A new poll just released by the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston shows former U.S. Rep. Pat Toomey leading U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak in the race for the U.S. Senate while state Attorney General Tom Corbett leads Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato in the race for governor. Toomey led Sestak 45-40 percent with 13 percent undecided. Corbett led Onorato 47-40 percent with 12 percent undecided.
The poll highlighted some similarities with the candidates. Toomey and Sestak were pretty even with the poll's 500 registered voters, with about a third having a favorable impression of the two candidates and about one-fifth not knowing enough about them to decide. A quarter of the poll respondents said they didn't know enough about Corbett and Onorato to say if they liked or disliked them.
But the Democrats in the race -- Sestak and Onorato -- are likely being dragged down by displeasure with the better known leaders of their political party. Fifty-one percent said they don't like the job President Obama is doing while 56 percent were unhappy with Gov. Rendell's performance.
The voters in the poll also seem pretty pessimistic: 83 percent said they don't think the recession is over in Pennsylvania and 59 percent do not expect the job situation to improve in the state in the next six months. The poll, conducted from Sept. 24-27, has a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percent.