Pennsylvania Statewide Poll

November 2-3, 2016

Electoral Environment

Direction of Country

The majority of likely voters in Pennsylvania still have a bleak outlook on the country’s direction (31% right direction/59% wrong track). Trump voters are far more pessimistic (93% wrong track) than Clinton voters (59% right direction/24% wrong track). 

Q: Would you say that things in the country are going in the right direction, or have they gotten off on the wrong track?

Voter Enthusiasm

Most voters are “very enthusiastic” about voting on Tuesday (61%, 17% somewhat, 19% not). Democrats are somewhat more likely to say they are very enthusiastic (66%) than Republicans (61%). More than a third of Independents describe themselves as not enthusiastic (36%, 45% very enthusiastic). Men (67% very) are more enthusiastic about voting than women (57%). 

Q: And how would you describe your level of enthusiasm about voting in the November elections?

The Race for President

Presidential Ballot

With signs of the race trending Trump in the waning days of the campaign, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are tied in the Keystone state (46-46%, 2% Johnson, 1% Stein, 4% Undecided). Clinton has a steady lead with women (49% Clinton-44% Trump) while Trump has expanded his advantage with men (43-49%, 9/22: 42-44%). Independents prefer Trump (26-46%) but self-identified Moderates choose Clinton (57-31%). 

Q: If the election for President were held today, who would you vote for: Democrat Hillary Clinton, Republican Donald Trump, Libertarian Gary Johnson OR Green Party candidate Jill Stein?

Battleground Pittsburgh

In September we identified the Pittsburgh/Southwest region as a key indicator of the trends of the race. Donald Trump now leads there by 6%, after previously trailing Clinton by 3%. The other regional patterns are generally stable. 

A Closer Look by Harper

But who is going to win?

Despite a dead heat on the ballot, a majority of likely voters expect Hillary Clinton to win the election on Tuesday (50% Clinton-37% Trump). This is consistent with our September results (49-38%). Women (51-34%) and men (49-42%) both believe Clinton will win. Likely voters in Pittsburgh and the Southwest (42-45%) and the South Central (29-56%) regions of the state are outliers in believing Trump will win (Northern Tier: 41-40%, Philadelphia/SE: 67-24%, Scranton/LV: 47-38%). 

Q: Despite your preference for President, which candidate do you believe is most likely to win?

Please, make it stop.

Pennsylvania voter opinion on the last few days of the election is somewhere between “Complete torture. I avoid turning on the TV so I don’t have to see one more political ad” (34%) and “Train wreck. I don’t like it but I can’t look away” (35%). Nineteen percent of likely voters say “This is the most exciting election in years. I’m part of a movement” comes closest to their opinion.

Trump voters are more than three times as likely as Clinton voters to say “This is the most exciting election in years. I’m part of a movement” (30-9%).
Similarly, there is evidence that Trump has mobilized a base, as Republicans are about twice as likely as Democrats to say they’re part of a movement (26-14%), and this number increases among Conservatives as well (Very Conservative: 25% exciting/movement, Somewhat Conservative: 28%). 

Men are more likely to feel the election is “complete torture” (35%) at this point, while women describe it as a “train wreck” (36%). Pluralities of voters in the Scranton/Lehigh Valley (39%) and South Central (40%) regions still identify the election as a fascinating “train wreck.” Voters in the Philadelphia/ Southeast (36%) and Pittsburgh/Southwest (36%) regions, who are the most heavily bombarded with political ads, have moved on to “complete torture” levels.


Q: Which of the following statements comes closest to your opinion about the remaining few days of the election? Complete torture, I avoid turning on the TV so I don't to see one more political ad. Train wreck, I don't like it, but I can't look away. This is the most exciting election in years, I'm part of a movement.  

The Race for Senate

Senate Ballot

Senator Pat Toomey (44%) and Democrat Katie McGinty (44%) are tied heading into Election Day (6% Clifford, 5% undecided). Toomey has a slight intensity advantage (40% definitely Toomey-38% definitely McGinty). Toomey earns a majority of the vote in the Northern Tier (53-35%), Pittsburgh/Southwest (51-36%) and South Central (65-25%) regions and leads by a smaller 4% margin in Scranton/Lehigh valley (47-43%). McGinty leads with 62% of the vote in Philadelphia/Southeast (27-62%). Like Trump, Toomey has taken the lead in Pittsburgh/Southwest since September (9/22: 34-49% McGinty). Republicans are narrowly more supportive of Toomey (78%) than Democrats are of McGinty (75%). Toomey earns a majority of the Independent vote (55-23%) but McGinty does the same with Moderates (31-52%). 

Q: If the election for United States Senate were held today, who would you vote for: Democrat Katie McGinty, Republican Pat Toomey, or Libertarian Edward Clifford?

Negative Campaign

Voters are split on which of the candidates for US Senate is running the more negative campaign (39% McGinty-40% Toomey). Those who are undecided in the race for Senate say Toomey is running the more negative campaign (29% McGinty-38% Toomey). Not surprisingly, from the perspective of a voter in Philadelphia and the Southeast, Toomey’s campaign is more negative (24-52%), while for those in Pittsburgh/Southwest, McGinty’s is more negative (51-34%). 

Q: Who do you believe is running a more negative campaign for Senate: Katie McGinty or Pat Toomey?


METHODOLOGY: The sample size for the survey is 504 likely voters in Pennsylvania and the margin of error is +/-4.4%. The survey was conducted by Harper Polling on November 2-3, 2016 using Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology. The total percentages for responses may not equal 100% due to rounding.

Harper Polling