A new poll shows Donald Trump and John Kasich vying for the top spot in Pennsylvania
Hillary Clinton has a wide lead over her Bernie Sanders
GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump and Ohio Gov. John Kasich are virtually tied for support in Pennsylvania, according to a new poll, released a month before the state’s Republican voters make their pick for their presidential nominee.
The billionaire real estate mogul tops the Ohio governor 33% to 30%, according to a Franklin and Marshall College poll released Thursday, within the poll’s margin of error.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz trails his two rivals with 20% support in the poll.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has a wide lead over her Democratic competitor, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, 53% to 28% among Pennsylvania Democrats, according to the poll.
Released just four days before Pennsylvania’s deadline to register to vote in the presidential primary, the survey results reflect the views of registered voters, and may not be an accurate picture of the opinions of the smaller group who will actually show up for the state’s primary, set for April 26.
The poll also does not use weighting to correct for older voters’ being more likely to respond to surveys. That means older voters may be over-represented in the poll’s results. About 4-in-10 respondents to this poll are 65 or older, and just 8% are in the 18-34 year-old demographic, which may have tilted the scales in Clinton’s favor. Sanders has shown a consistently significant lead over Clinton among younger voters in past primary contests.
Kasich’s strong showing in the Pennsylvania poll comes surviving a challenge to his eligibility to be on the primary ballot.
Kasich submitted only slightly more than the number of signatures required to appear on the Pennsylvania ballot and a challenge from a supporter of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s could have invalidated enough signatures to boot him from the list of candidates. The challenge was withdrawn after Rubio dropped out of the race after suffering a drubbing in his home state of Florida.
Kasich’s strong standing in the poll will be worrying for Cruz supporters and Republicans urging Kasich to drop out so that the Texas senator can consolidate the anti-Trump vote. The Ohio governor has so far resisted such calls and insisted that upcoming contests in eastern states like Pennsylvania make him the best alternative to Trump.
CNN’s Jennifer Agiesta contributed to this report.