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PA-Sen: Harper Poll: Sestak 40 McGinty 30

Joe-Sestak-headshotJoe Sestak has the lead in the first poll result against Democratic primary opponent Katie McGinty.

According to the latest survey from Harper Polling, the former Congressman received 40% among likely Democratic primary voters against McGinty’s 30%.

Braddock Mayor John Fetterman entered the race after this poll was taken, but it is worth pointing out that 29% of respondents are unsure who to support.

Sestak leads in all sections of the state except Scranton/Lehigh Valley where the candidates tied at 33% and Pittsburgh Southwest where McGinty held a three-point advantage. It’s also worth pointing out that at the moment, Sestak is ahead not only among men (47-29) but also among women (35-31).

McGinty’s disadvantage may come from a lack of name recognition. 39% of Democrats weren’t sure about her. Among those who were, she had a 35/26 favorable/unfavorable split.

Meanwhile, just 28% of Democrats were uncertain about Sestak who recorded a 46/26 split.

These numbers were dwarfed by the popularity of other statewide Dems like Gov. Wolf (78% favorability within the party) and Sen. Casey (72%).

Harper Polling surveyed 304 likely Democratic primary voters land line interviews conducted using Interactive Voice Response (IVR) on September 9th and 10th. The margin or error is +/- 5.62%.

21 Responses

  1. DD,

    Please lecture me on how vets are treated. You have no idea what you are talking about.

    Not only are you a pa politics expert, but now your a veterans affairs expert, and a national security expert.

  2. SGTBrubaker

    Hate to clue you in, but the U.S. butchering government treats the military like pawns and cannon fodder to secure the riches for the wealthy and powerful, and for strategic advantage.

    The death of Pat Tillman by “friendly fire” was not only covered up, but used to recruit more young men to their deaths and hide Tillman’s opposition to the Iraq War.

    Look at how vets are treated once they can no longer serve.

  3. I fully agree, Beth. I subscribe to the notion that one should judge a person by the company they keep.

  4. Thanks for posting the McGinty endorsements! I will NOT vote for her solely based on that list. In fact, I will not vote for anyone who gets the endorsement of those clowns.

  5. David,
    I do not appreciate you reducing the service of Soliders and Sailors to that of protecting fuel for military vehicles. My guess is you have never served a day in uniform. I’m a republican / centrist but I’m going to support the admiral because he gets what we’ve been through.

    And it’s comments like the one you just made that shows you political insiders don’t understabd the leadership this country needs.


  6. David Diano/others:
    I heard McG is for single payer. Anyone know Fetterman’s position on health care?

  7. Ben Smith-

    For the anti-fracking movement, Fetterman seems to be their candidate. McGinty is hugely unpopular with the progressive base on the environment. It is the biggest criticism of her that I hear consistently.

    Sestak wants the US to be Europe’s gas station. This is hardly a surprise since much of the military is devoted to protecting US oil/gas interests and fueling ships/planes/tanks/etc.

    However, I’m not sure how much it matters, because the anti-fracking movement in PA wastes a tremendous amount of energy on colorful demonstrations that have little or no political impact. For example, they didn’t work on the low-hanging fruit of local school board races, where wins could lead to solar-panels on schools and more environmental science taught in the classrooms.

    If Bernie Sanders is not eliminated on Super-Tuesday, and survives until the PA primary at the end of April, Fetterman should get a boost from his supporters at the polls.

    Fetterman’s three biggest advantages right now are:
    1) Western PA vs two Eastern PA for regional voters
    2) Good liberal backstory and track record
    3) Speaks authentically

    He’s still got a lot of ground to make up with fundraising, name-recognition, building an organization, learning-curve for the different counties, etc.

    It’s going to be an interesting ride.

  8. @FYI, your list is incorrect. Paul Costa endorsed Fetterman when he found out he was running. It’s also worth noting that most of those endorsements were made before Fetterman entered the race.

    Everyone except Rendell is holding their noses and just doing what the party tells them to do. That list should gross anyone out who thinks the voters should select the candidate instead of the party bosses.

    McGinty and her husband have deep connections to the fracking industry.

    “– McGinty was reprimanded by the state Ethics Commission for giving the pro-fracking Pennsylvania Environmental Council $2.8 million in state grants while her husband, Karl Hausker, was employed as a consultant there. In 2009, the Supreme Court upheld an Ethics Commission ruling saying Cabinet secretaries in the future should have no role in grants that benefit spouses

    I encourage anyone who doesn’t want to see their politicians beholden to special interests, particularly fracking should do some research on McGinty’s background.

    Let us not forget that waste coal plant McGinty fast tracked to get in before more stringent air quality standards for a large Rendell supporter:

    “In recent months, McGinty has accepted $120,000 in campaign contributions from a coal executive behind the project.”

  9. The McGinty campaign definitely has the momentum in this campaign. Once the primary campaign kicks into gear and Team McGinty starts to air TV ads and get her name recognition up she’ll easily defeat Sestak on primary day. McGinty is already winning the fundraising and endorsement primary.

    So far Katie McGinty has been endorsed by:

    -Ed Rendell, former Governor of Pennsylvania

    U.S. Representatives:
    -Bob Brady, U.S. Representative and Chairman of the Philadelphia Democratic City Committee
    -Michael F. Doyle, U.S. Representative

    State legislators:
    -Jim Brewster, State Senator
    -Dom Costa, State Representative
    -Jay Costa, State Senator and Democratic Leader of the Pennsylvania Senate
    -Paul Costa, State Representative
    -Dan Deasy, State Representative
    -Anthony M. DeLuca, State Representative
    -Frank Dermody, State Representative and Democratic Leader of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
    -Wayne D. Fontana, State Senator
    -Dan Frankel, State Representative
    -Ed Gainey, State Representative
    -Mark Gergely, State Representative
    -Bill Kortz, State Representative
    -Joe Markosek, State Representative

    Mayors and other municipal leaders:
    -John DeFazio, Allegheny County Councilman
    -Mike Finnerty, Allegheny County Councilman
    -Rich Fitzgerald, Allegheny County Executive
    -Nick Futules, Allegheny County Councilman
    -Dan Gilman, Pittsburgh City Councilman
    -Theresa Kail-Smith, Pittsburgh City Councilwoman
    -Bruce Kraus, Pittsburgh City Council President
    -Daniel Lavelle, Pittsburgh City Councilman
    -Bob Macey, Allegheny County Councilman
    -Chuck Martoni, Allegheny County Councilman
    -Corey O’Connor, Pittsburgh City Councilman
    -John F. Palmiere, Allegheny County Councilman
    -Bill Peduto, Mayor of Pittsburgh
    -Natalia Rudiak, Pittsburgh City Councilwoman

    Party leaders:
    -Austin Davis, Allegheny County Democratic Committee Vice Chairman
    -Nancy Mills, Allegheny County Democratic Committee Chairwoman

    Labor unions:
    -Sheet Metal Workers Local 19
    -United Steelworkers

    -EMILY’s List

  10. McGinty’s gov run gave her little to no name recognition because she had terrible media buys even for what little funds she had. Hopefully in the Senate race she will have a better strategy.

    Fetterman is an interesting wildcard.

  11. Well if Alan Kenney Shaffer says to vote for Sestak, my vote goes to anyone else. You can confirm in public records that Sestak’s family lives in VA. Why would a man choose to run for office in a state that his family is not in. I don’t trust a guy like that.

    Considering McGinty was recently rejected by 93% of Democrat voters in the Gov primary and is only recruited to run because the party thinks Sestak has zero chance of beating Toomey, I guess that leaves Feterman. Seems like a good and smart guy:

  12. jmarshak-

    Even more effective would be for her to give Sestak money to run commercials of himself talking. The more people see what a goof he is, the less they are going to want to vote for him.

  13. McGinty just needs to run more commercials about having to share the bathroom with 10 brothers and sisters when she was a kid. The voters will leave Sestak in droves!

  14. I’m sure Toomey is thrilled by this poll, but with Wolf having a high favorable rating, he will be a big asset campaigning for McGinty.

    Fetterman is an interesting addition to the mix. He’s a very authentic candidate, with plenty of real experience in the trenches helping his local community. So, he’s got a great backstory/resume, and is visually “interesting” for media coverage.

    If he raises enough money to get his message out, he’s going to have an impact, especially with western PA voters.

    This poll is an interesting preliminary snapshot of a candidate whose been campaigning for two years for the job vs a candidate in the race for only a month.

    I suspect that Sestak vs “unnamed Dem” would be similar.

    I don’t think we’ll get a reliable poll on this race until Feb. But, we should start seeing some trends once the candidates start presenting themselves to the public.

  15. What people have been saying all along–Sestak wins. McG ran for Gov and still lacks name recognition! She’s out of her league, as she was in previous political events. Sestak is heading toward the main event with Toomey.

  • 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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