Poll: Thompson losing to Democratic challengers - abc27 WHTM

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Poll: Thompson losing to Democratic challengers

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Updated at 6:10 p.m. to correct an error stating that the poll was conducted in April. The poll was actually conducted May 9-10.

A new poll shows two Democratic challengers are leading Linda Thompson in the race for mayor of Harrisburg.

The poll, conducted exclusively for abc27 News by Susquehanna Polling and Research, shows city controller Dan Miller and business owner Eric Papenfuse would each receive 30 percent of the vote if the election were held today.

Thompson received 13 percent of the vote and Lewis Butts received 1 percent, while 23 percent of likely Democratic voters remained undecided in the May 21 primary election.

Among the 300 Harrisburg Democrats surveyed for the telephone poll May 9-10, 13 percent of those undecided were leaning toward Papenfuse, 10 percent favored Thompson, and 6 percent believed they might vote for Miller.

Voters had unfavorable opinions of Thompson (21-67 percent) and Butts, (8-25 percent), and favorable opinions of Miller (52-19 percent) and Papenfuse (47-14 percent).

A majority of those polled, 74 percent, said they think Harrisburg is on the wrong track, and 57 percent strongly disapproved of Thompson's job performance.

Thirty-seven percent said crime was the most important problem facing Harrisburg, while 15 percent said the biggest issue facing the city was its debt.

Ten percent of voters said Thompson's reference to illegal dumpers as "some scumbag from Perry County" prompted them to pick another candidate, while 88 percent said it did not change their vote.

The poll has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 5.6 percent.

Reaction was mixed from the candidates we talked to. The candidates didn't really have a chance to delve into the numbers but reacted to how the respondents would vote. Papenfuse welcomed the news.

"If that's the case then that confirms our own internal polling," he said. "We feel that we pulled ahead."

But Miller said the poll was way out of line with his campaign's polling, which he says deals with likely voters as compared to registered voters.

"What we have seen is consistently had me in first, Linda in second and Eric third," said Miller. "So it's a different set of people and I'm not sure they're the ones who are actually going to be voting."

We called the mayor and left a message with her secretary asking for a comment but we did not get a return call.

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