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PA11: King Poll Shows Smucker Leads by 9

Striking distance, or striking out?

A poll commissioned by Democratic candidate Jess King and conducted by Public Policy Polling shows her trailing incumbent Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster) by 9 points.

The poll of likely voters shows Smucker leading King 44% to 35%, while 21% remain undecided. King’s campaign noted that President Trump won the district by over 25 points in 2016.  

“Voters have a real hunger for a representative who will stand up to the establishment in both parties,” said King in a press release. “Democrats, Republicans, and independents all are looking for someone who will work for the people of Pennsylvania – not the wealthy special interests who fund my opponent’s campaign.”

PPP surveyed 552 voters from September 12-13, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2%.  

When asked if Smucker deserves reelection, 41% said he deserves another term and the same percent said it was time for someone new, with 18% saying they were not sure. The campaign also shared that after hearing about the Democratic candidate’s “message,” the poll shows Smucker leading with 41% to King’s 40%, while 19% were undecided.

As with any internal polling, its results should be taken with a healthy grain of salt. The fact that King trails even in a publicly-released internal poll underscores that Smucker is the clear favorite in the race.

Smucker’s campaign dismissed the survey.  

“When your desperate opponent releases internal polls showing them losing badly, you know the real numbers are worse,” said Smucker for Congress campaign spokesman Mike Barley.  “Congressman Lloyd Smucker isn’t focused on partisan polls or his opponent’s attempt to grab headlines – he is focused on talking to voters about their concerns and the issues most important to them. Voters aren’t looking for a Representative like Jess King who will support Nancy Pelosi and extreme liberal policies of higher taxes, more Obamacare and amnesty for illegal immigrants.”

King has said she would not vote for Pelosi for Speaker of the House.

“It’s remarkable Jess King has made this race a single-digit contest less than two years after Trump won it by 26 points,” said Jim Williams, a PPP polling analyst. “And Rep. Smucker should be very concerned that – in such a historically Republican area – he is close to being underwater on favorability and as many voters want someone new as say he should be re-elected.”

58% of those polled said they voted for President Trump in 2016, with 35% saying they voted for Sec. Hillary Clinton, but the pollster did not ask for their current approval rating of the President.

King has been a stronger than average challenger in a district which favors the GOP. She has demonstrated a robust grassroots fundraising operation, ending the second quarter with more cash on hand the the incumbent. Smucker overcame a significant primary challenge in May.

Smucker is one of the Republicans who benefitted from the Supreme Court’s redistricting plan, tilting 9 points to the right under the new map.

8 Responses

  1. Clearly there is enthusiasm as there are Jess King signs everywhere, since May. I’ve heard she is a very good candidate and did very well in a recent debate with Smucker. But the fact still remains that she is a progressive with socialist ideas. Saw some of her platform ideas in a recent article:
    “King’s marquee issues are Medicare for All, debt-free public college, and raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. She also supports abortion access, a ban on assault weapons, and welcoming policies for immigrants and refugees.“ So, if you support redistribution of wealth, free college, abortion, and open borders, then she is your candidate. And of course, voting with the leadership of the Democratic Party whether they say they will or not. What Democrat doesn’t vote with the leaders of the party?

  2. I agree with Jerry … Jess has a lot of momentum going into this race, with a tiny realignment due to redistricting, that should send shivers of stinging slime down Smucker’s smug spine.

  3. I beg to differ. Jess King has an incredibly energized base of support. Smucker is liked by almost no one. This is a very red district, but if any Democrat can win it she can. If you drive through this district you will see probably 20 Jess King yard signs for every Smucker sign, including in neighborhoods that are very heavily Republican. Jess has also proven to be a very strong fund raiser despite refusing corporate PAC money. The most recent reports had her running just behind Smucker in contributions, but she had more money in the bank. A new report will be out soon.

    Jess King is one of the best candidates I’ve seen in a long time, and I am proud to support her. I think she will win.

    1. Jerry is a state house campaign loser, who thought he could take out Ryan Aument. Jerry has no idea what he’s talking about, he lost 2 – 1 in a seat that’s an R+ 6. This guy wouldn’t recognize a good campaign if it hit him in the face.

      Don’t trust his interpretation, he thought Christiana Hartman, Hillary clinton, joe sestak and yes even himself would win their respective races.

      1. Get your facts straight ass hole (and only cowards lie and then hide behind an alias). First of all I never predicted either Hillary Clinton or Christina Hartman would win. In fact I cannot stand either one of them and did not vote for either of them. I am a progressive and a Berniecrat and I don’t vote for Neoliberals like Hartman and Clinton. I don’t recall if I predicted that Joe Sestak would win, but I thought he was a good candidate, and he came damn close in the face of the 2010 GOP tsunami despite being deserted by the Democratic machine for daring to take out Arlen Specter in the Primary. I did vote for Sestak, and I wrote him in in 2016 rather than cast a vote for Katie Mc. As for myself, GOP turnout in PA 41 was 59% in 2010 when I ran (again in a tsunamni year when most Democrats got crushed) versus 31% Democratic turnout. 33% of the voters were registered Democrats. I got 33% of the votes which I would say was pretty damn good under the circumstances. Given the much heavier GOP turnout I must have gotten a lot of Republican votes in order to get to 33%. I am also quite certain that I never predicted I would win that election. Things have changed since then which is why I think Jess King has a real shot. CD 11 is ripe for the taking. It is not as conservative as it once was, and Lloyd Smucker is an awful candidate.

        1. I must add that CD 16 (now CD 11) was not R+6 in 2010. It was one of the most Republican districts in the state, wrong again “Patriot.” The R+6 came about in 2012 after redistricting leveled the playing field a bit.

          1. And PA-41, where I ran, was never even close to R+6. It is a heavily gerrymandered district with an enormous plurality of Registered Republicans. The only majority Democratic precincts are in Lancaster Twp, and I won all of them. I also got 2,008 more votes than Mike Sturla who represents Lancaster City. That is significant because Sturla’s district had 10,000 more registered Democrats than PA 41.
            It was also not a matter of “taking out” Ryan Aument. We were both first time candidates seeking to replace Katie True.

  4. Clearly, I am Democrat. You can tell from my postings. Having said that PPP has a fairly long history of putting their thumbs on the scale when polling in favor of Democrats. I place this CD into the safe R column.

  • Does the NYC Verdict Make You More or Less Likely to Vote For Trump in 2024?

    • Less Likely (36%)
    • More Likely (34%)
    • Makes No Difference (30%)

    Total Voters: 112

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