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Poll: Smith Leads Raja in 37th District Race

Democrat Matt Smith shows lead in race to fill seat vacated by former Sen. Pippy, new polling data shows.

New polling data shows Mt. Lebanon Democrat Matt Smith edging out by a 16-point lead in the race for Pennsylvania's 37th senatorial district. 

The data, conducted by the Washington D.C.-based pollster firm Thirty Ninth Street Strategies, shows 54 percent of voters in the district, which encompasses Moon and Crescent, favoring Smith versus 38 percent favoring Raja. 

Four percent of voters in the district are undecided, according to a statement from the polling firm. 

Smith, who now represents the state's 42nd legislative district, was nominated in July by Allegheny and Washington county Democrats to vie for the seat vacated by former Pennsylvania Sen. John Pippy, R-Moon. 

Raja, a Mt. Lebanon software CEO, captured the Republican nomination for the race during the spring primary, ousting Moon-based state Rep. Mark Mustio and Bethel Park conservative activist Sue Means. 

Pippy left his senate seat in June to become the CEO of the new Pennsylvania Coal Alliance. His term was set to expire at the end of the year. 

Other data from the poll: 

  • Of registered voters in the district, 44 percent identify as Democrats and 39 percent identify as Republicans. Independent voters make up 17 percent of the district's voters. 
  • Republican Mitt Romney holds a one-point lead in the district: 47 percent of voters expressed support for the GOP nominee while 46 percent plan to vote for President Obama. Seven percent of voters in the district are undecided. 
  • U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Scranton, leads Republican Tom Smith at 50 percent to 36 percent. Four percent of voters are undecided. 

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Outraged Citizen August 30, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Thank you for the polling information. I’m curious as to why the Patch decided to report on polling data that is a good three weeks old. It took place August 6-9. This seems awfully dated to be relevant. Additionally, I’m not sure why the Patch didn’t report it was an internal poll from the Smith campaign. Thirty-Ninth Street Strategies was paid to conduct it on Matt Smith’s behalf. This is hardly an unbiased source. I’m sure Raja’s campaign could cite polling data that contradicts Smith’s numbers and shows Raja in front. Was Raja’s campaign contacted for a response or to provide his own polling data? I was hoping for a little more balance here. Sadly, I’m disappointed.
imout August 30, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Maybe this helps explain the liberal reporting bias: Jenna interned at the Huffington Post's Washington D.C. bureau.
Outraged Citizen August 31, 2012 at 04:20 PM
@Sophistahick – Well, I’m usually one to make the charge of bias, but I wanted to give Jenna Staul the benefit of the doubt. I was giving her the chance to tell us that it was laziness rather than bias which led to the omission of pertinent details or to even reporting this in the first place.
Jenna Staul August 31, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Hi guys, Well, I'd like to think it was neither laziness nor bias (and I do take exception to both). This was just some newly released (as of Aug. 29) polling data that provided a bit of insight into how the race is shaping up early on. We didn't contact any of the campaigns mentioned above for comment, as we were just doing a brief post on the polls. When more data is released (and I'm sure it will be on both sides) we'll be happy to report it. Best, Jenna
Outraged Citizen August 31, 2012 at 07:39 PM
@Jenna – First, I guess I’m still just a bit confused on how a three week old poll is the “new polling data” that your headlines indicates that it is. I know the Smith campaign just made it public, but come on Jenna. The polling data is three weeks old. This is hardly indicative of where the numbers stand this week. Second, I thought it was a bit disingenuous that you didn’t mention the “new polling data” was Smith’s own internal numbers from a firm he paid to conduct the poll. That information took me less than three minutes of research to find. Reporting a candidate’s own internal numbers without even the guise of skepticism is irresponsible. Third, it was lazy not to get the other side’s take on the reported numbers. It would have taken you all of 15 minutes to make that call. If you had truly wanted to get a “bit of insight into how the race is shaping up early on,” you would have explored more than just one very narrow view of the race. Finally, you may very well take exception to laziness or bias, but it’s not evident here.
Jenna Staul August 31, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Again, I stand by the post and my work, and any accusation of 'laziness' on my part is flatly insulting. The poll was released on Aug. 29 to press and we will be happy to follow up in the same manner with further data. Thanks, Jenna
Larissa Dudkiewicz August 31, 2012 at 08:06 PM
It's a poll. It says poll in the headline. It says poll in the story. It says who conducted the poll in the story. Take from that what you will.

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