Pennsylvania: Dahlkemper Trails Opponent in New Poll

Posted September 22, 2010 at 7:27pm

Count Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper among the state’s most endangered Democrats.

The freshman is trailing GOP hopeful Mike Kelly in the race for the 3rd district, 38 percent to 42 percent, according to an independent poll released Wednesday by Franklin & Marshall College.

The survey of 482 people — conducted Sept. 14-19 with a 4.5-point margin of error — found Kelly, a car dealership owner, enjoys a 4-point lead among registered voters. Among likely voters, however, Kelly’s lead extends to 6 points.

It was no secret that Dahlkemper would face a tough re-election bid this cycle. She won election in 2008 with just 51 percent of the vote, and the northwestern Pennsylvania district leans Republican.

But the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is optimistic.

“The more voters learn about how Mike Kelly is out of touch and only out for himself, the more they’ll recognize that he’s the wrong choice come November,” DCCC spokesman Shripal Shah said. “We’re confident we’re going to hold on to this seat.”

Toomey Hits 50 Percent in New Quinnipiac Poll

Rep. Joe Sestak, the Democratic Senate hopeful, is in trouble on a number of fronts, according to a poll released by Quinnipiac University on Wednesday morning.

Former Rep. Pat Toomey (R) led Sestak 50 percent to 43 percent in the survey of 684 likely voters taken Sept. 15-19. The margin of error was 3.8 points.

Beyond the head-to-head matchup, however, a number of factors suggest Sestak is facing an uphill battle.

The first is the popularity of President Barack Obama. Likely voters disapprove of the job the president is doing, 56 percent to 40 percent. They say they want a Senator who opposes, rather than supports, the president’s policies, by 52 percent to 43 percent.

Forty-six percent of likely voters also reported that they want Republicans to control the Senate after the November ballots are counted.

“Pat Toomey is in a good place, ahead by 7 points with six weeks to go. But Congressman Joe Sestak has proven himself a tough competitor so it’s too early to order the champagne,” Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement.

He added, “Toomey’s lead among independents is why he is ahead.”