November 1st, 2010
09:07 AM ET
12 years ago

Poll: Toomey with 5-point margin in Pennsylvania Senate battle

(CNN) - On the eve of the midterm elections, a new poll indicates that Republican Pat Toomey has a five point advantage over Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak in the battle for Pennsylvania's open Senate seat.

According to a Quinnipiac University survey released Monday morning, 50 percent of likely voters in the Keystone State support Toomey, with 45 percent backing Sestak and five percent undecided.

Toomey's five point margin is within the poll's sampling error. Other surveys released in the past week also indicate a single digit advantage for Toomey.

The Quinnipiac poll indicates that Toomey has an overwhelming lead among Republican voters and has a 52 to 39 percent advantage among independent voters while Sestak has an overwhelming lead among Democrats.

"The candidates each hold their party bases pretty well, each getting more than 80 percent of the votes of their own party members," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "But it is independent voters, as is often the case in close elections, that swings the balance of power."

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 with both the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee spending millions on the race. President Barack Obama headlined a Democratic party rally in Philadelphia on Saturday.

In the battle for governor, the poll indicates that Republican nominee Tom Corbett leads Dan Onorato, the Democrats' nominee, 52 to 42 percent with six percent undecided.

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 Quinnipiac University poll was conducted October 25-30, with 1,244 likely voters in Pennsylvania questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

Filed under: 2010 • Joe Sestak • Pat Toomey • Pennsylvania • Polls
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Steve S

    Dems are in big trouble statewide in Pennsylvania. Other than Philly and Pittsburgh, Obama is NOT popular here. Corbett will win the governor's race easily, and Toomey looks to be in decent position to win the Senate seat.

    November 1, 2010 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  2. John

    Get off your duffs. Vote Democrats.

    November 1, 2010 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  3. diridi

    I do not like this stestak, because he opposed Public Option, but this other iditot is too, no compromise...just vote Dem....

    November 1, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  4. Brian

    Are Joe Sestak and Mike Dukakis related?

    November 1, 2010 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  5. Vote GOP - Greed Over People

    CNN, If the lead is within the sampling error range, why is it news?

    November 1, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  6. Renee

    Sarah Palin 27% Obama 47% I will go with Obama Yes We Can

    November 1, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  7. jules sand-perkins

    Go, Toomey!
    We need to retake the Senate, too!

    November 1, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  8. PalmReader

    I wonder if Quinnipiac included polling in the Philly area because apparently CNN didn't fell Philly was necessary in their latest poll. Nor did CNN feel it was necessary to poll the under 50 crowd or the minority crowd in any of their recent CA, KY, CO, NV, or PA polls. Quite interesting polls actually.

    November 1, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  9. TSUNAMI WARNING: Expected loss of Socialist DemocRATS EXTENSIVE

    Bye Bye Sestak. Take your far left BS and head off into the sunset. The country doesn't need anymore of this BS. Maybe you can give Obozo a ring on Wednesday to see if that job in the WHitehouse they tried to bribe you with is still available?!! Of course, you'll need to find another jonb in two years so you might want to look for something more stable.

    November 1, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |