As polls show Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato moving away from the pack, his opponents in the Democratic gubernatorial primary are sharpening their attacks against the frontrunner. The latest Muhlenberg College tracking poll gives Onorato a 21-point lead over his closest challenger, Joe Hoeffel, who registered just 11 percent support.
Anthony Williams and Jack Wagner are in single digits.
The other three candidates have begun attacking Onorato by saying he’s overstating his track record in Allegheny County.
This week saw the first round of negative ads in the Democratic primary.
Tony Williams criticized Onorato for inflating his economic record, and Joe Hoeffel began airing a commercial charging the county executive with “flip flopping” on abortion.
Jack Wagner joined in the chorus during a Harrisburg event.
"I know what’s going on in Allegheny County. And if you look at Allegheny County from January 04 to March ’10, there are 6,100 less jobs. They are the facts. And they should be reported accurately."
Onorato has argued the county’s unemployment rate has stayed below the state average.
Wagner also pointed out Onorato has overseen tax increases, including a controversial drink levy.
The latest Muhlenberg College tracking poll gives Onorato a 21-point lead over his closest challenger. Poll director Chris Borick says the other three Democrats are trying to bring Onorato back to the pack – though he notes that will be tough to do, with less than two weeks to go before the primary.
"And I think the ads that, in particular, Williams has put out, and where he’s targeting those, are aimed directly at bringing Onorato’s numbers down. At the same time they hope their numbers will increase as election day approaches."
Borick says Onorato’s support is soft – but he’s still built up a substantial lead.