10/4: PA U.S. Senate Race: Toomey Leads Sestak by 9 Percentage Points Among Likely Voters

U.S. Senate candidate Joe Sestak may have defeated Senator Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary, but what are his odds of beating Republican candidate Pat Toomey in November’s general election?  In this McClatchy-Marist Poll of Pennsylvania, Toomey receives the support of a majority of likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate — 51% — while Sestak garners 42%.  One percent is voting for someone else, and 6% are undecided.

Pat Toomey (l) and Joe Sestak

Pat Toomey (l) and Joe Sestak

Click Here for Complete October 4, 2010 PA McClatchy-Marist Poll Release and Tables

There is a partisan divide among likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate.  81% of Democratic voters plan to support Sestak while 12% back Toomey.  Not surprisingly, 91% of Republicans are pulling for Toomey while 7% support Sestak.  Among likely independent voters, Toomey has a 12 percentage point lead.  He takes half of these voters — 50% — to Sestak’s 38%.

Among registered voters in Pennsylvania, the numbers are much closer.  Toomey receives 40% of the vote to Sestak’s 38%.  One percent report they are voting for someone else, and 21% are undecided.

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Table: U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania – Sestak/Toomey (Likely Voters)
Table: U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania – Sestak/Toomey (Registered Voters)

Firm Backing for Toomey and Sestak

70% of likely voters in Pennsylvania strongly support their choice of candidate.  21% somewhat support him while 6% might vote differently on Election Day.  3% are unsure.  Toomey and Sestak receive similar levels of support among their backers.  71% of likely voters pulling for Toomey firmly back him.  68% of likely voters who support Sestak say the same.

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Table: Candidates’ Strength of Support – Sestak/Toomey

Voting For Candidate or Against His Opponent?

More than six in ten likely voters in Pennsylvania — 64% — report they have chosen their candidate because they are for him.  29%, however, are voting for their choice of candidate because they are against his opponent.  7% are unsure.  69% of likely voters who back Sestak are voting for him while 63% of likely voters who support Toomey are casting their ballot for their candidate.

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Table: Voting for Candidate or Against Opponent?

High Level of Enthusiasm Expressed by 38% of Registered Voters

Nearly four in ten registered voters — 38% — report they are very enthusiastic about voting on Election Day.  A greater proportion of Republican voters — 51% — than Democratic voters — 36% — express a high degree of enthusiasm about casting their ballot in November.  20% of independents share this level of enthusiasm.

Registered voters in Pennsylvania are slightly more enthusiastic than are registered voters nationally.  33% of U.S. registered voters express a high level of enthusiasm.

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Table: Enthusiasm to Vote

Sestak with 46% Favorability Rating… Toomey Favorability at 43%

Among registered voters, 46% view Sestak favorably while about one-third — 33% — do not.  21% are unsure.  Looking at Toomey’s favorability, 43% of voters think well of him while 33% have a negative perception of him.  24% are unsure.

 

 

 

 

 

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Table: Sestak Favorability
Table: Toomey Favorability

Registered Voters Divide About Obama Job Performance

48% of registered voters in Pennsylvania approve of the job President Barack Obama is doing in office while 46% disapprove.  6% are unsure.

Table: Obama Approval Rating

The Future of the U.S. Economy: Pennsylvania Voters Divide

48% of registered voters in Pennsylvania say,when thinking about the U.S. economy, that the worst is behind us.  However, 45% believe the worst is yet to come.  7% are unsure.

Voters in Pennsylvania are more optimistic than are registered voters nationally.  When asked the same question, 43% report the worst is over while 53% of voters nationwide say there is more bad news ahead for the U.S. economy.  4% are unsure.

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Table: U.S. Economy – Will It Get Worse?

Marist Poll Methodology