Monday, November 1, 2010

Final polls: Toomey still ahead

New polling over the weekend showed GOP U.S. Senate candidate Pat Toomey continued to lead his Democratic opponent, U.S. Rep. Joseph Sestak, D-7, of Edgmont, in the final days of the election cycle.
A Public Policy Polling survey of 772 likely voters conducted October 30 and 31 with a 3.5 point margin of error put Toomey up 51 percent to Sestak’s 46 percent with 4 percent still undecided.
Toomey was viewed favorably by 45 percent and unfavorably by 40 percent, with 14 percent unsure. Sestak was viewed unfavorably by 43 percent and favorably by 39 percent, with 18 percent unsure.
The data showed voters are generally unhappy with Democrats in office. President Barack Obama received an approval rating of 40 percent with 54 percent saying they disapprove of his job performance. Outgoing Gov. Ed Rendell had an approval rating of 34 percent, with 53 percent disapproving.
U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, the man Toomey and Sestak are vying to replace, received only a 29 percent approval rating with 60 percent saying they disapprove.
Slightly more Democrats than Republicans participated in this poll, at 46 percent to 44 percent, with 10 percent identifying themselves as independent voters.
Eighteen percent called themselves “liberal,” while 43 percent said they were “moderate” and 39 percent said they were “conservative.”
A release accompanying the Public Policy data found an inordinate number of Democrats are unhappy the president’s performance and plan to vote for Toomey by a 68-23 margin.
That Democratic dissatisfaction coupled with a highly unified Republican Party and independents falling even all adds up to a GOP win Tuesday.
The final Muhlenberg College/Morning Call daily tracking poll also put Toomey ahead 48 percent to 44 percent with 9 percent undecided.
Toomey’s lead had shrunk to 2 points in the two Muhlenberg polls released over the weekend, but grew again in the poll released Monday.
The poll of 474 likely voters was conducted October 28-31 and had a 4.5 point margin of error.
Toomey’s favorability rating was split evenly at 37 percent, with 27 percent neutral or having no opinion. Sestak was viewed positively by 36 percent and negatively by 32 percent, with 31 percent unsure or neutral.
Forty-eight percent of respondents in the Muhlenberg survey were Democrats and 46 percent were Republicans, with seven percent independent.
Quinnipiac University released another new poll Monday showing Toomey with a 50 percent to 45 percent lead and 5 percent undecided.
In that poll, conducted October 25-30 among 1,244 likely voters with a 2.8 point margin of error, independents were the deciding factor for a GOP victory, with Toomey leading Sestak 52 percent to 39 percent in that bloc.
The Quinnipiac poll also found 13 percent of those who named a candidate might change their mind on election day.
Toomey was well liked in the Quinnipiac survey, with a favorable/unfavorable ratio of 47 percent to 32 percent and 19 percent with no opinion. Sestak was evenly split at 40 percent, with 18 percent saying they had not heard enough about him to form an opinion.
Both candidates started early Monday to get in a few last minute public appearances and rallies.
Toomey was scheduled to start in Philadelphia, hitting Pittston, Camp Hill, Johnstown, Erie, Corapolis and wrapping up in Bethlehem.
Sestak planned to stay closer to his base in the southeastern part of the state, traveling around Philadelphia, Ardmore and Upper Darby before closing at a Philadelphia rally with First Lady Michelle Obama.


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