April 23, 2004,
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the text of a press release issued by the polling company on Friday.
Specter Still under 50% with 13% Undecided; Nearly one-third say they would still "consider" voting for Toomey
Washington, D.C. In what has become THE most important political race before November this year, Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) leads his challenger, Congressman Pat Toomey (R-PA) 46%-39% in the race for the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania.
"This race remains up for grabs," said Kellyanne Conway, President of the polling company, inc., "with 13% of likely voters still undecided at this late stage." The outcome will turn on the air and ground game each candidate plays this weekend."
"Specter's ahead, but one wonders how a 24-year incumbent with a substantial war chest and 98% name ID has not yet captured a solid majority of support among Republicans."
Women, Northwest PA residents, and Northeast PA residents are among the voter groups most likely to remain undecided just four days before Tuesday's primary.
"These undecided voters are likely leaning toward a choice, but it is difficult to know whether in the end they will stick with what they know (Specter) or if they have already deserted him to seek a fresh alternative (Toomey)."
Toomey's negatives have doubled recently, and a fair number of GOP primary voters still have not formed an opinion of him. Still, in a separate question, only 33% of these voters claimed that they will "definitely not vote for Pat Toomey, while 27% said they definitely will vote for Toomey, and 32% said they are mostly undecided but would still consider pulling the Toomey lever on Tuesday.
"Perhaps a big, new, shocking issue, like Specter's vote against arming pilots, is what Toomey needs to put him over the top," suggested Conway. Senator Specter was one of just six U.S. Senators (and just two Republicans) to vote against a bill that would allow commercial pilots to have firearms in the cockpit, a direct response to 9-11, where one of the four high-jacked planes crashed in Shanksville, PA.
Methodology: The latest survey conducted by the polling company(tm) of 500 likely Republican primary voters in Pennsylvania was fielded April 22-23, 2004 and has a margin of error of +4.5%. All respondents identified themselves as registered Republicans in Pennsylvania and "definitely" or "probably" voting next Tuesday. This methodology differs from some of the recent statewide polls that report registered voters, treating likely voters as a subset.
Full Set of All Questions Asked:
A. Are you 18 years of age or older and currently registered to vote here in Pennsylvania?
B. Are you currently registered to vote here in Pennsylvania as a Republican, Democrat, Independent, or something else?
1. Here in Pennsylvania, there will be a Republican Primary election next week to select Republican nominees for elective offices, including the United States Senate. At this time, do you plan to...:
88% DEFINITELY VOTE
Switching topics slightly for a moment . . .
I am going to read you the names of a few people. After I read each name, first tell me if you have heard of that person and then tell me if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of that person. If you have no opinion of a person or group, or have never heard of a particular person, just tell me and we'll move on.
2. Arlen Specter
4/23/04 / 3/10/04
98% / 97% TOTAL RECOGNITION
51% / 52% TOTAL FAVORABLE (NET)
36% / 38% TOTAL UNFAVORABLE (NET)
11% / 7% HEARD OF/ NO OPINION (VOL)
4/23/04 / 3/10/04
94% / 84% TOTAL RECOGNITION
46% / 36% TOTAL FAVORABLE (NET)
26% / 12% TOTAL UNFAVORABLE (NET)
22% / 36% HEARD OF/ NO OPINION (VOL)
4. Thinking ahead to the Republican Primary election to select the Republican nominee for United States Senate, suppose for a minute that the election were being held today, and the candidates were Arlen Specter and Pat Toomey. For whom would you vote?
4/23/04 / 3/10/04
47% / 47% TOTAL SPECTER (NET)
39% / 37% TOTAL TOOMEY (NET)
13% / 15% SOLID UNDECIDED (VOL)
27% I AM DEFINITELY VOTING FOR PAT TOOMEY
32% I AM STILL UNDECIDED BUT WOULD CONSIDER VOTING
33% I WILL DEFINITELY NOT VOTE FOR PAT TOOMEY
7% DON'T KNOW/UNSURE/DEPENDS (VOLUNTEERED)