Pennsylvania Statewide Poll 
Republican and Democratic Primaries
March 1-2, 2016

Democratic Primary

Senate Race

Joe Sestak continues to have the strongest image of the three Senate candidates among likely Democratic primary voters (50% favorable/26% unfavorable/24% not sure) and the highest name identification. However, his margin of favorability has narrowed somewhat since January (54%/20%/26%). His image continues to be strongest in the Philadelphia/Southeast (54%/24%, 1/22: 59%/22%) and Scranton/Lehigh Valley (57%/18%, 1/22: 61%/17%) regions of the state. His image is fairly stable among Somewhat Liberal voters (58%/21%, 1/22: 55%/20%) but has weakened among Very Liberals (48%/29%, 1/22: 68%/17%).

Katie McGinty’s margin of favorability has also narrowed a bit, but she still has a solid favorable image (45%/22%/33%, 1/22: 49%/19%/33%). Her hard name identification has not increased since January. McGinty has improved her image in her home region of Philadelphia/Southeast (47%/19%, 1/22: 40%/22%). 

John Fetterman has improved his name identification, but with it his favorability margin has narrowed from +7% (27%/20%/53%) to +2% (28%/26%/46%). His image continues to be substantially stronger in the Pittsburgh/Southwest region (38%/30%). A similar pattern appears among Very Liberals (29%/29%, 1/22: 34%/10%) and younger voters (25%/21%, 1/22: 26%/14%), who represented solid pockets of support for Fetterman in our January survey. 

Joe Sestak continues to lead the Democratic primary race for Senate, earning 33% of the vote. Katie McGinty has fallen into a more distant second (17%), followed by John Fetterman (15%). Joe Vodvarka is a distant fourth, and about a third of the electorate remains undecided. Sestak now leads among Somewhat Liberal voters (45%, Fetterman 17%; 1/22: 32% McGinty, 30% Sestak) while Fetterman narrows Sestak’s advantage to 3% among Very Liberal voters (29-26%, 1/22: 40% Sestak, 28% McGinty). Joe Sestak now has solid advantages in all regions of the state, with the exception of Pittsburgh/Southwest, where Fetterman leads (27%, McGinty 21%, 1/22: 27% Sestak, 27% McGinty). Women split between Sestak (21%) and McGinty (21%) while Sestak earns a near-majority of men (47%). 

1/22/16

3/1/2016

Vodvarka

N/A

4%

Fetterman

11%

15%

Sestak

33%

33%

McGinty

28%

17%

Undecided

28%

32%

Q: If the Democratic primary election for United States Senate were held today, who would you vote for: Joseph Vodvarka, John Fetterman, Joe Sestak, or Katie McGinty?

Presidential Race

Hillary Clinton (57%) holds a commanding lead over Bernie Sanders (27%) in the Democratic primary race. She has expanded her leads among Moderates (59-19%, 1/22: 54-24%), Somewhat Liberal voters (64-23%, 1/22: 59-28%) and Very Liberal voters (52-39%, 1/22: 49-45%). Clinton now leads among 18-39 year old voters (46-33%, 1/22: 40-41%), continues to lead among women (68-17%, 1/22: 66-18%) and extends her lead among men (44-37%, 1/22: 43-40%). 

1/22/16

3/1/2016

Clinton

56%

57%

Sanders

28%

27%

O’Malley

4%

N/A

Undecided

13%

16%

Q: If the Democratic primary election for President were held today, who would you vote for: Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders?

A full 78% majority of likely Democratic primary voters say it is “very important that Democrats nominate a candidate who can beat Donald Trump”.  By comparison, 84% of likely Republican voters say it is “very important to pick a candidate “who can beat Hillary Clinton.”

Q: How important is it that Democrats nominate a candidate who can beat Donald Trump?

Republican Primary

In the race for the Republican nomination for President, Donald Trump leads in Pennsylvania with more than a third of the vote (36%), followed by Marco Rubio (19%) and Ted Cruz (17%). Trump leads in all regions of the state, with Rubio making inroads in the Philadelphia/Southeast region (27%), Scranton/Lehigh Valley (21%), Cruz gaining in the Northern Tier (27%), and Kasich tying with Cruz for second in the Pittsburgh/Southwest region (22%). Trump also has the advantage among Very Conservatives (30%), Somewhat Conservatives (38%) and Moderates (45%). Very Conservative voters choose Cruz second (23%), while Somewhat Conservatives (22%) and Moderates (21%) choose Rubio. 

Q: If the Republican primary election for President were held today, who would you vote for: Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, OR Donald Trump?

Eighty-four percent of likely Republican primary voters say it is “very important that Republicans nominate a candidate who can beat Hillary Clinton.” By comparison, 78% of likely Democratic voters say it is “very important” to pick a candidate “who can beat Donald Trump.”

Q: How important is it that Republicans nominate a candidate who can beat Hillary Clinton?

Wall Street vs. Growth of Government

A substantial 58% majority of likely Democratic primary voters say “abuse of power on Wall Street” is holding our country back more than “growth of government and regulations” (25%). This sentiment increases moving left along the ideological spectrum (Moderate: 59%, Somewhat Liberal: 64%, Very Liberal: 68%). 

Q: What do you think is holding our country back more: abuse of power on Wall Street OR growth of government and regulations?

Three-in-four likely Republican primary voters say “growth of government and regulations” (75%) is holding our country back more than “abuse of power on Wall Street” (17%). This opinion is the exact opposite of Democratic primary voters on this topic. Very Conservatives (83%) and Somewhat Conservatives (81%) overwhelmingly say growth of government is more of a problem, while Moderates narrowly say “abuse of power on Wall street” (48-45%). 

Full Results & Methodology

DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY METHODOLOGY: The sample size for the survey is 347 likely Democratic primary voters in Pennsylvania and the margin of error is +/-5.26%. Reponses were gathered through land line interviews conducted using Interactive Voice Response (IVR). The survey was conducted March 1-2, 2016 by Harper Polling. The total percentages for responses may not equal 100% due to rounding.
REPUBLICAN PRIMARY METHODOLOGY: The sample size for the survey is 353 likely Republican primary voters in Pennsylvania and the margin of error is +/-5.22%. Reponses were gathered through land line interviews conducted using Interactive Voice Response (IVR). The survey was conducted March 1-2, 2016 by Harper Polling. The total percentages for responses may not equal 100% due to rounding.
Harper Polling