Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak’s victory over longtime Sen. Arlen Specter for his party’s nomination Tuesday has given him a bounce in support in Pennsylvania’s general election for the U.S. Senate.
The latest Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of likely voters shows Sestak picking up 46 percent support over Republican nominee Pat Toomey’s 42 percent. Only 3 percent prefer some other candidate, while 9 percent are undecided.
Sestak’s support is up six points from earlier this month and is at its highest level yet measured in the race. Two weeks ago, Sestak and Toomey were in a virtual tie.
In surveys conducted in February, March, and April, Sestak’s support fell within a narrow range of 36 percent to 38 percent. During the same period, Toomey’s support ranged from 42 percent to 47 percent.
Sestak pulled ahead of Specter for the first time all year early this month, 47 percent to 42 percent. On Tuesday, Sestak beat Specter 54 percent to 46 percent in the Democratic primary.
Toomey easily won the Republican nomination on Tuesday with 82 percent of the vote over Peg Luksik.
Rasmussen’s most recent statewide telephone survey of 500 likely voters in Pennsylvania took place Wednesday.
Support for Sestak among Democrats in Pennsylvania jumped from 64 percent to 80 percent since the primary election Tuesday. Toomey’s support among GOP voters in the state has changed little during the past two weeks.
Among voters not affiliated with either major political party, Toomey leads 41 percent to 32 percent.
Almost 50 percent of Pennsylvania voters approve of the job President Obama is doing, while 52 percent disapprove. Those numbers include 27 percent who strongly approve of the president’s performance and 39 percent who strongly disapprove.
Eighty-six percent of those who strongly disapprove of Obama’s job performance support Toomey, while 90 percent of those who strongly approve of the president’s performance support Sestak.
One-fifth of Pennsylvania voters view Sestak very favorably, while 13 percent view him very unfavorably. Another 14 percent are undecided.
For Toomey, 21 percent share a very favorable opinion, and 10 percent hold a very unfavorable impression of him. Another 19 percent have no opinion on Toomey.
Just over 60 percent of Pennsylvania voters favor repeal of the healthcare law, which is slightly higher than results found nationwide. About one-third oppose repeal of the law. Those numbers include 47 percent who strongly favor repeal and 25 percent who strongly oppose it.
Almost three-fourths of Pennsylvania voters who strongly favor repeal of the bill support Toomey. Sestak earns support from 86 percent of those who strongly oppose repeal.
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