With three weeks to go to the Pennsylvania Primary, to be held on April 26th, and absolutely rocking the boat after a wildly different poll released just days prior, Quinnipiac University has released comprehensive polling numbers for the US Presidential Race in the state of Pennsylvania.
US Senator from Vermont and self-described democratic socialist Bernie Sanders is only 6 points behind his challenger, Former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Sanders’s support comes in at 44%, with Clinton notching 50% and 6% of voters identifying as undecided.
This reported status of the race is drastically different from the outcome of the Harper Polling Survey conducted last weekend. Those results had Clinton holding 55% of the vote and Sanders at 33%, with 12% identifying as undecided.
The analysts over at the research and news site Five Thirty Eight assign ratings to most major pollsters in the United States based off, in short, their accuracy and legitimacy of methodology. Interestingly, Harper Polling, who reported Sanders trailing by at least 20 points, only notches a so-called “C+,” while Quinnipiac University stands at a “B+” rating. This margin of difference in rating underscores that, along with consideration of the sheer magnitude of the difference, Sanders really is, more than likely, standing somewhere around the numbers released today by the Quinnipiac pollsters.
Yet another point in the Senator’s favor is that Harper Polling only calls landlines, which often have results that inaccurately favor Clinton, while Quinnipiac calls both landlines and cellphones to get their results. People who have landlines are generally older, and, as a most-of-the-time rule, older voters generally favor Clinton, therefore skewing landline results such as those produced by Harper. This scenario was one of the reasons credited behind the “biggest primary upset in modern election history,” when Sanders won the Michigan primary by a narrow margin back on March 8.
As for the Republican side, Trump still maintains his lead over his gaining rivals Cruz and Kasich, but that is far from meaning that the state cannot still flip away from the front runner, as Wisconsin polls showed to happen in the final few days before the election there on Tuesday.
The impact, according to this poll, of the Republican outcome in Pennsylvania upon the general election in November is marked, more so than shown by other studies. The Quinnipiac poll, besides primary choices, offered an array of general election match ups to the participants in the study, and, remarkably, Ohio Governor John Kasich came out on top against both Clinton, and, as has not been shown much elsewhere, Kasich even came out on top ahead of Sanders, by a 6 point margin, with 46% of the vote compared to Sanders’s 40%. (The margin of error, that number that represents the magnitude of the grain of salt with which to take a given study, was about 4%.)
Of course, a few weeks ago, even a few days ago, (before Cruz won Wisconsin), Kasich seemed to be, at best, a long shot candidate. But with the possibility of a brokered convention getting higher and higher, and the potential for a Kasich nomination out of that convention to unify the disconnected members of the Republican Party, Kasich’s poll numbers are certainly worth consideration on the part of the Democrats. As the folks at Quinnipiac note, no candidate has ever won the Presidency without winning 2 out of 3 of the states Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida — and Kasich is the strong general election favorite in the first 2.