Republican Pat Toomey continues to hold a small lead over Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race.
Toomey earns 45 percent support in the latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely Pennsylvania voters, while Sestak picks up 39 percent. Six percent prefer another candidate, and 10 percent are undecided.
The results of that July 28 survey of 750 Pennsylvania voters were changed little from two weeks ago.
Two-thirds of Pennsylvania voters regard Toomey as politically conservative, and 42 percent place his views in the mainstream. Almost 30 percent see him as an extremist, with 31 percent undecided.
While 45 percent believe Sestak is politically liberal, 27 percent characterize him as a moderate. But 39 percent regard his views an extreme, while 37 percent think his views are mainstream. Almost 25 percent aren’t sure.
Almost 70 percent of conservative voters support Toomey, while 86 percent of liberals favor Sestak. Moderates are closely divided between the two candidates.
One-fifth of Pennsylvania voters hold a very favorable opinion of Toomey, while 12 percent view him very unfavorably. Sestak also gets a very favorable from 19 percent but very favorable from 18 percent.
At this point in a campaign, Rasmussen Reports considers the number of people with strong opinions more significant than the total favorable/unfavorable numbers.
The new survey finds Sestak a point closer to Toomey than he was two weeks ago. While that’s not a significant change, it’s enough to move Pennsylvania from leans Republican to tossup status in the Rasmussen Reports Senate Balance of Power rankings.
Support for Sestak has remained in the 36 percent to 40 percent range in matchups with Toomey back to February, except for a brief surge after his mid-May victory over incumbent Arlen Specter in the state’s Democratic Senate primary. During that same time frame, Toomey has received 42 percent to 47 percent of the vote.
Toomey picks up 76 percent of the Republican vote, while Sestak earns 63 percent support from voters in his party. The Democrat holds a modest lead among voters not affiliated with either of the two major parties.
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