HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The nation would elect its first woman president.
The state would elect its first woman U.S. senator.
Both of those things would happen if the latest polling numbers hold up. ABC27 and Susquehanna Polling and Research teamed up for a poll of likely voters across Pennsylvania. It was conducted last week, following both party’s national conventions.
In the poll, respondents were asked if the election were held today for whom would you vote?
Democrat Hillary Clinton gets 46 percent,
Republican Donald Trump 37 percent,
Libertarian Gary Johnson 7 percent,
Green Party nominee Jill Stein 3 percent.
“Closing a nine-point gap is not an easy thing to do in a state as Democratic as Pennsylvania,” said Jim Lee of Susquehanna Polling and Research.
Lee said he was surprised by the results considering the poll also showed that jobs and the economy and national security were listed as the most important issues facing the nation. Additionally, 56 percent of respondents feel the nation is on the wrong track. All of those things should push voters to the outsider, Donald Trump, Lee said.
But perhaps the answer is in likeability. When asked their opinion of Hillary Clinton, 49 percent said they view her unfavorably and 40 percent had a favorable opinion.
Donald Trump had a 57 percent unfavorable and just 35 percent favorable view of him.
“We know to a large extent voting for President is voting for someone you can identify with, that you like,” Lee said. “That’s gonna be a tough thing to overcome if he can’t improve his image in this state.”
At a rally in the Midstate last Monday, Trump first claimed he was leading in the polls, then told his ardent supporters not to trust the polls. He said they were frequently wrong during the primary season.
“They (pollsters) say it’s gonna be close, I win by a landslide,” Trump said. “It’s a little embarrassing. People don’t want to say they’re gonna vote for me, but then they get in the booth and they say is anybody looking? Boom, I’m picking Trump. He’s gonna bring back our jobs,” Trump said to a thunderous applause.
The poll showed that things are tighter in the race for U.S. Senate. Incumbent Republican Pat Toomey is trailing Democratic challenger Katie McGinty, 42-40 percent.
“That’s a dead heat, within the poll’s margin of error,” said Lee, who noted the margin of error is +/- 3.5 percent.
But a dead heat is trouble for a five-and-a-half-year incumbent in a state where there are nearly a million more registered Democrats than Republicans.
“He’s not getting two in 10 Democrats to say they’re with him,” Lee said. “So, if you’re getting a straight party vote, he loses just by simple mathematics.”
Lee was even more surprised by the poll showing only four in 10 Republicans have a favorable view of Toomey’s job performance.
“You have a majority of voters in his own party that don’t really know what kind of job he’s doing,” Lee said. “That says to me says the guy just hasn’t run much of a good PR effort the past six years.”
The election is exactly three months from Monday, on Nov. 8.