development (14%)
    • Higher Education (8%)
    • Public Transportation (8%)
    • Workforce Opportunities and Innovation (2%)

    Total Voters: 51

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