Wolf Holds Onto Hefty Lead in Democratic Race for Governor: Poll

A new poll shows that Tom Wolf is maintaining a 19-point lead over his closest competitor in Pennsylvania's race for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Franklin & Marshall College survey results released Wednesday showed Wolf favored by 33 percent of Democratic voters -- unchanged from a March survey by the same pollster. The proportion of undecided voters dropped from 46 percent to 39 percent.

The poll showed growing support for the other candidates. But only days before Tuesday's primary, U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz had 14 percent, state Treasurer Rob McCord had 9 percent and former state environmental protection chief Katie McGinty had 5 percent.

Wolf's injection of $10 million in his campaign enabled him to launch a statewide TV advertising campaign in late January that gave him an early, sizable lead his opponents have been unable to crack. The others did not begin regular TV spots until seven weeks later.

McCord and Schwartz, who both have attacked Wolf in debates and their TV ads, saw sharp increases since the March survey in the proportion of voters who view them unfavorably, the latest poll shows. Schwartz's negative rating doubled to 12 percent, while McCord's increased sevenfold in 14 percent.

The telephone poll of 530 Democratic voters was conducted between May 6 and Monday. It carried a sampling error margin of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.

Poll respondents said honesty is the quality that matters most in a candidate for governor.  They cited education and jobs as the most pressing issues, as they did in polls in February and March.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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