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Toomey leads in PA senate race as Sestak is stuck in the 30’s.

The numbers remain little changed this month in Pennsylvania’s race for the U.S. Senate, with Republican Pat Toomey continuing to maintain a slight lead over Democrat Joe Sestak. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in the state shows Toomey with 45% support, while Sestak earns 38% of the vote. Six percent (6%) prefer some other candidate in the race, and 12% are undecided. Last month, Toomey held a near-identical 45% to 39% lead. In fact, except for a brief surge after his mid-May victory over incumbent Arlen Specter in the state’s Democratic Senate Primary, support for Sestak has remained in the 36% to 40% range in matchups with Toomey back to February. In those same surveys, Toomey has received 42% to 47% of the vote. With this latest result, the race is shifting from Toss-Up to Leans Republican in the Rasmussen Reports Balance of Power rankings. Findings in Pennsylvania mirror the political mood found in much of the country, with voters pessimistic about the economy and critical of government actions like the new national health care bill and the federal legal challenge of Arizona’s immigration law. Only eight percent (8%) of Pennsylvania voters rate the economy as good or excellent, while almost half (49%) view the state of the economy as poor. Twenty-six percent (26%) say the economy is getting better, but 46% feel it is getting worse. Sixty-four percent (64%) of voters in the state say the country is in recession, and just 19% disagree. (Want a free daily e-mail update? If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook. This statewide telephone survey of 750 Likely Voters in Pennsylvania was conducted on July 14, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/-4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology. Sixty-one percent (61%) of Pennsylvania voters favor repeal of the new national health care bill which Sestak voted for as a member of the House, while 35% oppose repeal. This is a bit higher than support for repeal nationwide. In the Keystone State, this includes 46% who Strongly Favor repeal and 24% who Strongly Oppose it. Seventy-one percent (71%) of the larger group that Strongly Favors repeal support Toomey. Seventy-seven percent (77%) of those Strongly Opposed to repeal back Sestak. Thirty-one percent (31%) of all voters in Pennsylvania agree with the Justice Department’s decision to challenge Arizona’s law in federal court, but 56% disagree with that decision. That’s comparable to views nationally. Nineteen percent (19%) of Pennsylvania voters have a Very Favorable opinion of Toomey, while 10% view him Very Unfavorably. Sestak is viewed Very favorably by 19% and Very Unfavorably by 14%. Fifteen percent (15%) don’t know enough about either candidate to venture any kind of opinion of him. At this point in a campaign, Rasmussen Reports considers the number of people with strong opinions more significant than the total favorable/unfavorable numbers. Toomey holds modest leads among both male and female voters. He captures 78% of the GOP vote and 19% of Democrats, while Sestak gets just 62% support in his own party. Voters not affiliated with either party prefer the Republican by a two-to-one margin. Republican State Attorney General Tom Corbett holds a 10-point lead again this month over Democrat Dan Onorato in Pennsylvania’s race for governor.

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