Pennsylvania Statewide Poll
September 9-10, 2015

Electoral Environment

Direction of Pennsylvania

Sixty-three percent of likely voters in Pennsylvania say that things in the state are on the wrong track (25% right direction). This pessimism holds among Republicans (82% wrong track) and Independents (67%) and a plurality of Democrats say things in the state are on the wrong track (41%/46%). 

Q: Would you say that things in Pennsylvania are going in the right direction, or have they gotten off on the wrong track?

Governor Wolf Image

Governor Tom Wolf’s image has narrowed to a favorability margin of +3% (49% favorable, 46% unfavorable).

Wolf Image












Wolf’s image is a solid positive among Democrats (76%/20%) and self-identified Somewhat Liberal voters (86%/5%). His image is a net negative among Independents (41% favorable, 54% unfavorable) and positive among self-identified Moderates (65%/32%). 

Senator Casey Image

Senate 2016

Senate Candidate Images

Incumbent Senator Pat Toomey has a solid favorable image among likely voters (49% favorable, 38% unfavorable) and a significant advantage over his challengers in name identification (13% not sure). His image is a net positive among Republicans (65%/25%) and Independent voters (49%/42%). A majority of Democrats have an unfavorable opinion of the Senator (35%/51%). 
Forty-four percent of likely voters do not have an opinion on Katie McGinty and her image is slightly underwater (25% favorable, 30% unfavorable), which is often characteristic of candidates with low hard name identification. She is viewed positively by Moderates (31%/27%) and Somewhat Liberal voters (31%/23%) and unfavorably by Independents (16‚Äč%/33%).

Joe Sestak’s image is a narrower net negative (31%/34%) with just over a third of voters not sure (35%). His image is stronger among Moderates (37%/32%) and Somewhat Liberals (46%/18%) than McGinty’s. 

Senate Ballot Tests

Senator Toomey leads Democrat Joe Sestak by 10%. He continues to hold a lead among women (42-41%) and holds a majority among men (53-34%). Toomey trails in Southeast Pennsylvania (36-48%) but leads in all other regions of the state (Northern Tier: 52-28%, Pittsburgh: 55-36%, Scranton: 42-41%, South Central: 57-27%). He receives stronger party support (78% of Republicans) than Sestak (65% of Democrats) and leads among Independents (55-26%). 

Q: If the election for United States Senate were held today, which of the following candidates would you vote for: Pat Toomey, Republican or Joe Sestak, Democrat?

Pat Toomey has an even more significant party advantage against McGinty (Republicans: 81% Toomey, Democrats: 63% McGinty) and extends his lead among Independents (55-19%). He leads McGinty among both women (42-36%) and men (55-32%). 

Q: If the election for United States Senate were held today, which of the following candidates would you vote for: Pat Toomey, Republican or Katie McGinty, Democrat?

Pennsylvania Budget Impasse

Budget Impact: Only 11% of those surveyed say the “ongoing failure to pass a state budget” is having a “significant impact” on “you and your family.” Twenty-one percent say it is having “somewhat of an impact” for a combined 32% saying it is having somewhat or a significant impact. Sixty-two percent say the lack of a budget is having “not a lot of impact” (35%) or “no impact at all” (27%). Majorities of voters from all parties (Republicans: 66%, Democrats: 56%, Independents: 68%) say the budget is having “not a lot of impact” or “no impact at all.” 

Q: As you may have heard, the state has not yet passed a budget for this year. It has been nine weeks since the initial deadline of June 30th. How much of an impact is the ongoing failure to pass a state budget having on you and your family?

Budget Responsibility: A 35% plurality says both Governor Wolf and the state legislature are responsible for the budget impasse. Voters are fairly split on whether Governor Wolf (31%) or the state legislature (31%) is most responsible. Following predictable party lines, Republicans mostly blame Governor Wolf (52%) while Democrats (53%) blame the legislature. Independents are split between Governor Wolf (37%) and both equally (36%). Regionally, voters from Pittsburgh blame Governor Wolf (37%) while Philadelphia (39% legislature) and Scranton/Lehigh Valley voters (37%) blame the legislature. Pluralities in the Northern Tier (43% both) and South Central (40%) regions of the state say both the Governor and the legislature are responsible.

Q: Who do you think is most responsible for the budget impasse: Governor Wolf, the State Legislature, or both?

Full Results & Methodology

METHODOLOGY: The sample size for the survey is 700 likely voters in Pennsylvania and the margin of error is +/-3.7%. Reponses were gathered through land line interviews conducted using Interactive Voice Response (IVR). The survey was conducted September 9-10, 2015 by Harper Polling. The demographic profile of the survey sample is as follows: Female 52%, Male 48%; Republican 40%, Democrat 45%, Independent/Other Party 15%; White 86%, African-American 9%, Something else 5%. The total percentages for responses may not equal 100% due to rounding.

Harper Polling