By Alex Roarty
Another poll, another lead for Pat Toomey.
But this one, unlike most, at least delivers some good news for Joe Sestak.
A Rasmussen Reports poll unveiled Tuesday shows the Republican U.S. Senate nominee leading his Democratic opponent 45 percent to 39 percent in a survey of likely voters. It’s the latest in a string of polls showing Toomey with a clear-cut advantage over Sestak, with one last week reporting his lead is as high as 9 points.
The survey was conducted on Aug. 30 and sampled 750 “likely voters.” It has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.
When “leaners,” those who initially say they are undecided but are asked a follow-up question, are included in the survey, Toomey’s lead stays at 6 points — 48 percent to 42 percent. Independent voters favor Toomey by 15 points, 42 percent to 27 percent, while just 68 percent of Democrats support Sestak, according to the poll. Seventy-seven percent of Republicans support Toomey, it says.
If there’s hope for Sestak within the numbers, it’s this: Among those who said the economy was the election’s top issue, Sestak was favored over Toomey 48 percent to 40 percent. Forty-six percent of those responding to the poll rated the economy the top issue.
But Toomey’s favorables remains far better than Sestak’s. The Republican is seen “very favorably” by 22 percent of voters, compared to 12 percent who see him “very unfavorably.” Sestak’s numbers are inverted: 15 percent see him “very favorably” while 21 percent see him “very unfavorably.”
Update, 2 p.m.: A new Reuters/Ipsos poll released Tuesday afternoon says Toomey leads Sestak by 10 points, 47 percent to 37 percent. It’s the first time any public poll has showed the Republican leading by double digits.