3/24/2016 Peter Durantine

Trump Up Narrowly, Kasich Closing In; Clinton Leads Sanders, F&M Poll Shows

 Pennsylvania may not be a sure win for Republican Donald Trump, but could be for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the April 26 primary, according to the latest Franklin & Marshall College Poll.

"Hillary looks to stay the course in the election, but Trump's lead has been narrowed by Ohio Governor John Kasich," said Terry Madonna, director of the poll and the College's Center for Politics and Public Affairs.

Trump has gained 11 percentage points since F&M's February poll, bringing his overall support to 33 percent. Kasich's support has doubled in the same period, from 15 percent to 30 percent, putting him in close second.

"He saw a huge jump in his support," said Berwood Yost, the poll's chief methodologist.

View the Full Poll Results

The other GOP candidate vying to be his party's nominee for president, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, picked up 8 percentage points, but still lags behind at 20 percent.

As a native of western Pennsylvania, a neighboring governor and the first of the GOP candidates to campaign in the state, Kasich appears to have some advantages that may help him, Yost said.

"Kasich could win this state," he said.

For the Democrats, the presidential primary race has changed little since January. The poll shows Clinton with a sizable lead over Vermont's U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, 53 percent to 28 percent. That is consistent with the former secretary of state's leads in the last two months of surveys.

The poll also shows that registered Democrats view Clinton and Sanders favorably. Registered Republicans do not have uniformly positive feelings about their candidate, according to the poll.

The poll reflects interviews with 828 registered Pennsylvania voters and was conducted between March 14 and 20. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.3 percent.

The 24-year-old Franklin & Marshall College Poll is conducted under the direction of Madonna; Yost, director of the Center for Opinion Research; and Project Manager Jacqueline Redman. It is produced in conjunction with the Philadelphia Daily News, WGAL-TV in Lancaster, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh, WPVI-TV6/ABC Philadelphia, Times-Shamrock Newspapers, Harrisburg PennLive/The Patriot News, Lancaster Newspapers/Lancaster Online, and the Reading Eagle.

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