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Toomey strengthens lead over McGinty in U.S. Senate race, poll shows

| Wednesday, June 22, 2016, 5:24 p.m.

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Lehigh Valley, has widened his lead over Democratic challenger Katie McGinty in Pennsylvania's critical Senate race, a poll released Wednesday showed.

The Quinnipiac University Poll said 49 percent of registered voters support Toomey, 40 percent back McGinty, 4 percent do not plan to vote in November and 8 percent are undecided. The poll's margin of error is 3.2 percent. The results are rounded.

β€œThe GOP's anxiety over shaky Senate seats appears not to apply to Pennsylvania. Sen. Pat Toomey looks good to go so far,” said Tim Malloy, the poll's assistant director.

In May, Toomey led by 1 percentage point. That poll showed that 42 percent of Pennsylvania voters had a favorable opinion of Toomey, but nearly one in three voters said they would be less likely to vote for him in November because he wants to push back consideration of Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court until after the election.

The latest poll puts Toomey's favorability rating at a slightly higher 44 percent, while McGinty's is 32 percent, up 2 percentage points from May. A higher percentage of voters β€” 39 percent β€” don't know enough about McGinty to have an opinion of her, the poll said.

In other critical Senate races, failed Republican presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio holds a 7-percentage-point lead over U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy and an 8-point lead over U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, the two Democratic front-runners in Florida. Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman and former Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland are tied in Ohio.

Tom Fontaine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7847 or tfontaine@tribweb.com.

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