October 27th, 2010
04:30 PM ET
4 years ago

CNN/Time Poll: Toomey up 4 points in Pennsylvania Senate battle

(CNN) - Six days before the midterm elections, a new poll indicates that it's too close to call in the fight for an open Senate seat in Pennsylvania.

According to a CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday, Republican nominee and former congressman Pat Toomey holds a 49 to 45 percent advantage over Rep. Joe Sestak, the Democrats' nominee, among likely voters in the Keystone State, with six percent undecided or backing another candidate. Toomey's four point margin is within the poll's sampling error.

Full results (pdf)

Other surveys out in the past few days have ranged from an eight point Toomey lead in a Franklin and Marshall survey to the two candidates dead even in a Reuters/Ipsos survey.

The CNN/Time survey indicates that Toomey leads 88 to 6 percent among Republicans and holds a 54 to 41 percent advantage among independent voters while Sestak leads 87 to 8 percent among Democrats.

"About one in four self-described independents say they support the Tea Party movement, and Toomey is winning handily among that group," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "What's keeping Sestak's hopes alive is his 14-point lead among independents who don't support the Tea Party."

In a sign that enthusiasm for voting appears to be on the Republican side, when expanded from those likely to vote to the larger sample of all registered voters, Sestak holds a 47 to 43 percent advantage, with five percent undecided.

Earlier this year Sestak, a former admiral and two-term congressman from southeast Pennsylvania, came from behind in the polls to defeat Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter for the GOP 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.

"Sestak, like several other Democrats running for Senate this year, is having trouble connecting with women," Holland adds. "Sestak and Toomey are essentially tied among women. Democrats rarely win statewide races unless they can win a solid majority of the women's vote."

In the battle for governor, the poll indicates that Republican nominee Tom Corbett leads Dan Onorato, the Democrats' nominee, 52 to 45 percent with three percent either undecided or backing another candidate.

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

According to the survey, Corbett leads by 15 points among independent voters.

President Barack Obama headlines a Democratic Party rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday. According to the poll, 43 percent of likely Keystone State voters approve of job Obama's doing as president, with 52 percent saying they disapprove. Among the larger sampling of registered voters, 46 percent approve and 47 percent disapprove of how the president's handling his duties.

The CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted October 20-26, with 1,517 adults in Pennsylvania questioned by telephone, including 1,310 registered voters and 823 likely voters. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, with a sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for likely voters.

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: 2010 • CNN/Time poll • Joe Sestak • Pat Toomey • Pennsylvania • Polls
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. T'SAH from Virginia

    This AM it was 7 points!!!??? Jeez, is there a child in the POLL place just coloring in numbers???? Jeez!!

    DEMOCRATS – Stay FOCUSED – if it LQQKs good to you – make believe it is BAD and get out and UNITE the BASE to make it BETTER!!!

    This is T'SAH from Virginia!!

    October 27, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  2. @Omegaraiel (twitter)

    Toomey is endorsed by Santorum and that gives me enough of a frothy bad feeling to opppose him.

    October 27, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  3. Adalbert

    A vote for republicans will make us a Third World country whose politics are manipulated by International Corporations. Without "safety nets" we will become a nation of Very Rich and Very Poor. The Rich will own Everything; the Poor will rent Everything (even down to Water and Air).

    October 27, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  4. LacrosseMom(real one)

    A vote for Toomey is a vote for:

    U.S. JOBS being shipped overseas....... No accountability on Wall Street....... No Energy Policy, because the Teapublicans are in bed with Big Oil......... No Healthcare for Americans who need it.

    A vote for Toomey will ensure that as the Teapublicans want "Gays and unwed mothers do not teach our children"!

    A vote for Toomey is a vote for going backwards in time to the failed economic policies of the GOP!

    Want to vote for Toomey???? ASK Toomey WHY the GOP in Congress voted AGAINST a bill that will penalize U.S. Companies who SHIP .....U.S. JOBS...... overseas????? ASK Toomey to explain WHY SHIPPING U.S. JOBS OVERSEASE IS A GOOD IDEA?

    October 27, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  5. LacrosseMom(real one)

    PS. Most polls have SESTAK and Toomey .........tied.

    October 27, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  6. D. Bunker

    Ignore these phony landline polls, which the so-called "liberal" media keep pushing in an apparent effort to discourage Dem voters. Average hard working Americans have seen the light, and recognize that the GOBP is a desperate cult, and rather than admit their articles of faith, such as deregulation, tax cuts for the ultrarich and unfair global trade, are PROVEN FAILURES, these nutjob extremists instead are seeking to spread their darkness of ignorance, fear, lies, and hate. We are the light, and our votes will send the teatards scuttling away, like cockroaches from the light. The Party of NO has no plan, no valid ideas and certainly no concern for Main St. America. They are massively out of touch with the poor and working class. We know this, and will vote accordingly. Then get your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers to vote for non-teatards as well.

    October 27, 2010 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  7. Ron

    What a sad statement for the people of PA. A man dedicating his life to the defense of this country (and PA's rights/freeedoms) can't get elected because he's a democrat?! Good luck with Toomey, folks. You're buying him for six years versus a man who has given you 30 yrs for free!! Nice...

    October 27, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  8. Scott

    Face it all you liberal minded people, no one wants Obama's brand of politics or the screw up Dems. All they are doing is turning this country into a model of western Europe which is really screwed up. Face it the Republicans are going to take this country back, if you do not like it then leave. I am a middle class working person and a proud Southern Republican. Tax and spend Democrats, that is all you can do. Obama is running this country into the ground, creating a huge out of control government. Forcing people to buy insurance like some 3rd world leader. You liberals are to stupid to see it behind your rose color glasses, of course they did not call you all, they want an honest opinion and an educated answer.

    Democrats give up the race, screw the base, its time to kick the democrats in the face.
    This is a Proud Southern White Republican and I approve this message.

    October 27, 2010 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  9. usualone

    Just saw a Toomey ad where he says "more jobs." The Republicans always say more jobs and less taxes. No one says what the jobs will be. And we know Republicans raise taxes as do the Democrats ("no more taxes", George Bush's famous quote). The quotes of Toomey played in ads of his opponent show why PA residents should not vote for him. Some of us women haven't been polled and we are for Sestak.

    October 27, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  10. George of the jungle

    vote the repos out. Let your voice be heard. Vote in November. The repos only think they have won. Let's prove them Wrong Move forward not backward.

    October 27, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  11. FedUpRepublican

    This is one Pennsylvania Republican that definitely won’t be voting for Toomey. The last thing Pennsylvania and the U.S. needs is another shill that'll reside comfortably in the back pockets of Wall Street and corporate America. Unlike Toomey, Sestak will work to ensure the lower and middle class aren't marginalized and forgotten.

    October 27, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |