Poll: Democrats hold narrow edge in Pennsylvania



(The Center Square) — Voter sentiment offers a mixed bag to Democratic candidates in Pennsylvania, according to a recent poll.

Gov. Josh Shapiro’s popularity among residents remains steady, and President Joe Biden has a lead over Donald Trump in Pennsylvania, but all is not rosy for Democrats.

The latest quarterly poll from the Commonwealth Foundation found Shapiro has a 62% approval rating and Biden leads Trump 44-41. But only 35% of Pennsylvanians think the state is moving in the right direction. Biden has a 54% disapproval rating in the state.

And, in the U.S. Senate race, incumbent Sen. Bob Casey leads presumptive Republican challenger Dave McCormick 47-30 — but 23% of poll respondents were undecided between the two.

What the polling reveals may be less of a Democratic or Republican lead, but a certain disillusionment with the choices voters get at the polling place. In state and national politics, a significant chunk of Pennsylvania voters are unhappy with the status quo and with either major party.

A majority of respondents, 60%, said they were “somewhat dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied” with 2024’s presidential candidates. That dismay could carry over to state races, too.

Erik Telford, ​​senior vice president of public affairs for the Commonwealth Foundation, said that “it’s a red flag” when an incumbent polls at less than 50%.

“Across the state, what turnout looks like, how opinions change over time — a lot can happen,” he said. “Much remains to be seen.”

With no names attached, though, Pennsylvania Democrats may have more hope.

Commonwealth’s poll found that 43% of respondents preferred a Democratic candidate in Congress over a Republican one. And, for president, respondents also preferred a Democrat over a Republican, 51% to 44%. That represents a five point gain for Democrats since the last quarterly poll.

What pushes a registered voter’s concerns are mostly pocketbook issues: inflation/cost of living was the top-ranked issue (22%), followed by crime/rising violence (8%), and the economy (7%).

The same issues were at the top of mind for Pennsylvanians considering a move: lower cost of living, lower taxes, and better jobs and opportunities were the top answers respondents noted for why they wanted to leave the commonwealth.

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