PA-Sen: Harper Poll: Toomey 47 Sestak 37, Toomey 48 McGinty 34

Official PortraitPat Toomey continues to lead in his race for re-election.

A new survey released today by Harper Polling shows the Senator with a double digit lead over Democratic candidates Joe Sestak and Katie McGinty (this poll was conducted before John Fetterman jumped into the Democratic primary).

In a 2010 rematch, Toomey is ahead of Sestak 47% to 37% with 15% undecided.

According to Harper, there is a large gender gap between males (53-34) and females (42-41) but the incumbent still has the lead with both. When broken down by section of the state, Sen. Toomey leads all areas except Southeast PA.

As for McGinty, she trails Toomey 48% to 34% with 18% undecided. Interestingly, she performs worse against Toomey among women (42-36) than Sestak does.

Favorability Ratings

The reason for Senator Toomey’s leads? Simple, voters know who he is and like him while they don’t know his opponents.

Toomey records a 49% to 38% favorable/unfavorable rating (16% very favorable, 33% somewhat favorable, 23% somewhat unfavorable, 15% very unfavorable). Just 13% of likely voters are unsure.

Meanwhile, Sestak records a 31-34 split with 35% unsure (10% very favorable, 21% somewhat favorable, 19% somewhat unfavorable, 15% very unfavorable). McGinty scores a 25-30 split with a whopping 44% unsure (6% very favorable, 19% somewhat favorable, 20% somewhat unfavorable, 10% very unfavorable).

Harper Polling surveyed 700 likely voters land line interviews conducted using Interactive Voice Response (IVR) on September 9th and 10th. The margin or error is +/- 3.7%.

12 Responses

  1. Roomey is worse than a rino he’s a cuck, that has showed disregard and disdain for his constituents. He has consistently voted against the best interests of the commonwealth and their wishes. Moreover, he’s proven he’s afraid to answer and interact with Pennsylvanians for his disasterious, harmful votes. Telephone town halls, hahaha on us.

    Enthusiastically supported him and he’s been a disappointment from all angles. He had his chance and chose DC crony culture over the voters So time to go Pat.

  2. Toomey has been running Swift Boat Style TV adds to say what a friend to Veterans he is. LIES. The group is not a recognized veterans group. It is a Koch Brothers type Pac. Toomey has given lip service to every Veterans Bills that have came for vote on the Senate since he was elected. TOOMEY HAS A 100% VOTING RECORD AGAINST EVERY ONE OF THOSE BILLS. Time for Toomey to be held accountable to the electorate for his love of Special Interest Groups and the lying to everyday Pennsylvanians. VOTE TOOMEY OUT!

  3. Once again David Diano talks through his butt. I did not criticize the Quinnipiac poll because it used live interviewers and employed a sub-sample of cell phone users.
    That is how surveys should be conducted. You simply cannot exclude a huge proportion of the voting universe from your sample and assume that their views will still be represented. That famous Chicago Tribune poll that resulted in the “Dewey Wins” headline edition was based on a telephone only survey at a time when many working, Democratic-leaning families did not have telephones. That is why the Tribune got it so wrong.
    I suspect I know a lot more about polling than David Diano does, and he shows his ignorance by acting as if the manner of sample selection and use of robo technology does not matter.
    And as usual he chooses to express himself in a highly unprofessional and vulgar manner. He may think that is cute, but it is repulsive.
    Incidentally, several years ago I had an e-mail exchange with Terry Madonna of the F&M polls over a survey they did on health care that employed only land line phones. I pointed out the huge differences between the land line and cell phone universe, the latter containing more minorities, suffering from poorer health, being far less affluent, being more likely to be uninsured, to be smokers, etc. Articles had been written about how inappropriate it was to conduct health care surveys without including cell phone users.
    Madonna did not challenge any of this, and he expressed his preference for including cell phone samples, but said that at that time he could not afford to. Apparently nothing has changed. If F&M can’t afford to purchase a cell phone sub-sample they should get out of the polling business, and Terry Madonna knows it. I suspect the folks at Harper Polling know it too.

  4. Jerry-

    “If this poll showed Sestak 20 points ahead I would have the same problem with it.”

    No, you would have pleasured yourself all over your computer, and not been able to post here.

    The Quinnipiac poll from a month ago: “1,085 Pennsylvania voters with a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.”

    This poll had Toomey 15 points ahead of Sestak (48 – 33). Nothing significant has happened in the past month to change that.

    Toomey was ahead of Sestak by 11 points in their June poll.

    Now, you can say that the poll was just registered voters, but in a presidential election year, over 80% of the active voters show up at the polls. So, just being registered makes you a likely enough voter for the poll to be credible.

    Franklin and Marshall’s poll in late August had Toomey with a 12 point lead.

    The Quinnipiac, F&M and Harper results are ALL consistent with Toomey having a double-digit lead over Sestak. That isn’t going to change until the spring when the Dem primary heats up and the name recognition of ALL the Dem candidates goes up, and unchallenged Toomey is not running ads.

    Peter Gazinya-

    Toomey a RINO? LOL.

    Toomey is more conservative that Rick Santorum. Toomey’s just A LOT smarter and doesn’t shoot his mouth off like Rick.

  5. This “poll” is not good news for a sitting Senator who has TV ads running day and night by an outside group. These ads were meant to build up Toomey’s horrible record with veterans to try to offset Sestak’s popularity with vets. As I said previously, McG is out of her league, a distraction, and she’ll lose to Sestak, but cost him some money. In the end, Sestak prevails over the current Club for Growth, right-wing senator.

  6. my point is that it doesn’t matter who the nominee is – toomey is going to crush whoever the dems select

  7. As far as I am concerned this poll is meaningless because (as was the case with the Keystone Poll) it does not include a cell phone sample, and it utilized inter-active robo-technology rather than live interviewers. As recently as 2012 Pew research indicated that there were significant differences between cell phone households and land line households. The universe of cell phone households continues to grow, and it is possible that the differences are fading, but unless there is more recent evidence I am not aware of we simply cannot assume that. Nor can the sample be weighted to minimize the differences because there is no sub-sample to adjust. The bias in these landline-only polls is potentially huge, and it is unmeasurable. It is expensive to use live interviewers and cell phone sub-samples, but if these polling companies cannot afford to do it right they should get out of the polling business. At the very least they should include a disclaimer indicating the potential problems with this methodology (and Nick Field, who wrote this article, should also have pointed it out).
    I would not be surprised if David Diano suggested that my criticism is based only on the fact that this poll suggests that Toomey is ahead of Sestak. That is not the case. If this poll showed Sestak 20 points ahead I would have the same problem with it.

  8. aaron-

    Is your point that she’s within the same margin of error as Sestak, despite NOT having spend the past few years running for Senate and sending out thousands of fundraising and campaign emails/letters?

    Because, by that standard, McGinty and Sestak are pretty much dead-even this early in the game.

    The fundraising quarter ends in 10 days. Let’s see how the numbers look.

    However, the introduction of Fetterman changes everything.

    For the Primary, he takes away male votes from Sestak (which helps McGinty), but he’s from Allegheny county and would take a lot of Central and Western PA votes from McGinty and Sestak whose support is concentrated in the SouthEast.

    Fetterman’s pretty unknown right now, but he’ll probably get a lot of free press due to his non-traditional appearance and story.

    It’s way too early to tell.

    I haven’t met Fetterman and have no idea what his campaign team/strategy/fundraising will be like.

    We’ll have to see how he does in the 4th quarter with fundraising and generating buzz and position papers on the issues as he travels around meeting voters.

    A debate with him vs Toomey would get ratings.

  9. BTW, the cross-tab breakdown is:

    Republican 40%, Democrat 45%, Independent/Other Party 15%

    The actual registration breakdown is:
    Republican 38%, Democrat 49%, Independent/Other Party 13%

  10. This poll should have had a primary question: Sestak vs McGinty

    The next poll should have three-way primary poll

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