Poll: Specter leads in Senate primary; voters uninformed in gubernatorial race

    With only about a month to go before the Pennsylvania gubernatorial primary, voters still don’t know who’s running. And in the Senate race, Sen. Arlen Specter is well ahead.

    With only about a month to go before the Pennsylvania gubernatorial primary, voters still don’t know who’s running. And in the Senate race, Sen. Arlen Specter is well ahead.

    The latest Quinnipiac University poll surveys likely voters.

    That’s a change from previous polls, which talked to registered voters.

    Polling Director Peter Brown says this is a more accurate picture of who will show up to vote on May 18th.

    In the gubernatorial contest, Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato leads with 20 percent, but Brown says the primary is still a wide-open race.

    “Half the voters don’t know who they’re for, and of those who are for somebody, 70 percent say they may change their mind,” Brown said. “That’s pretty much not plugged in. Again, primaries tend to have lower turnouts than general elections, and this is one that has not yet caught the public’s imagination.”

    Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Hoeffel comes in second with 15 percent.

    Brown says he expects voters to tune in over the next six weeks, when television ads start blanketing the airwaves.

    Right now Onorato is the only candidate airing spots.

    Senator Anthony Williams will start advertising next week.

    In the race for U.S. Senate, Sen. Arlen Specter is leading in his first primary as a Democrat.

    That’s according to the latest Quinnipiac University poll, which surveyed likely primary voters.

    Assistant polling director Peter Brown says Congressman Sestak has a big challenge ahead of him, if he wants to make the race more competitive.

    “The simple math tells you that if, since Mr. Specter’s at 53 percent, if Sestak won every undecided vote, he could still only get to 47, under this poll,” Brown said. “It’s a tough climb for Mr. Sestak. It’s not an impossible climb.”

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