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Q Poll: Schwartz, Sestak Lead Dem Guv Primary

Sestak Schwartz
Sestak, left, and Schwartz

Allyson Schwartz and Joe Sestak are tied for the lead among Democratic voters. But 59% are undecided and no candidate has over 50% name ID, according to the latest survey from Quinnipiac.

Congresswoman Schwartz and former Congressman Sestak each take 15% in a hypothetical 7-way primary.

Schwartz lead among women 16% to Sestak’s 12%, while the former admiral led among men 20% to 13%.

State Treasurer Rob McCord and former Pa. Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf are tied for 3rd place with 3% each. Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski and state Sen. Mike Stack (D-Phila) each take 1% and former Pa. DEP Sec. John Hanger took none.

Sestak, McCord, Pawloski and Stack have not declared candidacies for Governor. The poll did not include former DEP Sec. Katie McGinty or pastor Max Myers, both of whom have.

The pollster measured McCord, Schwartz and Sestak against Gov. Tom Corbett.

Sestak did best, leading the incumbent Republican by 14 points, 48% to 34%. Schwartz lead by 13 points, 47% to 34% and McCord lead by 9 points, 44% to 35%. The gender gap that hurts Corbett’s approval ratings boosts all three Democrats.

But even Sestak, who ran statewide for U.S. Senate in 2010, could not crack 50% name ID. He was viewed favorably by Democrats 27% to 15% by 58% didn’t know enough to form an opinion.

Schwartz, who ran statewide in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in 2000, was viewed favorably 20% to 10%. 69% didn’t know enough to form an opinion.

McCord was elected Treasurer in 2008 and re-elected last year, but 85% didn’t know enough about him to form an opinion. He was viewed favorably 9% to 5%.

“Pennsylvania voters, even Democrats, don’t know much about the challengers in the 2014 governor’s race,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

“Right now, voters are doing their ABCs – Anyone But Corbett.”

Quinnipiac surveyed 547 registered Democrats from April 19 to 24 via live interviews on landlines and cell phones. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.2%.

8 Responses

  1. If 59% are undecided, then money will rule this primary. Wolf, Schwartz, and McCord will have to spend. Sestak will have to raise. These Four need to start to lobby and get the no names out of the race. The bottom tier candidates are just taking up space.

  2. “Also, Specter had the full backing of the DNC, President Obama, and the Clinton machine in the primary.”

    Clinton Machine? Joe claims to have been at Clinton’s home to tell him he was going to run for Senate at the moment Specter was giving press conference announcing his change to Dem. Joe also claimed that Clinton relayed the supposed “offer”, but that Clinton approved Sestak not taking “the deal”. So, basically, Joe claimed that Clinton was on his side the whole time. I don’t recall Clinton fundraising or attending an event for Specter.

    Also, Specter was the “establishment CANDIDATE” (but not establishment DEM), because Specter was the best shot to hold the seat. Specter was sure to lose the GOP primary (but was still liked by the moderates in the state, who kept electing him). If there were NO PRIMARY, Specter would have been at full strength to go after Toomey and paint him as one of the most right-wing former members of congress (even to the right of Santorum).

    I think the mistake on the ground game was more by the campaign staff, than the “establishment”. Also, that one ad with Specter saying he wanted to get reelected put the nail in coffin. Without that one clip, it might have gone the other way. Sestak definitely out-hustled them.

    Sestak managed to fool enough Dems into believing that
    1) Specter wouldn’t vote with Dems once he wasn’t for election
    2) Sestak was a progressive liberal

    #1 was simple untrue. He had been chafing under the GOP for a long time. (and Specter maintained a good voting record after the primary).
    #2 this was also untrue, but ultimately backfired on Joe, because he couldn’t capture the center.

  3. Sestak isn’t the best in interviews, I’ll give you that, but he’s never made a habit of looking at his shoes and nervously tripping over words or babbling really fast like Schwartz has. If I were on her staff and watching her Rachel Maddow Show interview, for example, I’d be deathly embarrassed to be on the campaign’s expenditure reports.

    Also, Specter had the full backing of the DNC, President Obama, and the Clinton machine in the primary. (You may recall they all colluded to attempt to bribe Joe out of running as well.) Like it or not, David, Arlen Specter was the establishment candidate in the 2010 primary.

    And, yes, they didn’t take Sestak seriously until it was too late or have much of a ground game. That is what the Democratic establishment does. If they can’t buy the election and they have a competent opponent with a good organization behind him/her, they lose.

  4. PM-
    I don’t get that impression at all. I think she will do better among women, and maybe turn out some more female voters.

    The “momentum/trend/meme” of Kane (first female PA AG), Schwartz as first female Gov, then Hillary as first female president is a good campaign theme to energize female base. Also, the GOP’s “war on women” will play strongly for Schwartz.

    But, it’s just going to help. She’s not going to get 90% of the female vote, but she could go 70/30.

    If there’s a more awkward Dem than Sestak, I haven’t met them yet. 🙂

    You are completely misinterpreting Sestak’s win over Specter and “the establishment”. Specter was not an “establishment” Democrat, but rather a moderate R who switched to D, and was more hated by the R’s than the D’s.

    There were plenty of D’s who had an ax to grind against Specter for past issues/defeats, and Sestak was their payback. Also, Specter’s campaign team was very weak and just didn’t take Sestak seriously until it was too late.

    None of these factors come into play here. Schwartz and McCord are well liked, had Dem roots, and will have strong campaign teams.

  5. The main problem Schwartz will have with widening her name recognition is obvious if you watch any of the media appearances she made in the wake of her announcement. That is, she is hopelessly nervous and awkward whenever she goes her prepared remarks–and is only slightly less awkward when adhering strictly to them.

    If she faces a primary against someone who can go up against the Democratic establishment’s money and win, she’s going to have a hard time, whether that person is Sestak or someone else who fits the bill.

  6. I think you’re missing the bigger point, David. Allyson’s campaign is trying to push the idea that women will only vote for her. Outside of that being offensive, it’s also wrong according to these numbers.

  7. Sestak’s and Schwartz’s numbers are essentially tied, except for the fact that Sestak is ahead 42% to 30% in name-id.

    That advantage will disappear once Schwartz does some ads, and she should leap ahead of him.

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