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Daniel on the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Primary Race and the Franklin & Marshall Keystone Poll….

PA-SEN

Two Polls out tomorrow morning and both will likely have Sestak ahead by around 5 Points.

Yesterday I said I wanted a Franklin & Marshall Keystone Poll for the PA-SEN Primary.

Well, I got my wish.

Washington Previews the F & M Poll:

Why Sestak might really pull it off

Tomorrow, a third poll will come out finding Joe Sestak is leading Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania Dem primary. The poll, from Franklin & Marshall College, will mirror others showing Sestak ahead by around five points, the poll’s director confirms to me.

Anything can happen between now and next Tuesday. But Sestak might really pull it off.

Terry Madonna, the director of the Franklin & Marshall poll, just gave me an interesting overview of the race, explaining in a nutshell why Sestak could prevail, though he cautioned that a Specter win is still a very real possibility.

Madonna’s take: Dem primary voters haven’t voted for Specter for decades. Why would they start now?

Madonna pointed out that for most of the race, a huge bloc of Dem primary voters, perhaps as high as 40%, have been undecided. They are only focusing on the race just now, with both campaigns airing out their messages on TV.

“If they hadn’t agreed to vote for Specter after 29 years, why are they going to change in a month?” Madonna asks, in a reference to Specter’s long career as a Republican in the Senate.

In the home stretch, Specter is hitting Sestak for missing votes as a Congressman, and over criticism of his military record, while arguing that he’s delivered for the state and has the establishment on his side.

But Sestak is countering with a brutal attack on Specter’s many years of support for Republican positions and politicians. He’s using Specter’s own claim that he switched parties to win reelection to paint him as an opportunist. That plays well amid anti-incumbent, anti-Washington fervor.

What does Specter have to do to pull this out? Madonna says a lot of it turns on whether Specter can boost turnout among African American voters in Philadelphia, who are likely to support him because the Dem establishment, including Mayor Michael Nutter, is behind him. “Philly does not have exemplary turnout,” Madonna said.

Also, Specter has to hope that conservative Democrats in western Pennsylvania turn out in larger-than-expected numbers, Madonna added.

But tomorrow’s poll — coming after Rasmussen and Muhlenberg College polls both have Sestak ahead — is likely to show undecideds continuing to shift towards Sestak. “Underneath the establishment’s support lies a mass of voters who aren’t tied to any of this,” Madonna says. “They have swung overwhelmingly to Sestak.”

Again, this is a really tight race, and Specter could still win. But it’s hard to overstate how sharp a rebuke to the Dem establishment that wired Specter’s party switch a Sestak victory would represent.

Daniel G

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May 11, 2010 - Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Daniel G @ PolitcalDog, Government, Media, Men, Other Things, Politics, Polls, Projections, Updates | , ,

6 Comments »

  1. Okay,

    The Quinnipiac PA-SEN Poll is out

    Specter 44 % (2 weeks ago 47 %)
    Sestak 42 % (2 weeks ago 39 %)

    Trendlines working against Specter.

    Gender

    Male

    Sestak 47 %
    Specter 44 %

    Female

    Specter 44 %
    Sestak 38 %

    http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x1327.xml?ReleaseID=1453

    Write-Up from Pollster Peter Brown of Q-Pac:

    “The intangibles are clearly on Sestak’s side. He has the momentum and the anti-incumbent wave sweeping the country is a good omen for the challenger. Troubling for Specter is that one in seven likely primary voters are undecided and incumbents — especially 30-year incumbents who have switched parties — rarely get much of the undecided vote.”

    The new Muhlenberg College/Allentown Morning Call Tracker however shows a 45-45 TIE today.

    Note: The Franklin & Marshall Poll will be released around 10am ET this morning.

    Comment by Daniel G. | May 12, 2010 | Reply

  2. Franklin & Marshall Poll

    Sestak 38 %
    Specter 36 %

    Comment by Daniel G. | May 12, 2010 | Reply

  3. PA-SEN Polls

    Q-Pac Specter 44 % , Sestak 42 % (down from a 47-39 Specter lead two weeks ago)

    http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x1284.xml?ReleaseID=1453&What=&strArea=;&strTime=0

    F & M: Sestak 38 % , Specter 36 %

    Muhlenberg: Sestak 45 % , Specter 45

    Comment by Daniel G. | May 12, 2010 | Reply

  4. Sestak leads by 1,2 Points on the Real Clear Politics Average:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2010/senate/pa/pennsylvania_senate_democratic_primary-1050.html

    Specter currently leads on Pollster.com by 4 Points (Q-Pac as well as Franklin & Marshall haven’t been included just yet)

    http://www.pollster.com/polls/pa/10-pa-sen-dempr-svse.php

    Comment by Daniel G. | May 12, 2010 | Reply

  5. Sestak leads by 1,2 Points on the Real Clear Politics Average:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2010/senate/pa/pennsylvania_senate_democratic_primary-1050.html

    Specter currently leads on Pollster.com by 4 Points (Q-Pac as well as Franklin & Marshall haven’t been included just yet)

    Comment by Daniel G. | May 12, 2010 | Reply

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