August 26th, 2010
11:57 AM ET
4 years ago

Poll: Just 3 in 10 Pennsylvanians say state on right track

(CNN) – A new survey of Pennsylvania voters indicates they are very pessimistic about where their state is headed. And that could spell trouble for Democrats trying to hold onto a U.S. Senate seat and the Keystone state's governor's office in this November's elections.

According to a Franklin and Marshall College Poll of Pennsylvanians released Thursday, just three out of ten people say their state is headed in the right direction, a 15 year low, while nearly six in ten say the state's headed on the wrong track.

The survey indicates that 37 percent of Pennsylvania voters rate President Barack Obama's performance in office as either good or excellent, with 35 percent rating his handling of his duties as poor.

Thirty-seven percent of Democrats questioned say they are likely to vote in the November elections. That number rises to 45 percent for Republicans surveyed.

The poll indicates that among those likely to vote in the midterms, Republican Senate nominee Pat Toomey leads Rep. Joe Sestak, the Democratic nominee, 40 percent to 31 percent, with just over one in four undecided. When widened to the larger pool of registered voters, Toomey holds a smaller 31 to 28 percent advantage, with nearly four in ten undecided.

Both Sestak, a former Navy admiral and two-term congressman from southeastern Pennsylvania, and Toomey, a former congressman and former head of The Club for Growth, an anti-tax group, are battling to succeed Sen. Arlen Specter. The five term senator switched from the Republican to Democratic party last year, but was defeated by Sestak in the May primary.

In the race to succeed term limited Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell, the poll indicates Republican nominee Tom Corbett leads Democratic nominee Dan Onorato by 11 points, with more than three in ten likely voters undecided. When widened to registered voters, Corbett's margin over Onorato shrinks to one.

The Franklin and Marshall College Poll was conducted August 16-23, with 485 registered voters in Pennsylvania questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 4.4 percent for registered voters and plus or minus 5.4 percent for likely voters.


Filed under: 2010 • Pennsylvania • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    The state will be in worst condition if they elect Pat Toomey and a RepubliCANT governor.

    August 26, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  2. Blaum

    Could spell trouble for democrats? the understatement of the year...

    oh... they're in trouble alright.... you can book that.... their world will get rocked in Pennsylvania....

    August 26, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  3. usualone

    Another poll we were not included in....and we are PA residents. I guess poll results cannot be taken too seriously. One knows they are supposedly scientific but also one wonders why some are overlooked in these types of situations over and over.

    August 26, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  4. Colorado

    They want to make sure they don't go the way of Calif. To much liberal leadership and that is where you go.

    August 26, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  5. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    Unfortunately, one of those states that is heavily dominated by private and public sector unions that destroy any hope of recovery.

    August 26, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  6. Scott in Atlanta

    Can you do a poll asking how many Americans think we're on the wrong track due to replublicans obstructing progress? How many companies aren't hiring because they don't want it to appear as if Barack Obama bettered the financial situation of the country? How many state governments have "conservative" leanings, and therefore, refuse to use stimulus money the way it was intended, or they refuse to acknowledge the help they've received from the government. How many Americans are just tired of the political discourse because of all the "out-of-this-world" commentary that's being displayed by fringe elements? How many Americans can't believe that we're taking "Sarah Palin" seriously? How many Americans think Democrats should stop being scared and stand WITH the president? How many americans, may sit by and not join in all the hooplah... but will not forget who is really working to end this recession... and we'll VOTE in November for the Party that has more to say than "No".

    August 26, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  7. Christie

    If the state is not on the right track; than how do they propose fixing the problems?

    August 26, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  8. Silence DoGood

    How about a poll about those unhappy with the entire single party Dem-Repub system.

    Vote for your favorite 2nd party! Kick out the DemRepubs.

    August 26, 2010 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  9. T'SAH from Virginia

    Voters from EVERY state think their state is on the 'WRONG TRACK"!! But why does that have to be a DEMOCRATIC problem. RepubliCAN'Ts are in office too NOT doing anything to help the economy!! The RepubliCAN’Ts are only spreading HATE and pushing propaganda and LIES about President Obama – which is their way of making him FAIL!!! And then you have MORE RepubliCAN’Ts fighting to get into office to do exactly the SAME THING – NOTHING!!

    The ONLY reason why the Repubs are getting over now is because their PANTS are on FIRE – trying to rally up their base and the Democrats DON'T VOTE (because their leaders in Congress are too afraid to get out there and RALLY UP THE BASE) – which is a doggone SHAME!!! The Democrats also DON'T have each other's BACK – they are quick to JUMP SHIP when they are not able to SELL or FIGHT for what they know is right and BRAG about their accomplishments!!!

    Once WE get ‘FIRED UP!’ Watch Out!! The radio stations WILL get it going before November and all of YA’LL polls, YES YA’LL who have a tendency to show that the RepubliCAN’Ts are winning – will backfire in your face!!

    August 26, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  10. Unions helped build the middle class

    Thats because the rightwingnuts have put nothing but railroad ties on the track to keep us from making any progress,and the Koch Brothers are funding the tea party and swift boaters.Lets boycott the Koch Industries and see how they like it.

    August 26, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  11. Buster

    As long as Pennsylvania keeps electing demorats then their economy will continue the backward slide. Pennsylvania is a heavy unionized state who supports any demorat who will vote them more money for doing less at the tax payers expense.

    August 26, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  12. lil

    Vote the republican out and maybe the congress can get something done.

    August 26, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  13. jay

    Well with the Republicans there would be NO track.

    August 26, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  14. GL

    That a straight face lie. I live in this State and we are way better off then most states. Pat Toomey will not win this state so the hell with all your pollings becasue they all been wrong and the only poll that count is the one on Nov. Most poll the old and not the young. SO THE HELL WITH YOUR POLLINGs.

    August 26, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  15. Sunny side of NA

    I think the best thing happend to US was president Obama. Had it been a Republican the econmy would have gone to dogs. The slide that Bush and his speculative oil companies and Wall Street started would have pulled US to 1930s type depression. So thank ur sould U had a cool headed Obama. Also do not be so ignorant. The mess that Republicans left behind cannot be fixed in just 2 yrs. It will take equal number of yrs to fix it. Still the Republicans do not help him. Also USA has to raise taxes to bring down the budget deficiet. Do not be so stupied and ignorant that we have to lower taxes. A modern society and country functions well on high taxes like the Scandinavien countries that every year top the list of best country to live in. Travel to these countries and C how they live with the worlds highest taxes. They have high taxes but even their disposable income is high with no worries of pension, healt care, collage education, food etc. There are no food banks doleing out food to poor people like here in US. Wake up and read more. Do not stick to your guns and bible in a hope of better future. US is a country ruled by corporations and not as JFK said "for the people, by the people, of the people" just replace that PEOPLW word by CORPORATIONs that has what has happend under the last 30 or so yrs of Republican rule.

    August 26, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  16. Chris

    All this talk about Republicans being obstructionist?

    How so? The democrats have a filibuster proof house and senate. They have votes to pass anything they like and a president to sign it too. Republicans can not stop anything in either house or at the presidential veto.

    So how is it the Republicans are obstructing anything????????

    If you say they are – you are lying.

    August 26, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  17. Laura, Boston

    @lil Vote the republican out and maybe the congress can get something done.

    I hate to inform you but right now you have a democratic governor and a democratic senator and yet nothing is geting done...maybe you need to put in a republican governor and a republican senator and something will get done..

    August 26, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  18. GL

    Pat Toonmey will not win I don't care how many polls put this fool ahead. Most Republicans get ther butt kick by the Tea Baggers by listening to pollings and have all them ahead too find out on the real election day they all lost too the far right loons. Polls means nothing, but you cannot tell the Republicans and their stupid voters.

    August 26, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  19. GL

    Thursday, just three out of ten people say their state is headed in the right direction, a 15 year low, while nearly six in ten say the state's headed on the wrong track. Stop polling the miserable Republicans and start polling others. Of course the Republicans are not happen becasue they are not in charge. POLLS MEAN NOTHING!

    August 26, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  20. GL

    The survey indicates that 37 percent of Pennsylvania voters rate President Barack Obama's performance in office as either good or excellent, with 35 percent rating his handling of his duties as poor.

    This race in my State will not be about Obama stupid. I am one of the campaign managers for my city and this is not about Obama it is about how will look out of your state and Pat Toonmey is not the man for the job. This is not about Obama so please stop trying to make it about Obama. This is about local issues in my state.

    August 26, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  21. Tom-Vermillion Ohio

    In the end (Nov 2010) the people of Pennsylvania will realize as bad as things are, it's all the GOP-Tea Party's fault for blocking and disrupting every piece of important legislation to improve the economy. If Fox News would somehow loose their FCC liciense, those polls would reverse almost over night. Same goes for spokemen Rus Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly. Silence them and the polls would be 7-10 in favor of Obama.

    August 26, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  22. strong

    Those 3 out of 10 who think their state is on the right track .... are clueless.

    None of the 50 states are on the right track.

    August 26, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  23. GL

    Thirty-seven percent of Democrats questioned say they are likely to vote in the November elections. That number rises to 45 percent for Republicans surveyed.

    That a F ..ing lie. We have the best people on the grown in my state then any state. I never even hear of these pollster.

    August 26, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  24. Duck Fallas

    The Phils are in a slump. Wait until they start winning again, then re-do the poll.

    August 26, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  25. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    You can tell our country is on the right track for a train wreck .

    August 26, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
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