Again looking at a Trafalgar Group poll, this time of the important Pennsylvania electorate (6/29-7/2; 1,062 PA likely voters), the ballot test finds former VP Joe Biden leading President Trump, 48-43%, which is consistent with other current polling data. We can expect seeing regular polls coming from this state for the rest of the election cycle.
Susquehanna Polling & Research, a Harrisburg, PA based survey firm, yesterday released the results of their new Keystone State study (6/15-23; 715 PA likely general election voters). According to their likely voters data, former Vice President Joe Biden would lead President Trump, 46-41% in the critically important swing state.
Though down, this poll finds the President’s Pennsylvania standing a bit better than during a similar time period in 2016. According to a Marist College/NBC News poll conducted during the July 5-10 period four years ago, Hillary Clinton polled nine points ahead of Mr. Trump. Overall, 59 surveys were published of the 2016 Pennsylvania electorate, and Ms. Clinton led in 56 of those, though most projected a lead considerably smaller than the NBC/Marist survey cited above.
More attention is being paid to Pennsylvania’s 1st Congressional District, which occupies much of the Bucks County area in suburban Philadelphia, since two-term Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Levittown) recorded only 63% of the vote against weak opposition in his Republican primary. Now, an internal House Majority PAC poll (6/7-14; 403 registered voters of which 60% were conducted via cell phone and said to be at least “50/50” about voting in November) finds the Congressman leading new Democratic nominee Christina Finello, by a scant 45-44% margin. When leaners are added, the two contenders are tied.
Another survey was just released from a district that does not draw much national attention. Democratic pollster GBAO Strategies conducted their survey in late May but is just releasing the numbers now (5/28-31; 600 PA-10 likely general election voters). The results find Rep. Scott Perry (R-Dillsburg/Harrisburg) opening with a slight 50-47% lead over State Auditor Eugene DePasquale (D) in what is again expected to be a close race. In 2018, Rep. Perry was re-elected with a 51-49% margin after the state Supreme Court ordered a re-draw of the Pennsylvania congressional districts.
Recently data from across the country and in key battleground states have forecast a strong advantage for Democratic nominee-designate Joe Biden over President Trump. A new Change Research polling series of seven polls, six stemming from their national polling sample (6/12-14; 1,250 US likely general election voters with subsets in AZ, FL, MI, NC, PA, and WI) finds the President gaining in his must-win states.
The national ballot test continues to give Biden a wide 51-41% national margin, but, as is the case with such polling, the Democrats’ overwhelming advantage in the big states skews the overall popular vote count. Additionally, as we saw in 2016, the national count is irrelevant in electing a US President.
In the key states, however, Change Research, which is a Democratic pollster, finds Trump to be within 1-4 points in the key battlegrounds of Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, and down by seven points in Florida. It is these battlegrounds that will truly decide the November election.
Public Policy Polling surveyed Pennsylvania’s swing 1st Congressional District (6/10-11; 753 PA-1 registered voters, half through live phone interviews and half through text messages to cell phones) in order to test two-term Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Levittown) and Ivyland Borough Councilmember Christina Finello (D). The poll comes after the June 2nd Pennsylvania primary that found Rep. Fitzpatrick scoring a disappointing 58% against a Republican opponent who exerted little in the way of campaign effort. The PPP result breaks 40-38% in Rep. Fitzpatrick’s favor, not unlike his 51-49% re-election victory margin in 2018.
The poll questionnaire included one push question, about 80% of the Trump tax reform measure and Coronavirus bailout money going to the wealthiest 1%. Based upon Fitzpatrick primary performance, this race is moving up the Democratic target list, and the new PPP data confirms that the contest is again headed to toss-up status.
A story in the June 6th Business Insider publication reports that mail voting was handled well in certain states for last Tuesday’s primary, and poorly in others. Getting good marks, according to the BI story, are Iowa, Michigan, and Montana. Doing poorly, where voters were not sent their ballots, receiving incorrect ballots for their districts, or facing crowded polling stations for those who chose to vote in person, were the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.
With voter turnout being way down in Pennsylvania, for example (34% under 2016 Democratic primary participation totals and 55% for Republicans), a great deal of the reasoning for such a steep fall off could be that thousands of voters simply weren’t well enough informed that the April 28th election had been moved to June 2nd. We will be hearing much more about the all-mail experience while undoubtedly seeing calls for increasing mail options for this year’s general election.
Gov. Tom Wolf (D) issuing a last-minute order to allow ballots to be counted received within the next seven days if postmarked yesterday means several primaries are left uncalled.
Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Levittown) is well ahead in his Republican primary, but 56% is a weak showing at this point. In the competitive 7th District, Republican former Lehigh County Commissioner Lisa Scheller leads former Lehigh County Commissioner Dean Browning, 52-48%. The eventual winner challenges freshman Rep. Susan Wild (D-Allentown). And, in the tight 8th District, just 400 votes separate former Export-Import Bank official Jim Bognet and Afghan War veteran Teddy Daniels in the GOP primary. The eventual winner challenges Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Moosic/Scranton) in a race that should be competitive.
In another contested race, State Auditor Eugene DePasquale appears to have won the Democratic nomination in the Harrisburg/York district, with a 63% vote total. He will challenge Rep. Scott Perry (R-Dillsburg) in a race that promises to yield another tight finish.
Just a day before the postponed Pennsylvania primary, Gov. Tom Wolf (D) announced that he is issuing an order to extend the deadline for receiving ballots beyond today’s election. Though he was not completely specific in his announcement as to when the primary will actually end, the Governor did indicate ballots can still be received, if postmarked today, at least seven days after the election. Therefore, if certain primaries are tight, it could be at least a week before we see who advances into the general election in certain political situations.
A total of 24 states will host nomination elections in June, ten of which are postponed from earlier dates. Tomorrow is the biggest day, with ten states holding elections. Eight will vote in their presidential primaries (Iowa and Idaho held their presidential nominating votes earlier in the year).
June 2nd hosts regular state primaries on their originally scheduled date in Iowa, Montana, New Mexico, and South Dakota. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) has postponed the presidential and state primary to July 7th, thus opting out of its traditional early June nomination date because of Coronavirus precautions.
A presidential stand-alone event is occurring in Rhode Island tomorrow, necessary since their regular state primary is scheduled as one of the latest in the country on September 15th. Postponed state primaries from earlier in the year are happening in the District of Columbia, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.
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