Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton still lead their respective primary packs heading into Pennsylvania’s April 26 contest, but the challengers who’ve dogged the respective Republican and Democrat frontrunners so far continue to nip at their heels in the Keystone State, according to a new Quinnipiac Poll.
Trump leads the Republican primary field with 39 percent in the April 6 poll. The New York businessman has consistently placed first in previous Pennsylvania polling, and the Northeast states have long been expected to be friendly terrain for the New York mogul – certainly more friendly than a state such as Wisconsin, where Trump was drubbed by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in Tuesday’s primary.
Cruz sits just nine points behind Trump at 30 percent in the Quinnipiac poll. That’s a huge jump, as Cruz drew only single digits in numerous polls as late as October and only climbed into double digits during the last month.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich takes third with 24 percent, but the Quinnipiac poll also shows Kasich as the lone Republican to top Clinton or Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., in hypothetical general election matchups. Kasich beats Clinton 51-35 percent and Sanders 46-40 percent. Cruz ties Clinton at 43 percent and loses to Sanders 46-38 percent. Trump loses to both Democrat candidates.
Sanders, who’s taking some momentum into the Northeast swing after winning seven of the last eight Democrat contests, polls just six points behind Clinton in Pennsylvania, 50-44 percent.
Either race, however, could swing dramatically in the next three weeks.
While just seven percent of Republicans and six percent of Democrats surveyed said they were undecided, 27 percent of Republicans and 22 percent of Democrats said they may change their minds before casting a ballot.
Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island vote on April 26 with 172 delegates at stake for Republicans and 462 for Democrats.