PPP Poll: Toomey Trails Kane; Leads Sestak, Shapiro, McGinty

Official PortraitWhile most of the attention may be on the 2014 gubernatorial election, Public Policy Polling (PPP) also gauged hypothetical matchups for Sen. Pat Toomey’s seat in 2016 for their latest poll.

Kathleen Kane, Katie McGinty, Joe Sestak, and Josh Shapiro are the four Democrats offered in the poll as contenders for Toomey’s seat.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane was the only one to garner a higher percentage than Toomey. However, she only leads by 2 percentage points (42% to 40% with 19% undecided). Kane is a controversial figure in Harrisburg due to her support of same-sex marriage (prior to the ruling) and her closing of a corruption case. Republicans half-heartedly attempted to impeach Kane last month.

If Joe Sestak is the Democratic challenger to Toomey, it will be the first time in the history of commonwealth that a rematch has occured. Sestak lost to Toomey in 2010 by just two points, but the PPP poll has Toomey leading him 41% to 35% with 24% undecided.

McGinty, who garnered 7.66% of the vote in the Democratic Primary for governor, finished just behind Toomey with 38% to Toomey’s 42%, with 20% unsure.

Finally, there is Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro who was named a “Rising Star” in Pennsylvania politics by MSNBC last week. The PPP results have Shapiro down nine points on Toomey (41% to 32%). The former state representative does not seem to have enough name recognition yet, as evidenced by the 28% of those polled who were undecided.

Of course, a lot can change in two years, and this PPP poll is an early, hypothetical survey.

PPP conducted the survey from May 30th to June 1st, and asked questions to 835 Pennsylvanians. The poll has a plus or minus 3.4% margin of error. 80% of those polled were reached by phone, while the other 20% answered the poll online because they do not possess a landline phone.

10 Responses

  1. I used to defend Kane as a reformer, and you could have interpreted her motives that way all the way up to her current troubles. But now, a much better interpretation is that her motives were political and most would agree after the Inquirer’s coverage. Maybe political is what people wanted then.

  2. Unsanctioned R-

    Toomey has been doing campaigning. He’s been fundraising heavily (and spending for fundraising/contact/outreach).

    Both Toomey and Sestak have BOTH been contacting donors and raising money to run for Senate.

    Neither Kane nor Shapiro has a Federal campaign account, filed paperwork or made an announcement of candidacy.

    Kane’s actions (which you are mischaracterizing as “political”) have been sound legal judgments and in-line with her role as an independently elected official. For those of us that voted for her, she is doing a great job and exactly what we wanted in an A.G.

    Just look at the dipsh*ts and lackeys who had the job before and be thankful we got a quality A.G.

  3. David,
    Toomey is the one who hasn’t done a lick of campaigning. Everything Kane does on the other hand is political.

  4. Joe may not be perfect, but Toomey is a club for growth (of the one percent) alum whose record shows disdain for the lives of his constituents.

    That he was ever elected is a testament to saturation negative ads from his deep pocketed overlords and the luck to run in a low turnout year.

    He is toast!

  5. Andrew Goutman-

    Sestak’s fundraising has been very tepid. He got an initial burst of his top supporters maxing out, then his fundraising numbers have consistently been on the decline and far less than Toomey’s. Toomey’s not jealous of Sestak’s broken fundraising machine.

    Also, if elected, Sestak would only be serving one term, as he make it clear on his last run that he would not run in 2022. So, why should Dems p*ss away millions for a one-term Senate candidate, who would leave open the seat in a non-presidential year?

    Sestak would be doing far better in fundraising if he were sitting Congressman and misleading donors into giving to his congressional campaign, while intending to spend it on a Senate race. (That’s what he did last time, but such a fraudulent deception is considered “legal” only for politicians.)

    As for Joe’s “formidable grassroots organization”, his turnover rate is near 100%. He relies on lots of naive college kids who think he’s giving them an opportunity, while he exploits their cheap labor, because they just don’t know any better. I meet people all the time who tell me they regret helping him in the past. So, basically, he’d have to “rebuild” it with new victims.

    If you think Sestak is “warm and engaging” then you haven’t seen the man-behind-the-curtain. He puts on a good act, but talk to some former staffers and you will hear about the true Joe Sestak.

    Unsanctioned R-
    Kane hasn’t done a lick of campaigning, and she’s ahead of Sestak and Toomey. I think she whooped Sestak in a previous head-to-head match up poll.

    She and Josh are far more likable, and not some crusty old barnacle like Sestak telling the same old stories from his first campaign about meeting Clinton in the White House (ten years previous). Yawn. It’s making me sleepy just thinking about it. If the pharma industry could bottle Sestak, they could cure insomnia.

    Barbara Blum-
    Did Sestak “win” on progressive performance when he voted TWICE with Bush for a blank check for Iraq without any accountability or time-tables (like he campaigned he would insist upon)?
    Was Sestak progressive when he voted in favor of warrantless wiretaps and telecom immunity?
    Was Sestak progressive when he voted in committee against states having their own single-payer health care programs?
    Was Sestak progressive a few years ago when he slammed Obama for announcing troop withdrawal plans and specifically criticized having a time-table?

    Was Sestak progressive when he made his staff work 70+ hours weeks, paid them less than minimum hourly wage and wouldn’t let them take vacations?

    Was Sestak progressive when his district manager caused a young female staffer to quit by telling her to “shut up” and that she was “hired for her looks, not her opinions” and her job was “to look good for Joe”? Joe kept the manager and gave him raises/bonuses. Yeah, real progressive.

  6. I don’t care about personality. I care about voting records and experience. Sestak wins on his progressive performance as a Congressman. Kane did not follow through on indicting, or at least condemning Corbett for his failing the children from the Penn State abusers. Shapiro is only a County Commissioner. He needs more experience at a statewide or national stage before we crown him with a U. S. Senate seat. I think both he and McGinty could spend a term or two in the House to develop positions on Foreign Policy, management, and budget before serving in the Senate.

  7. David is right again about Sestak, but wrong on Kane. Her performance in this poll is underwhelming. She’s nowhere to go but down.

  8. I don’t know what David Diano’s been smoking, but Joe Sestak has built a formidable grassroots and donor organization through online contact that Toomey could only dream about…and the election is over two years away. And Sestak is warm and engaging. He’s mostly listened at the events I’ve attended.

  9. The most impressive action That AG Kane took, in my opinion, was to stop Corbett’s sale of the state lottery management to that British capital group. That alone helped save one of the state’s more profitable agencies; kept thousands of PA jobs in state; and kept seniors, whom lottery proceeds benefit, from being thrown under the bus!

  10. This is my favorite story of the day. 🙂

    Sestak is going nowhere. He continues to uninspire.

    It’s amazing how many bridges he’s burnt among people that helped his campaign out in the past, realized what a d-bag he was, and now wish they had spent their time on an honorable candidate.

    Shapiro has spent ZERO dollars statewide and against Toomey, and he’s only 9 points away with far less name-recognition than Sestak at 6 points down. Sestak’s got nowhere to go, since he doesn’t become more likable as voters get to know him. Josh, on the other hand, is immensely popular with voters in SEPA who know both of them.

    Nice to see Kane’s star shining brightly.

    The GOP talk of impeaching her for doing her job, as an independently elected official, is only going to make the Dems rally around her stronger. The PA Court ruling kills the GOP attempt to go after her for supporting same sex marriage rights (especially with Corbett declining to appeal the ruling).

    The reasons Kane’s detractors can’t figure her out is because she’s actually doing the A.G. job and not campaigning for Gov.

    Even if she decided to seek the Senate, she’d be completing her full term and (unlike A.G.’s who run for Gov) she wouldn’t be interfering in Harrisburg politics/issues for a Federal run.

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