PA-Sen: Harper Poll: Sestak 41% McGinty 31% Fetterman 9%
That’s the conclusion of the latest Harper Poll, which surveyed PA Dems on their three Senate choices.
41% of likely voters prefer former Congressman Joe Sestak while 31% go with former Chief of Staff to Gov. Wolf Katie McGinty. Braddock Mayor John Fetterman gets 9% while 19% are still undecided.
Since last month, the margin between Sestak and McGinty has shrunk while their shares of the vote has grown at the expense of Fetterman.
Sestak’s lead holds across the ideological spectrum and he is ahead in Philly and the Southeast (50-24) while McGinty’s best areas are Pittsburgh/Southwest (38-28) and South Central (39-36).
McGinty also trails among female voters, 32% to 38%, though the gap is smaller than among male voters, 30% to 44%.
As for favorability, 63% of respondents hold McGinty in high esteem (24% very favorable, 39% somewhat favorable). Just 17% view her unfavorably (4% very, 13% somewhat).
For Sestak the split is 70% to 15%, with 36% having a very favorable impression.
Fetterman’s problem isn’t that voters don’t like him, it’s that they don’t know him (his campaign is trying to rectify that). A plurality of respondents, 42%, aren’t sure about Fetterman. He has a 39% to 18% split among those who are.
Furthermore, Harper’s found that two-thirds of voters haven’t heard or seen anything recently about Fetterman. For Sestak and McGinty the results are flipped.
Ideology and Intensity
One intriguing difference the survey uncovered was that a plurality of voters identified McGinty as somewhat liberal (30%) while tagging Sestak as a moderate (31%). That could work to the ex-Admiral’s advantage in the general but is less likely to help him in the primary.
McGinty’s biggest problem, though, is intensity.
Just 52% of her voters said they would “definitely” support while 42% said they “probably” would.
This compares unfavorably to those splits for Sestak and Fetterman, which were 62/31 and 61/30 respectively.
Obama and Biden
A huge bright spot for McGinty, however, is the endorsement of the President and Vice President.
Harper’s asked voters if they would be more or less likely to support McGinty if they knew President Obama and Vice President Biden endorsed her.
58% (34% much more, 24% somewhat more) said they would be more likely to support her after the President’s endorsement. Just 8% said less likely while 33% responded that it wouldn’t make a difference.
As for the VP, 57% (34%, 23%) indicated they were more likely to support a candidate that Biden chose. 6% were less likely and 36% were unaffected.
Finally, 39% of all respondents were more likely to support the choice of the Democratic establishment and just 28% would prefer an outsider.
This split was 41/28 in the Philadelphia/Southeast region of the commonwealth.
So expect more ads about the President’s support of McGinty. Additionally, the McGinty camp should be begging the White House to have Pres. Obama record automated calls in Philadelphia.
Harper Polling surveyed 603 likely Democratic primary voters through landline interviews conducted using Interactive Voice Response (IVR). The poll took place between on April 2nd and April 3rd. The margin of error is +/- 4%.