October 4, 2010
10/4: Pennsylvania Senate Race
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.