Polls

Huge Generic Lead for GOP in PA, Smaller for Dems in IL

| Tom Jensen

Header-poll-resultsRaleigh, N.C. – Democratic U.S. House incumbents could be in big trouble in Pennsylvania, which has up to eight vulnerable seats held by their party, several of which only recently switched from GOP control in the Democratic wave elections of 2006 and 2008.  The GOP holds a 48-39 generic-ballot advantage among likely voters in the Keystone State.  In Illinois, Democrats are in safer territory, defending no more than three swing seats and holding a 46-40 lead over the Republican Party.  Nearly all of the tenuous Democratic seats in both states, however, are in heavily white, suburban, exurban, or small-city districts that voted for George W. Bush in both 2000 and 2004, and they could show an even greater Republican trend than the overall statewide figure.

In Illinois, Democrats are actually slightly more unified around their party’s candidates for Congress than are the Republicans, but independents go for the GOP by a 40-25 margin.  In Pennsylvania, Democrats, as in the gubernatorial race, are suffering from significant and equal proportions of Democratic voters going for the GOP and remaining undecided, such that only 72% of Democrats support their party’s generic Congressional candidate, considerably lower than the 84% of Republicans who go for their party.  The relatively few Pennsylvania unaffiliateds favor the GOP, 42-19.

In Pennsylvania, 49% say Obama’s support would make them less likely to vote for his endorsed candidate, to 20% who say it would make them more likely, and 31% who say it would make no difference.  Sarah Palin is also pretty toxic, but has slightly better numbers overall.  Republicans are more favorable to her support than Democrats are to Obama, and independents only buck her endorsement 21-36, versus 15-50 for Obama.  Obama, naturally, fares somewhat better in Illinois than does Palin, though his support is still seen as a negative.

“Pennsylvania is going to be a particularly tough state for Democrats this year, but even Illinois isn’t much better,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling.

PPP surveyed 585 likely Pennsylvania voters from August 14th to 16th.  The survey’s margin of error is +/-4.1%.  Other factors, such as refusal to be interviewed and weighting, may introduce additional error that is more difficult to quantify.

If you would like an interview regarding this release, please contact Dean Debnam at (888) 621-6988 or 919-880-4888.

Topline results are below. Full results, including crosstabs, can be found here.

Q1 Are you more or less likely to vote for a
candidate endorsed by President Obama, or
does it not make a difference either way?
More likely………………………………………………. 20%
Less likely ………………………………………………. 49%
Doesn’t make a difference either way …………. 31%

Q2 Are you more or less likely to vote for a
candidate endorsed by Sarah Palin, or does it
not make a difference either way?
More likely………………………………………………. 28%
Less likely ………………………………………………. 46%
Doesn’t make a difference either way …………. 26%

Q3 If the election for Congress was today, would
you vote for a Democrat or a Republican?
Democrat ……………………………………………….. 39%
Republican……………………………………………… 48%
Undecided………………………………………………. 14%

Q4 Is your favorite Pensylvania politician Bob
Casey, Ed Rendell, or Arlen Specter?
Bob Casey ……………………………………………… 31%
Ed Rendell ……………………………………………… 14%
Arlen Specter ………………………………………….. 11%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 44%

Q5 Who did you vote for President in 2008?
John McCain…………………………………………… 47%
Barack Obama………………………………………… 46%
Someone else/Don’t remember …………………. 6%

Q6 Would you describe yourself as a liberal,
moderate, or conservative?
Liberal ……………………………………………………. 16%
Moderate………………………………………………… 39%
Conservative…………………………………………… 44%

Q7 If you are a woman, press 1. If a man, press 2.
Woman ………………………………………………….. 54%
Man……………………………………………………….. 46%

Q8 If you are a Democrat, press 1. If a Republican,
press 2. If you are an independent or identify
with another party, press 3.
Democrat ……………………………………………….. 46%
Republican……………………………………………… 44%
Independent/Other…………………………………… 9%

Q9 If you are white, press 1. If African-American,
press 2. If other, press 3.
White …………………………………………………….. 85%
African-American …………………………………….. 12%
Other……………………………………………………… 3%

Q10 If you are 18 to 29 years old, press 1 now. If
you are 30 to 45, press 2. If you are 46 to 65,
press 3. If older, press 4.
18 to 29………………………………………………….. 9%
30 to 45………………………………………………….. 22%
46 to 65………………………………………………….. 44%
Older than 65………………………………………….. 24%

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