October 20th, 2010
11:45 AM ET
4 years ago

New poll numbers in Senate battles

(CNN) – New poll numbers suggest the Senate contests in Washington State and Pennsylvania are tightening up while the GOP is up big in the Senate race in Ohio.

A Muhlenberg College/Allentown Morning Call survey released Wednesday of likely voters in Pennsylvania indicates that Rep. Joe Sestak, the Democrat's nominee, holds a 44 to 41 percent advantage over former Rep. Pat Toomey, the Republican nominee, with 15 percent undecided. Sestak's two point margin is within the poll's sampling error.

In Muhlenberg's previous survey, conducted two weeks ago, Toomey led 46 to 39 percent. Most other recent polls also indicated Toomey with a single digit lead.

Earlier this year Sestak, a former admiral and two-term congressman from southeast Pennsylvania, came from behind in the polls to defeat 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 Washington State, a McClatchy/Marist poll of likely voters indicates that race between Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and Republican nominee Dino Rossi is deadlocked, with Murray holding a 48 to 47 percent margin over Rossi. Murray held a larger single digit advantage in most other recent polls.

Vice President Joe Biden teamed up with the three-term senator Wednesday in Washington State, and President Barack Obama Thursday joins Murray in the state. Rossi was the state's GOP gubernatorial nominee in 2004 and 2008.

While the Senate contests in Washington State and Pennsylvania appear to be all tied up, it's apparently a very different story in Ohio. A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday indicates that GOP Senate nominee Rob Portman holds a 55 to 34 percent lead over Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, the Democrats' nominee. Portman's 21 point advantage is up slightly from a 19 point lead two weeks ago.

Portman is a former representative and a Bush administration budget director. The winner in November will succeed retiring Republican Sen. George Voinovich.

The Muhlenberg College poll was conducted October 9-16, with approximately 400 likely voters in Pennsylvania questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error or likely voters is plus or minus five percentage points.

The McClatchy/Marist poll was conducted October 14-17, with 589 likely Washington State voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error for likely voters is plus or minus four percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted October 12-17, with 1,188 likely voters in Ohio questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error for likely voters is plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN


Filed under: 2010 • Poll numbers
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Please Vote Republican So More People From China, India and the Phillipines Can Take Our Jobs

    If you vote for lobbyist Toomey to become a Senator, you can eliminate the middleman. He can lobby himself.

    October 20, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  2. Kenneth Krieger

    If the Democrats win it is a mandate to bankrupt the government. If the Republicians win we are going to have to kick them every day to not go back to business as usual. I have decided because of government waste and intrusion into our private lives, government must do as little as possibile and be as small as possible. Ken Krieger Cape Coral, Florida

    October 20, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  3. Rush Goebbels

    What would all the mindless lemmings do with out a poll to scare them?Polls are like sheep dogs,they are used to keep the sheep in line,hahaha

    October 20, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  4. vic nashville tn

    Many conservatives pundit think 1994 replay in 2010 sorry that won’t happen

    Many republicans don’t like tea party comments about GOP

    Past one year we said liberal agenda bad for country, to replace liberal we nominate idiots in the name of tea party

    I am with Karl Rove on this point

    October 20, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  5. GL

    All these polls where done by telephone and no cell phone. GO FIGURE! THESE POLLSERS JUST DON'T GET IT! Only old people have land lines so these polls are not correct.

    October 20, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  6. GL

    I can not wait until this election is over so we can all stop believeing all these pollings that still live in the dark ages by still only polling people with land line which happen to be mostly Seniors that usually vote republican.

    October 20, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  7. GL

    The Muhlenberg College poll was conducted October 9-16, with approximately 400 likely voters in Pennsylvania questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error or likely voters is plus or minus five percentage points.

    The McClatchy/Marist poll was conducted October 14-17, with 589 likely Washington State voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error for likely voters is plus or minus four percentage points.

    The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted October 12-17, with 1,188 likely voters in Ohio questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error for likely voters is plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

    ALL THESE POLLS HAVE SOMETHING IN COMMENT, they all forgot to poll people they have cell phones. Good luck with your out of date polling system pollsters!

    October 20, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  8. Nevada Senior

    Things are hard now for a lot of Americans, Jack. A lot of people are
    out of work. That is why Democrats should stay focused and get to the polls and vote, and vote hard.

    You think you're having problems now? If Rand paul is voted into senate, if O'Donnell is voted into senate, if the woman who is
    trying to take Reid's seat in Nevada is voted to Senate, do you think your problems are going to get better? These are all
    extremist. Do we want extremists in control of us. And taking social security and the dept of education away!

    If you think you are angry now, let these zealots get control of things like your social security and cut out
    everything the middle class stands for. Never underestimate the stupidity of the American people to cut off their noses to
    spite their faces based on their prejudices and propaganda. None of these extremists is capable of finding jobs, only obstructing progress of the ones who are actually doing something. Harry Reid has done more for Nevada in its history.
    President Obama has done more in two years than the republicans messed up in eight. Before you follow ignorance over
    the cliff, you had better first of all VOTE democrats, secondly ask yourself at the polls are you voting your own interests
    or are you reversing the progress taking place by voting for people who have no answers at all. We must stay the course, Jack. If not , only blame the person in the mirror.

    Stay the course.

    October 20, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  9. rich

    To all those screaming about lack of cell phone participation: you don't know what you're talking about. I participated in a phone poll two weeks ago via cell phone. You really need to stay in school, junior. "Phone" is simply a generic description, encompassing both cellular and land-line phones. So keep telling us how ignorant you think we are, while showing us how truly ignorant you are.

    October 20, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  10. William Jefferson

    The Admiral has FINALLY started campaigning after allowing special interests to do toomey's dirty work for the last six months.

    October 20, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  11. La Piovra

    Hey, I'm old, white, straight, rural, live in Florida, keep a hounddog and a varmint gun (never fired), used to keep chickens till the varmints ate 'em, am distinctly left of center, and have only a cell phone. Never was sampled, and what do you bet I never will be?

    October 20, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  12. King

    I see the market crash and a government shut down for the next two years. the people is putting the most radical repug candidates in power. I want to see when the stimulous runs out if these same people would ask for more stimulous money for hardtimes or theyll take the gop option, just take it like a man, it will be interesting to see what they do i hope obama dont rush to help them again because they will drag him this time. Nancy wont be in charge boner will be so they definately wont get any help not when tea baggers around.

    October 20, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  13. Pragmatic Conservative

    The concern isn't that these polls only contact people with landlines, it's that no one is telling us what the breakdown of likely voters is. Many polls have been using the same voter breakdown percentages that applied to the last election – when Democrats were motivated and came out in force. This year, Dems are staying home and Republicans are turning out en masse, thus using the old percentages grossly over sample Democrats.

    October 20, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  14. barry

    GOP will win the House by large numbers which means shut the hell up Pelosi. The Senate will be close. Hopefully people think about how Obama has failed miserably and vote Republican.

    October 20, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  15. A Kickin` Donkey

    Have some stones American voters. Give the President a Congress & Senate that won`t obstruct he at EVErY TURN and maybe we can get Washington working again. We`ve had almost 2 years of the Party of NO ... and those "nos" were not based on facts or principles. They were perfunctory resistance, regardless of the President`s position.

    I say we give Mr. Obama a team that will work WITH HIM and then ... oh my gosh ... we hold them all ACCOuNTABLE for what they do or don`t achieve.

    October 20, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |