Thursday, December 17, 2009
The latest Quinnipiac University poll shows that with five months to go before the primary, the Democratic race for Pennsylvania governor is wide open. Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato holds a lead on the democrat side but Assistant Poll Director Peter Brown says that doesn’t really tell the story. Onorato stands at 14%, with Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Hoeffel trailing with 8%, and Auditor General Jack Wagner in third with 7% percent margin. 69% of respondents haven’t made up their mind, and the poll shows all five Democratic candidates have very low name recognition. Brown says the race could come down to which candidate does the best job defining himself. He says, “This is a race, again, where voters really don’t know who these people are, and money will matter. In the ability to buy TV ads – that’s where it will matter. It will matter because they will be able to communicate their message and try to differentiate themselves from each other.” On the Republican side, Attorney General Tom Corbett leads Congressman Jim Gerlach 38% to 12%. The Poll finds Two thirds of Republicans know enough about Corbett to have an opinion one way or another. Brown says that can most likely be traced to his high-profile job, “It is a reasonable speculation that Corbett’s name recognition, even if he’s not doing the overt kind of campaigning as much as the other candidates, is a fact that he is a statewide elected official. So voters have seen his name before on the ballot. And it may say something about their recognition of what he’s doing as Attorney General.” Eight in ten Republican respondents didn’t know enough about Gerlach to form an opinion. State Representative Sam Rohrer wasn’t included in the poll.