September 22nd, 2010
05:12 PM ET
4 years ago

CNN/Time Poll: Will GOP sweep in Pennsylvania?

(CNN) - A new poll suggests that Republicans are in good shape as they try to win back a Senate seat and the governor's office in Pennsylvania.

According to a CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday, former Rep. Pat Toomey, the GOP Senate nominee, holds a 49 to 44 percent advantage over Rep. Joe Sestak, the Democratic nominee, among likely voters in Pennsylvania, with seven percent either undecided or supporting a different candidate.

Toomey's five point lead is within the poll's sampling error. The poll indicates that Toomey leads by nine points among Independent voters.


"The key to Sestak's low numbers may be his showing in the Philadelphia suburbs," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "That's his home territory, but he's currently pulling only 46 percent in that region compared to 48 percent for Toomey. In addition, among the ten states that CNN has surveyed so far, Sestak is the only Democratic candidate in a two-person Senate race who does not have an edge among women."

While Toomey holds a five point advantage over Sestak among likely voters, among the larger pool of registered voters, the two candidates are deadlocked at 45 percent.

Earlier this year Sestak, a former admiral and two-term congressman from southeast Pennsylvania, defeated Democrat Sen. Arlen Specter for their party's nomination. When Specter switched parties last year, he cited the difficulty in winning the Republican primary against Toomey as a factor. Besides his service in Congress, Toomey is also the former head of the Club for Growth, a limited-government and anti-tax organization, and he enjoys the support of many in the Tea Party movement.

In the battle for governor, the poll indicates that Republican nominee Tom Corbett leads Dan Onorato, the Democrats' nominee, 52 to 44 percent with five percent either undecided or backing another candidate.

According to the survey, Corbett leads by 16 points among independent voters.

Onorato, the chief executive of Allegheny County, and Corbett, the state's attorney general, are battling to succeed term-limited Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell.

"The governor's race is a match-up of two men with roots in western Pennsylvania, and that usually leaves eastern Pennsylvania up for grabs," Holland says. "But outside of Philadelphia, Corbett is leading Onorato by 13 points in the eastern part of the state. Corbett also has a nine-point lead in western Pennsylvania, negating any hometown advantage Onorato might have hoped for."

While Corbett leads by eight points among likely voters, among the larger pool of registered voters his advantage shrinks to five points.

The CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted September 17-21, with 1,306 registered voters in Pennsylvania, including 741 likely voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points for registered voters and 3.5 percentage points for likely voters.

– CNN's Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Full results (pdf)


Filed under: 2010 • CNN Polls • GOP debate • Pennsylvania • Polls
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Steve S

    Most polls show Toomey with a 2-3 point bigger lead than this, and most polls show the governor's race is over. Corbett is up 10-15 points in most polls. Pa. is turning red.

    September 22, 2010 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  2. tcaros

    These polls are all pretty silly. The corporate controlled media outlets, like CNN, are controlled by conservative interests like Ted Turner.
    We are used to the crazy polls.. they said Santorum was going to beat Casey. Guess what happened.. we booted Santorum and Fitzpatrick out that year.

    September 22, 2010 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  3. vic, Nashville TN

    6 weeks to go democrats will win

    September 22, 2010 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  4. Bob in PA

    Amen to that brother. Lil Eddy Rendell has run this place into the ground.

    September 22, 2010 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  5. jim

    Sestak still is covering for Obama and voters will remember come Nov.He should have taken the job offer and got out of the race.I guess he wanted more.

    September 22, 2010 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  6. ray

    democrats will win all the way. god bless

    September 22, 2010 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  7. T'SAH from Virginia

    Democrats get FIRED UP at the last minute and we will prevail!!! PA will remain BLUE and I will eat my words if it doesn't (the problem is getting my words off this page to eat it...ha ha)!!

    DEMOCRATS in PA – Politicians need to STATE the CASE and mean it – UNITE the BASE and believe it and if they do – we would definitely WIN this RACE and be proud of it in November 2010... Yes We CAn!!

    You know who this is – the Original Liberal – T'SAH from Virginia!!

    September 22, 2010 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  8. Robert Moses

    Not likely. toomey is a tea-hadio nut case. Sestak is behind in every election he has run in at this point and has won every one. Admiral Sestak is a fantasic guy, a really good and competent representative (he represents my district and I have met him personally a few times) while toomey is a Wall Street crook who wants to tea bag the state and the nation. toomey does know after getting beaten by Spectre 6 years ago that he has to keep his mouth shut about what e REALLY wants to do to Pennsylkvanians. His ads are even more inane than the gop document that came out, escepting his swioftboat style lies about Admiral Sestak.

    The governors race should be interestuing....especially with the example of CHristie so close by – today announcing that he is going to try to skrew firefighters and cops and breaking the one cam[paign promise that got those groups behind his bloated tea-hadi but

    September 22, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  9. Toomey is a former Lobbyist and President of the Club for Growth . . .

    You know, the ones that just called for the END OF SOCIAL SECURITY.
    So if you are over 65 and don't vote for Sestak, you have drunk the "tea".

    September 22, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  10. S in California

    ANYONE and I do mean anyone who votes republican – gets what they deserve. I hope you own a black suit and a black dress because it is likely your son or daughter will be called to a needless war.

    September 22, 2010 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  11. Bessy

    If the people in Pa. vote in the Republicans then they have to live with it and they deserve what they get. They will lose far more than they will ever gain. As for the polls, well , we will see in November. Polls change from hour to hour.

    September 22, 2010 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  12. southern cousin

    Lets hope so, we need to move this country away from this crazy spending.

    September 22, 2010 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  13. Ponder this.,....

    It aint over til the fat lady sings..... don't count the Democrats out.

    September 22, 2010 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |