Reader Poll: Who Do You Believe Will Win the Democratic Nomination in the 2016 Senate Race?

democratic-donkeyLast April, we asked our readers about a Joe Sestak/Ed Pawlowski 2016 Senate Democratic primary.

It’s fair to say quite a bit has changed since then.

Pawlowski got caught up in a FBI investigation and dropped out. McGinty resigned as Governor Wolf’s Chief of Staff and jumped into the race. Finally, Braddock Mayor John Fetterman surprised everyone by announcing his candidacy and instantly became a major wild card.

It seems, for now at least, that things have settled.

So before the campaign gets in full swing we wanted to get an early indicator of how readers see this new Democratic primary field.

Who Do You Believe Will Win the Democratic Nomination in the 2016 Senate Race?


  • Joe Sestak (47%)
  • John Fetterman (29%)
  • Katie McGinty (23%)

Total Voters: 2,895

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23 Responses

  1. DD,

    Would love to hear your prediction of the primary results.
    Im calling
    Joe 45
    Katie 40
    Fetterman 11
    write in 4

  2. Observer #2

    Given that Sestak jumped from 23% to 52% since this morning, it’s Joe they want running against Toomey.

  3. Is it possible that Republican readers are voting for McGinty so as to help push the weakest candidate (her) versus Toomey? Just asking.

  4. Richard Gardner — I think you’re getting ahead of yourself with this. In my case, I’m waiting for a few debates to decide between McGinty and Fetterman. But once we have a candidate, even if it’s Sestak, I am 100% in support to defeat Toomey.

    I’m much more worried on the Presidential level with what happens to Bernie Sanders’ gung-ho supporters when he falls short and is not the nominee. We need the spirit and passion they’re bringing to his campaign and I am afraid we will lose them if he is not the Democratic candidate.

  5. I believe it was Will Rogers who said, ”
    I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.” I have no clue who will win, but it will be interesting to watch.

  6. Sestak has been doing the ground game very well, has ideas which will propel us forward and by having been a 3 star admiral he commands a lot of loyalty that crosses party lines. His high energy is infectious and real. I trust him to work for us more than a “chosen” party candidate.
    I am always in negative awe when we have a strong candidate with impeccable credentials, but is “not acceptable” because of the very traits that make the candidate strong. It is the suicidal politics which have continually plagued Democrats. We waste talent, creativity, money and most of all cohesiveness when we do this. “A house divided against itself cannot stand”.

  7. Observer #2:
    Groen can certainly try to rig the game in favor of McGinty. I doubt there will be a sample ballot in Montco with Sestak’s name on it that Joe didn’t pay for himself.

    The counties I was listing was an early prediction for the April Primary results, not endorsements (but, that’s how I expect the endorsements to go).

  8. David:
    How do those counties you cite add up to enough votes for an endorsement? Sestak still wins. Better yet, Groan says: Let’s not have an endorsement—since McG can’t get the endorsement.

  9. SGTBrubaker-

    I’ve seen Sestak’s “show” for almost 10 years now. Sestak treats firing a missile like an honor and a holy sacrament. The very first day I met him, he compared himself to God for some young ensign under his command. Sestak is Captain Queeg from the Caine Mutiny. He’s nuts.

    Tim –

    “Sestak is the anti-democrat Democrat”…. because Joe is really a Republican. There is NO chance that he didn’t vote for Nixon, Reagan and both Bushes (if he voted those years).

    Fetterman a “party hack”?? Pot hasn’t been legalized yet, so slow down and get back to reality.

    “radical eviro whacko McGinty who will run more jobs out of the state’s energy sector” ???

    Are you aware that the “radical enviros” who want to shut down fracking do not like McGinty because they claim she is very pro-fracking industry?

    “He’s always right”. Well, at least you wrote something I can agree with. 🙂

    BTW, are you aware that Sestak constantly touts and name-drops Bill Clinton and Joe’s short stint in the White House every chance he gets? Sestak even claims that he visited Clinton the night that Specter announced party switch and that Clinton advised Joe to run. So, if you are going to complain about “hacks that are hangers on from the Clinton era”, you are going to look pretty silly backing Sestak.

    Observer #2-
    Sestak wins Delco. McGinty wins Chester, Montco and Philly. Fetterman wins Allegheny and Westmoreland.

    GOP4LIFE-

    Unfortunately, that is the most likely result.

  10. Sestak is the anti-democrat Democrat, If you like a bunch of party hacks then waste your money and time and support Fetterman or McGinty. Sure you could vote for a tatted up Shrek or radical eviro whacko McGinty who will run more jobs out of the state’s energy sector or you could back Sestak a pragmatic, realist who knows what goes into making a loaf of bread and what it costs to do so. All these bloviating ego-maniacs talks so much bull-dickey you have to wonder where reality ends and fantasy begins.

    Oh yeah, I remember Diano well, he’s a loose cannon that spews his hate on anyone who disagrees with him. He’s always right and you can’t tell him anything because nothing will change his mind. He needs a tyne-up if you know what I mean [hee hee!].

    Toomey is definetly beatable, but only if the demos get their heads out of their butts and back Sestak instead of the party wonks and hacks that are hangers on from the Clinton era. New day, new party, new politics. It ain’t Obamas’ or Clintons’ democrat party anymore.

    We’ll see what happens.

  11. Ben Smith

    The State Dem Party did indeed vet McG, twice #1 She did poorly in the number of votes she garnered for the endorsement for Guv. #2 They likewise vetted her when they stuck with Jim Burn as Chair and denied her the Chairmanship even though elites wanted her in. #3 Don’t assume the rank and file in the state party will endorse her for Senate. That’s what I am hearing. Joe Sestak has earned loyalty from all 67 counties, and, even with the “controlled” counties—we all know who they are–Sestak probably prevails. McG is simply in over her head–again.

  12. DD,

    I have never heard anyone speak of such disrespect for Soldiers and Sailors. Military members don’t just ” follow(ing) any order he was given to go anywhere or fire a missile at any target.”

    They are so much more, you really just do not understand. Im not saying Sestak is amazing, but he is by far a better person then you are.

  13. Classic DD, hating on the US Military. Just because you wear a uniform ( not that you would know what that’s like david) doesn’t mean your part of the “establishment”, let alone the democratic establishment.

  14. @jjcnpa That may be true, but what makes THAT one especially disgusting is it was fast tracked so that its approval would come before more stringent pollution laws took effect. The owner of that project then gave McGinty’s campaign $120,000 that she used to repay the personal loans she made to her campaign.

    If any McGinty supporter can defend that outrageous behavior, I’d love to have it explained to me.

    Again, don’t take my word for it.
    https://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/2014/03/03/mcginty-contributor-got-fast-tracked-permit-for-coal-plant-when-she-ran-dep/

  15. Won’t matter who gets it. Toomey isn’t going anywhere. Casey is all the democrat Pennsylvania needs. Balance is important.

  16. Did the state Dem party just take fast Eddie’s word for it and not vet McGinty? She’s truly unelectable given that level of hypocrisy.

    Although she was at least the 5th person the state party tried to recruit to run against Sestak, so I guess they didn’t have much choice.

  17. Speaking of hypocrisy, McGinty touts her experience in the DEP and claims to be a champion of the environement, yet she fast tracked a dirty coal plant project owned by… you guessed it a Rendell supporter.

    The same folks then handed Katie McGinty a check for $120,000 of her gov campaign, that she then used to pay off the hundreds of thousands of personal loans she made to her campaign. Which means, coal executives put over $500,000 right into McGinty’s pocket. Truly shocking stuff.

    Don’t take my word for it:
    https://www.politicspa.com/pa-gov-mcginty-raises-2-37-mil-in-2013/54737/

  18. Sestak has been running for Senate for 7 years. You would think he would be doing a little better.

    If you research how Fetterman actually has lived his life compared to Sestak and McGinty, any thinking person who hates hypocrisy has to vote for Fetterman.

    Sestak bizarrely thinks him walking across the state somehow benefits the people of PA. McGinty recently came in dead last with 7% of Dem voters in the Gov Primary, then quit her job as Chief of Staff after 6 months in the middle of the budget impasse. They both live in $1,000,000 homes (Sestak’s is in VA) while claiming to love the middle class so much. I don’t know how anyone can take either of them seriously.

  19. I just got a fundraising email from the Sestak campaign this morning complaining about “establishment politicians” and the “party elite”. Well, it sounds like Sestak is making the case for Fetterman.

    Because, let’s look at Joe’s “establishment” record: For 31 years, he was in the military following any order he was given to go anywhere or fire a missile at any target.

    When he was kicked out of the military for abusing his subordinates, he ran for office and got elected to Congress (unopposed in the primary, twice). In Congress, in May 2007 and Dec 2007, he voted for Bush’s Iraq War funding, without any of the accountability he campaigned that he would demand.
    He voted for warrantless wiretaps and telecom immunity.

    Before Specter switched to Dem, the party establishment had tried to recruit Sestak to run for Senate, but he turned them down. Then, after the party went through all the trouble to flip Specter, Sestak acted like he was entitled to that seat (and still does).

    Sure sounds like the profile of an “establishment” guy, who’s just pissed off he got passed over AFTER he gave up his seat at the table.

    Jerry-

    I think my point was that no one with a clue supports Sestak. Your posts just support my contention.

  20. Fetterman has a real shot given the weak field. He is fresh, new and different and will get support among the most progressive voters–the ones who turn out in primaries esp. if the presidential primary is decided by then, which it usually is. He also has the geographical advantage of being the only western PA candidate.

  21. I don’t like this kind of online poll because they are not scientific and are easily manipulated, but this poll so does say this much: David Diano and others are talking through their butts when they claim that no one supports Sestak.

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