October 27th, 2010
10:24 AM ET
4 years ago

Poll: Toomey up 7 points in Pennsylvania Senate battle

(CNN) - A new poll indicates that Republican Pat Toomey has a 7 point advantage over Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak in the battle for Pennsylvania's open Senate seat.

According to a Franklin and Marshall Center for Opinion Research survey released Wednesday morning, 43 percent of likely voters in the Keystone State support Toomey, with 36 percent backing Sestak and a large 19 percent undecided.

Toomey's seven point margin is just within the poll's sampling error and is down from a 9-point advantage he held in a Franklin and Marshall survey from last month.

Among the larger sampling of registered voters, Toomey's margin shrinks to 37 to 35 percent, with nearly three out of ten undecided.

Other recent surveys released over the past two weeks indicate a closer contest between the two candidates.

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.

Both parties are concentrating a lot of firepower on Pennsylvania. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has spent more than $4 million on ads in the state since mid August. When all is said and done, the DSCC's counterpart, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, is expected to spend roughly $5.5 million in Pennsylvania in support of Toomey.

The Franklin and Marshall poll was conducted October 18-24, with 720 Pennsylvania residents, including 631 registered voters, questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points for registered voters and plus or minus 3.9 percentage points for likely voters.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN


Filed under: 2010 • Joe Sestak • Pat Toomey • Polls
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Karen L. Reimer

    This survey is of people contacted by telephone. Most of the Sestak supporters carry cell phones (unlisted I might add). This survey is not right. This is propaganda for the Toomey camp. What is the political affiliation of Franklin and Marshall CNN? Joe Sestak will be the next Senator for Pennsylvania. Toomey cannot BUY HIS WAY INTO OFFICE. THE PEOPLE OF PENNSYLVANIA ARE SMARTER THAN YOU KNOW. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

    October 27, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  2. rdepontb

    Steinhauser: Misleading headline, meant to impress who, or to turn whom away from voting?? Blah to you, sir.

    October 27, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  3. usualone

    His ads are scare tactics and apparently they sadly work.

    October 27, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  4. Steve (the real one)

    Well CNN buy now you know some folks don't belive in polls ESPECIALLYwhen it goes against the candidates they are cheering for! Oh well, thats life (or at least politics)!

    October 27, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  5. Steve (the real one)

    Sorry! make that "by now"!

    October 27, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  6. stufit

    Another enemy to take a back seat in the continuing Obama automotive disaster. An incompetent driver, that will not listen to the passengers. I guess we need to hire a new driver. This one keeps turning left and can't seem to get out of the 60's while driving his Lada.

    October 27, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  7. rdepontb

    IT Pennsylvanians mess up this opportunity to put ADM Sestak in their Senate seat, they will regret it for decades. Sestak is a top-notch American, plain and simple, a straight-talker, plain and simple, and one of the best candidates in the entire nation-plain and simple enough for you?

    October 27, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  8. honest abe

    this race will tell me a lot about the people of pennsylvania. i used to live there (now california) – hopefully they will vote intelligently. vote to help the middle class – VOTE DEMOCRAT!

    October 27, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  9. Dave

    So with 19 percent undecided and this poll done only on landline telephone users (everyone I work with except me uses a cellphone as their primary phone at home and they are all voting) this poll is pretty well meaningless. Sure hope either candidate along with their respective parties are not placing one iota of trust in this (or any) of the polls taken.

    October 27, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  10. Bill

    Does it hurt that bad to admit that a Republican is leading in the poll? Not that I think poll says anything, but to say that a 7 point margin is "just within the poll's sampling error" and then at the bottom of the article indicates that the poll's sampling error is +/- 3 points. If anything, this article shows who the writer favors in this race. CNN, keep this sort of "news reporting" up and your Network will really be irrelevant.

    October 27, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  11. Squiggs

    What was the point geting getting rid of Santorm if we were going to put his twin in there in 2 years. Are we that stupid? This guy is your typical Republican. Lower Taxes. Lower spending. balance the budget. Someone who is voting for this joker please explain how he is going to do that. They never actually do any of thse things. We deserve what we get when we put people like him back in power.

    October 27, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  12. vic nashville tn

    Last week polls were to close to call this week 7 points lead give us break

    October 27, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  13. Monster Zero

    Obama must have recently campaigned there...

    Keep up the good work Pennsylvania, the reckoning is on the way!

    October 27, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  14. XWngLady

    When is this "likely voter" polling CRAP going to STOP?????? Why don't they do polls that represent the sentiments of ELIGIBLE voters, since that is the poll of people out of whom the next round of voters will come? No one knows who is or isn't going to vote in an UPCOMING election!!!!! Stop it! ....even if they polled people who voted in the LAST election, that would be better than just polling so-called "likely" voters who tend to be white, older and retired....not to mention that most polls are conducted on land-lines, most people, especially young people and minorities don't have land-line phones...Who are they polling on a land-line phone? Yet we just accept these polls as gospel...ridiculous!

    October 27, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  15. barry

    Sestak gets investigated along with Obama very soon. Justice is coming.

    October 27, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |