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PA-Sen: F&M Poll: Sestak 33% McGinty 27% Fetterman 8%

Joe-Sestak-headshotJoe Sestak’s lead over Katie McGinty for the Democratic Senate nomination has dwindled to just 6 points, according to the latest Franklin & Marshall poll.

The former Congressman held a 17-point lead over McGinty a month ago, but it now seems to be anyone’s race.

Sestak picked up 33% in the poll, with McGinty trailing close behind on 27%. Braddock Mayor John Fetterman, with 8% in the poll, still has a chance to win if he can swing the 29% of voters who are still undecided.

Even those who believe they have made up their minds aren’t quite so sure, the poll shows. 30% of likely Sestak supporters and 36% of likely McGinty supporters said they are still making up their minds.

Sestak triumphs over his challengers with voters at all income levels and picks up some of his strongest support from those over the age of 55 (40%). Likewise, Sestak found strong support from retired workers (39%), though McGinty leads Sestak by a slim margin with full-time employees (26-24%).

Fetterman edges out his competitors with likely voters under 35, while McGinty leads with voters 35 to 54, the poll shows.

While Gov. Tom Wolf’s former Chief of Staff leads in Philadelphia, Allegheny and Southwest PA, Sestak has won over the Northeast, Central and Southeast regions.

McGinty and Sestak split the Northwest with 30% each.

Fetterman’s strongest support comes from the Allegheny region, where he ties Sestak for second with 23%.

Some good news for Sestak, though, is that this survey shows him retaining his lead as yesterday’s Monmouth poll had the race tied.

This poll was conducted by the Center for Opinion Research at Franklin & Marshall College. They surveyed 510 registered Pennsylvania Democratic voters from April 11th to April 18th. The margin of error is +/- 4.2%.

27 Responses

  1. Oh yeah, a good independent source without any bias or agenda. I never said it was your opinion, just that it was factually inaccurate and a perfect example of the type of talking point that hurts the Democratic party because there is no substance behind it. Now you are switching to a completely different issue with fracking fluids left in the ground because you have nothing beyond fracktivist buzz words. But plenty of real groups have done studies on that too that have shown nearly nothing toxic gets into the water supply as a result of fracking.

    Katie is open to criticism sure, not bullshit. The problem with the industry is the methane emissions from wells. Some wells in PA are great about preventing them, others, particularly older wells, have some serious problems. That is something that can be contained with strong regulation and oversight. There is a middle ground here that we can get both parties to agree upon. This won’t happen if you try and scare everyone that tomorrow their tap water will be flammable or their house will get destroyed by an earthquake if we don’t cut the industry off immediately.

  2. “Only 30 to 50% of fracturing fluid is recovered, the rest of the toxic fluid is left in the ground and is not biodegradable.” This is not my “opinion” and can be found at the “” website. There are many, many sources of information on the net and elsewhere questioning fracking. Any candidate with ties to this industry is open to being criticized including McGinty.

  3. Same old – you threaten the entire pro-environment movement if you smudge facts and fear-monger without scientific backing. We win by being on the side of good science. The earthquakes that have occurred around fracking are largely result of deep injection wastewater disposal wells, a practice that is not very common in Pennsylvania:

    If you think a) that a pa statewide candidate calling for a moratorium can win a general election, or b) that a US Senator is going to quickly bring a moratorium to PA, then you are horribly mistaken. McGinty has an extensive background in renewables and I think that’s the way to best fight climate change. Use gas while is plentiful and cheap, regulate the hell out of it by properly funding environmental protection agencies, and build your renewable portfolio so that we never again have to rely heavily on single sources of energy. Longterm, I think nuclear is probably the way, but our state and country are too broke right now to fully invest in the necessary amount to get cutting edge facilities us and running, so we need to gradually get there.

  4. McGinty’s connection to the energy industry and fracking is a major issue. Fracking is being suspected as the cause of earthquakes in places like Texas. McGinty’s earning over a million dollars in 5 years for being on an energy board is something that needs to be considered by all voters. It’s obvious that Joe Sestak is the logical choice for Senate.

  5. Same Old Same Old-

    It’s obvious that the party doesn’t want a poor sport and uncooperative bastard like Sestak ruining another winnable senate contest.

    breaking news-

    I hadn’t seen that poll yet.

  6. Harper poll has McGinty 37, Sestak 34! Bye bye Joe, enjoy your life in Virginia!

  7. I think it’s obvious that the Democratic leadership wants to tell the voters who the Dem Senate choice should be and that, once again, the “little guy” gets a swift kick in the pants by the big wigs. I think for this reason alone–to show those “in power” who really is boss (the people)–it is important to elect Sestak as Dem Senate candidate and US Senator.

    As for the “down arrow” in terms of the “McGinty surge”–it remains to be seen just how successful this “surge” is but you would think after 4 million there would be some surge. I feel it will not be enough when all is said and done and that Joe Sestak will defeat McGinty.

  8. i and many others are sick of the machine trying to buy their 7th choice candidate a primary victory. now she’s claiming ‘she’s a champion’? having never won an election, and having placed 4th in the governor’s ? not hardly.

  9. Same Old Same Old-

    Specter was more like a moderate Democrat who got into the Republican party (and held prisoner and tortured as the GOP grew more right-wing and fanatical).

    Sestak is a life-long Republican who was willing to put a D next to his name and had to memorize Dem talking points to “fake it until you make it”.

    I was there on his first day opening his campaign HQ where he referred to how he (believed he) was viewed by some young ensign aboard his ship: “I was more than just his Captain. I was his father figure. I was his confessor. I WAS HIS GOD.” (original emphasis)

    If McGinty got the money you say, then Toomey should be worried about the competition and his donors supporting her instead. Being “pro-energy companies” is not going to hurt her with GOP voters.


    If the DSCC has taken a few hundred thousand of what they blew on Sestak in 2010 and used it to help Feingold, we’d have kept that seat.

    It’s actually smart money management and bang-for-the-buck to sacrifice Sestak and put all that money into winnable races in other states.

  10. Voting for Sestak has real consequences. If Sestak wins Senatorial Primary you are assuring Pennsylvania six more years of Pat Toomey. It has taken Sestak six years to raise $2,000,000 which he has had to use in this Primary Race. Sestak has burned bridges with President Obama,Governor Wolf, and the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee . Meaning the Calvary is not coming anytime soon to replenish Sestak’s campaign war chest. Pennsylvania is one of seven battleground states for control of the Senate. The National Democratic Committee will pull out of Pennsylvania because of their dislike for Sestak and place their money in the other six battleground states. Leaving Toomey with $12,000,000 in Special Interest money to easily defeat Sestak in the General Election. I believe voting for Sestak in the Primary is a vote for a Toomey win in the General.

  11. David..Again, I admire your enthusiasm but yo missed the point. Arlen Spector was a life long Republican who only switched to Democrat for his own convenience to avoid a primary defeat to Toomey. Big difference from this race, And, to boot, Sestak was asked to get into the race with Toomey before the Spector switch decision.

    The bottom line is that it is true that McGinty has gotten over a million in 5 years from special interest energy corporations as a board member. This is HUGE! A big issue for Toomey should McGinty win.

    We need Sestak or else it is a sure win for Toomey in the Fall.

  12. Sestak’s hypocrisy: Today’s stupid email

    — begin —
    Subject: The irony: DSCC defeating … a Democrat, to elect a Republican?
    “That’s $2 million squandered [by DSCC] that now cannot be used against Pat Toomey, no matter
    who wins”

    Please contribute $5, $15, $25, $50, $100, $500 to help restore a voice that has not been heard in Washington for a while
    — end —

    The REAL irony here is that in 2010:

    1) Sestak defeated a Democrat, to elect a Republican
    2) Specter had $10 million (and Sestak squandered another $4 million) that never got spend on Toomey.
    3) No one wants to hear Sestak’s voice in DC (or anywhere else)

    So, how the f*ck does Sestak DARE make this argument to piss away more money down the black hole of his campaign?

    (Hint: Watch “A Few Good Men” and pay attention to Jack Nicholson’s character for clues)

  13. How many people under 35 actually have a landline? These garbage landline polls should be banned.

  14. Sestak wins in the final analysis. McG will lose big to Toomey—no foreign policy experience and a lack of depth. McG is a light-weight—out of her league. Toomey cannot beat the Admiral—-get ready for Joe Sestak and the defeat of the big-wig, corrupt Democratic establishment elites pulling the strings for puppet McGinty. If you want to beat Toomey—-Sestak is the ticket. Go Joe!

  15. Great selection of people to chose from…give me oj Simpson….at least he’s good looking…

  16. This same poll (same sample of Dems) has Hillary ahead 27 point 58% to 31%.

    The poll is complete sh*t.

    The interesting thing would be… give the factor of 2 or 3 Hillary bias in the poll…. does that indicate more pro-Sestak or more pro-McGinty skewing of the results.

    If the pro-Hillary disproportion correlates more with Sestak supporters, than Sestak is screwed, and McGinty could be tied/leading. If it correlates more with McGinty supporters, then she trails by even more.

    Assuming the real Hillary number is +10 or +15 and not the +27 of this poll: How does this skew/bias the Sestak/McGinty numbers?



    Madonna should be embarrassed to release it, and should have just shredded it as a poorly conducted experiment.

  17. No argument from me, I think the media worship of F&M polls and Terry Madonna is way wrong. But this has been the poll that Sestakians have been hanging their optimism on for months, and now it’s showing a whole lot of movement toward McGinty — and that may be significant. Guess we find out next Tuesday.

  18. News here is that Sestak and Fetterman remained just about stagnant, while McGinty doubled. Virtually all of the movement from Undecided in the last poll went to McGinty.

  19. This poll was conducted prior to the Monmouth poll and Madonna just sat on it for days. The information is old.

  20. Ehhh… Six points less than a week out is a pretty safe lead, especially if he uses all this money he’s sitting on.

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