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(WEST READING, PA)—Congressman Joe Sestak is the clear choice of progressive activists for U.S. Senate in 2010, according to a straw poll conducted by Keystone Progress.  Sestak received 62.8% of the votes, while incumbent Senator Arlen Specter was a distant second with 27.6%.  No other candidate received 2%.

Sestak’s dominance was statewide, although he was strongest in the southeast (70.4%) and the Lehigh Valley (73.9%).  The only category that Specter won was among the small number (16) of progressive Republicans who voted.  Specter bested Sestak among Republicans by a 37.5-31.2 margin.

The poll was described as “very unscientific” by Michael Morrill, Executive Director of Keystone Progress.  “We asked our subscribers ‘Who should Pennsylvania progressives support for U.S. Senate in 2010?’  The results are from those who chose to participate.  Still, the results reinforce what we’re hearing anecdotally among progressive activists.”

Keystone Progress ( is the state’s largest online progressive activist organization.  The participants in the poll were all subscribers who have taken action with the organization on issues ranging from keeping electric rates low to standing up for LGBT rights.

Over one thousand people (1011) participated in the straw poll.  They were asked “Who should PA progressives support for U.S. Senate in 2010?”  

Voters were given the option of picking from the five declared candidates—Democrats Bill Kortz, Joe Sestak, and Arlen Specter; and Republicans Peg Luksik and Pat Toomey.  Candidates were listed in alphabetical order, with Democrats listed first.  Voters were also given the option of picking another candidate.  None of the write-in candidates received 1%, nor did Luksik.  Those votes were all added to the other category.

Multiple votes from the same computer were counted only once.  Out of state votes  were not counted.  

The page used for voting can be viewed at:

Complete results follow.  Total votes by party do not total 1011 because party identification was voluntary.  Total votes by geography do not total 1011 because we were unable to identify a small number (20) by zip code.

Keystone Progress will conduct a similar poll for the 2010 governor’s race beginning next week.

Breakdown by party and geography can be seen here:

Originally posted to Michael Morrill on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 06:53 AM PDT.

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