Poll Shows Margolies Takes Commanding Lead In PA-13 Congressional Race


TO: Interested Parties
FROM: Jefrey Pollock & Joe Hickerson
RE: New Survey Results – Margolies Holds Dominant Lead in PA 13 Primary
DATE: August 20, 2013


  • This memorandum summarizes results from a survey of 422 registered Democrats in Pennsylvania’s 13th Congressional District who are likely to participate in the May 2014 primary election.
  • o The survey was conducted August 13-15, 2013 by telephone.
    o The margin of error at the 95% confidence level is +/- 4.8%, and special care was taken to ensure
    geographic and demographic divisions have been properly represented.


  • Former Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies currently holds a dominant lead in the four-way contest
    for the Democratic nomination in Pennsylvania’s 13th Congressional District.
  • o If the primary were held today, Margolies would win 43% of the vote – a 28-point lead over her
    closest opponent, State Representative Brendan Boyle at 15%.
    o Rounding out the field, State Senator Daylin Leach currently takes 7% in the primary, while just
    2% of likely voters support Valerie Arkoosh.
  • No matter how you slice the electorate, Margolies leads the field among every demographic group –
    including Philadelphia residents, despite the presence of a Philadelphia candidate on the ballot.
  • o In addition to winning 51% in Montgomery County, Margolies takes 33% in Philadelphia, which
    is five points higher than Boyle’s 28% of the vote in the city.
    o Nearly a third of likely primary voters (32%) say they are “strong” Margolies supporters.
    o More than half of the 31% who are undecided about the primary are either women or
    Montgomery County residents – two of the most supportive constituencies of Margolies,
    signaling the campaign’s ability to continue expanding support for her.
  • Margolies maintains a wide lead even after lesser known candidates are introduced to primary
    voters with brief positive profiles.
  • o Following the profiles, Margolies wins 47% of the primary vote, followed by Boyle at 18%, Leach
    at 11%, and Arkoosh at 6%.
    o These profiles were read to voters:

    Marjorie Margolies brings a level of integrity and experience unmatched in this race. She's raised 11 children, worked as a whistle-blowing journalist, an educator, and led an international non-profit organization empowering women. In Congress, she successfully fought to pass the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Assault Weapons Ban, and took on Republican obstruction, casting the deciding vote for the Clinton budget that produced the largest expansion of American jobs in the last 60 years – a vote of conscience that cost her job. Marjorie is a leader with integrity who will get things done in Congress.

    Born and raised in a Philadelphia row home, Brendan Boyle worked hard to achieve the American Dream. Brendan learned the value of hard work from his father, a custodian who came over from Ireland at 19, and his mother, a school crossing guard. Brendan was the first in his family to attend college. In 2008, he was the first Democrat ever elected to the Legislature from his district, and since then has built an impressive record on education, health care, government reform, and economic development – and is 100% pro-labor. In Congress, Brendan will continue to fight for the forgotten middle class.

    Daylin Leach grew up between foster homes and family in Northeast Philadelphia. His family was able to survive because their health insurance was Medicaid, his school lunches were subsidized, and college was only possible because of student loans. Daylin wanted to do all he could to make sure other children could have the chance to go to law school, serve in the state Senate, and build a better life. He fought Republican efforts to rig elections, gut human services, and restrict the rights of women and introduced the first marriage equality bill in state history. In Congress, Daylin will continue his record of bold leadership.

    Dr. Valerie Arkoosh isn't a politician. She is a physician, parent of three, and community leader on health issues who fought to pass President Obama's health care law. Valerie comes from modest roots and early on learned the values of hard work, family, respect for all people, and giving back to community. Throughout her medical career, Valerie has worked tirelessly to ensure high quality, affordable and accessible health care for all Americans. In Congress, Val will stand up to the special interests and extreme politicians, and work to ensure that every American has access to a living wage and the health care, education and economic stability they deserve.

  • Margolies’ lead in the primary is based on her high positive name identification. Indeed, Margolies
    is much more familiar to voters than any of her primary opponents – a significant hurdle for them
    given just how expensive the Philadelphia media market is.
  • o Margolies name identification stands at 81%, and 62% are familiar enough to have an opinion of
    her. More than half of the primary electorate (55%) has a favorable opinion of the former
    Congresswoman, while just 8% have an unfavorable opinion.
    o Boyle is the second most familiar to voters (23% favorable/3% unfavorable), followed by Leach
    (13% favorable/3% unfavorable) and then Arkoosh (7% favorable/2% unfavorable).