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PPP Poll: Schwartz 21%, Wagner 17% in Dem Primary

Rep. Allyson Schwartz
Rep. Allyson Schwartz

Allyson Schwartz is the frontrunner in polling for the Democratic nomination to face Governor Tom Corbett next fall, but it’s still a wide open race.

Public Policy Polling released a new survey Tuesday showing that 27% of Democratic voters remain undecided on who they want their nominee to be. Schwartz comes in first of the declared candidates with 21% of the vote, Jack Wagner comes in second with 17%.

As of now, Wagner is undeclared but has indicated that he will make a decision about the race in December.

The rest of the competitors for the nomination are neck and neck. Of registered Democrats, 10% are for State Treasurer Rob McCord, 9% are for Former DEP Secretary Katie McGinty, 8% are for fellow Former DEP Secretary John Hanger, 4% are for Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, and 2% each are for former Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf, Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz, and Cumberland County Pastor Max Myers.

With 27% undecided and such a wide field that may even become wider, this race is still competitive for almost all of the candidates.

This poll also examined favorability of each candidate, but still showed a great deal of indecisiveness on the part of voters.

Former Auditor General Jack Wagner is the best known among Democrats. He has a positive favorability rating, 30% to 22%.

Schwartz wins the favorability contest with 31% favorable, 19% unfavorable and 50% undecided.

McCord has 19% favorable, 17% unfavorable and 64% not sure.

McGinty has 20% favorable, 14% unfavorable and 66% not sure.

Hanger has 12% favorable, 20% unfavorable and 68% not sure.

Pawlowski has 13% favorable, 18% unfavorable and 69% not sure.

Favorability is strongly correlated to name recognition, and with undecided percentages around 60% there is a lot of room for each of the candidates to grow.

The pollster did not test Litz or Myers.

Women were more than twice as likely as men to be undecided about their Democratic primary preference. 35% of Democratic women are undecided versus just 17% of men.

Sex doesn’t play a large role in the preference percentages for most candidates, except McCord. Just 6% of women chose McCord as their preference, compared to 14% of men.

Broken down ideologically, the self-declared “Very liberal” respondents overwhelming chose Schwartz with 38% listing her as their preference. Hanger and “Not Sure” tied for second place among very liberals, with 14% each. Among moderates, Wagner was the clear winner with 20%, followed by Schwartz at 16%.The self-described “Very conservative” respondents favored McGinty, with 19% preferring her as the nominee.

PPP surveyed 436 Pa. Democrats from Nov. 22 to 25 via IVR. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.7%.

Note: Tuesday’s PPP survey announcement includes 3 polls: 1 of registered voters, one of Democrats, and one of Republicans. This article cites figures from the survey of Democrats.

19 Responses

  1. critz would defeat wagner for lt gov.wagner supported corbett over onorato they are good friends his words not mine so if you dont like corbett wagner helped him get elected plus he is a lousy campaigner look at the mayors race got beat by over 5000 votes

  2. I agree that John Hanger is statistically tied for second among announced candidates. HANGER ALSO BEATS CORBETT BY MORE than any other announced candidate! Big money will try to buy this election, but Hanger’s People’s Campaign will win the day. The elites will be shocked on election day. John Hanger is the real deal and Corbett knows it. Hanger is my choice—by far. Hanger left the other Dems in the dust at the Temple forum and gained a lot of new voters.

  3. I see a McCord – Critz ticket being the strongest, this would be an East – West ticket that would be hard to overcome for anyone.

  4. McCord-Wagner would be a real strong ticket. If I’m McCord, I’m calling every person I know close to Wagner to try and work out something right now.

    The challenge would obviously be that Wagner would have to run for the nomination like anyone else … but if he got in to the Lt Gov race he wouldn’t need a ton of money to break out of the pack.

  5. When will we see some polling data on the Lt. Governors race.Though considered trivial to some, the LTGov will, presumably, contibnue as the interface between the State and the local govermental entitites. A gjobv the Cawley has done which rates up there with “Good job Brownie”

  6. Schwartz past at an abortion clinic will be a hot topic for Corbett but it will have little effect. Pro-Life is not a PA strong issue. In fact, we regularly elect choice choice candidates to statewide and national office. Hell, Republicans have nominated numerous pro-choice candidates over pro-life. To think so how this is a game changing issue ignores the history of the electorate.

    In fact, this can backfire on Corbrett to lose him moderate/independent voters which he will need to win.

  7. @David Diano David, I didn’t know you were an Atheist. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  8. MikeF-
    The staff firing should be Schwartz herself (but you’re right that someone else might get the blame).

    John Hanger-
    Keep up the good work.

    I think the conservative’s attacking her on the abortion issue will play a bigger role than her being Jewish.

    I didn’t know Rendell was Jewish until after he was out of office. Didn’t know about Schapp until I read your post. Unless the name ends with “berg” or “stein”, I’ve never known unless someone who cares about such things bothers to point it out. I’m an Atheist, so I’ve never even been the slightest bit curious about a politician’s religion (unless they make a point of trying to impose their beliefs on other through government).

    delco observer and CentPADem
    My point exactly. It wouldn’t deter me, but out in the rest of the state, it’s going to be a deal breaker with conservative Dems.

    Schwartz has been coasting on her name recognition. But, as the recent debate demonstrated, she’s hardly the strongest candidate and doesn’t excite the base.

    The answer to your question is: the other candidates haven’t started their advertising/messaging to the voters on a mass scale (YET !). Once they get their messages out, Schwartz will drop to more realistic numbers.

    Sounds like you are a paid staffer to make the bold (and unsupported) claim that Schwartz is the most qualified. She can’t even hire and keep good people in an early campaign operation. How is qualified to do all the hiring and appointments to run a state?

    The only comparable blunder is McCord hiring Rich Sestak (which is easily corrected). I can only assume that Rob is unaware of how badly the Sestak campaign performed in the Western part of the state and pissed off local Dems out there.

    Jack Wagner seems like a nice guy and (on paper) someone who can capture the center. However, I think his recent loss in Pittsburgh/Allegheny has damaged his images/chances for higher office. Strategically, I think the strongest ticket the Dems could have would be McCord for Gov and Wagner for Lt Gov. Neither candidate would have to cross the center of the state to campaign. 🙂

    Pawlowski’s negative approval, combined with his non-party mayoral opponent getting 40% of the vote, just shows that Ed is not viable for anything beyond getting picked for squeezing the Charmin.

  9. Steve, thank you for replying to my post. I was wondering when anyone in the Schwartz camp would wake up and post something.

    Believe me if Schwartz is elected in the primary, I will be voting for her in November.

    Honestly, I think she is leading in the polls because she leads in name id. Schwartz is a current elected official. Hanger and Wolf are from the Rendell admin,McGinty is a DEP sec. from I think the Clinton Admin.

    Anyway, Hanger can pull a Bill DiBlasio and be the liberal coming from behind to win.

  10. jeremy the reason schwartz is ahead in all the polls is simple she is the most qualified.that is why corbett is only attacking her. he knows she will be the democratic nominee.and simply put money talks and she has plenty to spend.

  11. Schwartz being Jewish isn’t an issue. The issue will be her past involvement as the director of a clinic that performs abortions. You know Corbett and the Republicans will attempt to exploit that and make it the only issue. McCord or McGinty beat Corbett, Schwartz will have a problem in the general election.

  12. If your going to vote for Wagner, just bring Dan Onorato back. Both are the same. Those guys had their chance in 2010 and blew it. Let’s move forward with a different candidate.

    How Schwartz’s numbers are so good when her campaign is so bad? I don’t know. Her house parties were a disaster. She lost support after she had them. Schwartz’s appearance at the forum was lack luster. Also, she fired the best people on her campaign. The turnover there is nuts.

  13. schwartz is the front runner in every poll so far and she is the front runner for favorability in this poll corbett knows schwartz is his biggest threat mccord should drop out now and wagner couldnt raise enough money to open a lemonade stand.the boys need to step aside schwartz or mcginty will beat them all.

  14. The issue that will sink Schwartz in a November Statewide election is abortion. Period.
    You can be a woman and win Statewide. You can be Jewish and win Statewide. You can be from SEPA and win Statewide. You can be pro-choice and win Statewide.
    You cannot be the former Executive Director of an abortion clinic and win Statewide.

  15. Nice for Schwartz to have those numbers, but the reality is, she can’t win in PA with that last name. Too many old anti-semitic racists out there, west of the Philly burbs. The Dems are committing political suicide if she wins the nomination, and she could drag down the rest of the ticket. The only reason Arlen got to the Senate was because the middle of state had no idea he was jewish until he was in his third term… James Carville’s assessment was right on the money.

  16. This poll shows that I am statistically tied for second among announced Democratic candidates. We also beat Corbett by more than any other announced Democratic candidate. Our People’s Campaign is gaining strength each day. We are on the way to stopping Big Money from buying another election and to shocking the elites!

  17. After Saturday’s dreadful forum performance and this poll today, I predict a Schwartz staffer firing in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…..

  • 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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