And the winner is ... undecided.
Results of The York Dispatch poll of registered voters who intend to vote in the April 24 primary show most are still deciding who will get their vote for the 4th Congressional District.
The districtwide telephone poll of 400 voters, commissioned by The York Dispatch and conducted April 5-10 by York Township-based Polk-Lepson Research Group, also shows York County Commissioner Chris Reilly having a small lead over state Rep. Scott Perry in the race for the 4th Congressional District.
Only 93 of the 214 Republican respondents had chosen a candidate, with 121, or 56.5 percent, still undecided.
Registered members of the GOP favored Reilly by just 0.3 percent above the poll's +/-4.9 percent margin of error.
Reilly captured 38 voters, or 17.8 percent, to Perry's 27 voters, or 12.6 percent.
"Chris Reilly is clearly in first place, but when you apply the margin of error to it, you say, 'Whoops, Chris and Scott Perry could be very much parallel,'" said David Polk, a principal partner in Polk-Lepson and professor of behavioral sciences at York College. "They're occupying the same position in the voters' minds. There's no way to look at these results and try to predict who's going to be the winner."
Polk said his team waited as long as possible to conduct the poll because of the number of undecided voters whose choices could drastically swing the race.
"All candidates still have a great opportunity," he said. "Things are very much up in the air. What's going to happen in the next two weeks that's going to cause people to say, 'Oh, yeah, this is who I want to vote for'?"
The others: Attorney Sean Summers came in third with 11 votes, or 5.1 percent, followed by businessman Mark Swomley, with 6 votes and a 2.8 percent showing.
Kevin Downs got 5 votes, or 2.3 percent, while Eric Martin captured 4 votes, for 1.9 percent.
And though he was first to enter the race and was the only candidate to announce a run before incumbent Todd Platts announced his retirement, tea party member Ted Waga came in last with 2 votes, or 0.9 percent.
Polk said smart campaigns will analyze undecided voters to find ways into the race.
"If I was a Mark Swomley, I would love to know who it is who's leaning to Chris Reilly and Scott Perry and say, 'I can't appeal to them, so who can I appeal to?'"
Liberals and females: According to the data, Reilly supporters tend to be older male "conservative" and evangelical Christian Republicans, while 65.3 percent of people who
"They represent a third of the Republicans talked to," Polk said. "About 20 percent of all Republicans are liberal and undecided. That doesn't surprise me, because when we hear the Republicans talk, they're all picking up the conservative theme. If you're a liberal Republican, none of these people could be of appeal to you."
The candidates who fared worse in the poll could appeal to an unclaimed moderate and liberal Republican voting sector by recognizing that York County isn't as conservative as it seems when the numbers are analyzed, he said.
"This is not your father's York County," he said. "We've always been moderate when it comes to politics. If I was a Swomley, Summers, Martin, Downs or Waga, I'd see that women and liberals in the Republican party are not happy. If I wanted to just get elected, I'd appeal to liberals and females."
Targeting voters: Perry said he's optimistic some of those undecided voters will find he's the candidate who's best able to articulate solutions to the issues, such as "Obamacare" and the national debt.
"With all due respect to Chris (Reilly), I think I've got the right experience, work ethic and temperament to be the next congressman -- and that will be proven at the polls by the voters," he said.
Perry said he's not surprised voters are undecided. They're frustrated with politics and "engaged in their own lives, something they can control."
"They're just starting to focus now in the last week and a half," he said. "They'll make a decision here shortly, and we think obviously with that amount of undecided that we will be well within the race."
Reilly said the poll results reflect the efforts of his "aggressive campaign."
"We felt we were heading in the right direction, and we were right," he said.
The campaign has been targeting voters through direct mail and television and radio spots, and, for the first time, the candidate has worked to establish a grassroots base, he said.
Reilly, who came in last during the 2000 primary for the district -- which was then the 19th, said he has changed strategies from his past efforts.
"I used to rely primarily on fundraising and media," he said. "Now, we have a strong and efficient grassroots organization. ... The message is what's making the difference. Your media is only as good as your message."
Democrats overshad owed: Though the Republican vote was split among seven candidates and there are only two Democrats in the race, a higher percentage of blue voters were undecided. Of the 186 Democrats polled, 158, or 84.9 percent, were still uncertain.
The 28 decided voters were split slightly in favor of Ken Lee of Cumberland County, over opponent Harry Perkinson of York Township.
Lee had 16 votes, or 8.6 percent of the vote. Perkinson claimed 12 votes, or 6.5 percent of the Dems.
Lee said he's not surprised by the large number of undecided voters.
"We haven't gotten the attention," he said. "A lot of it has been put on the Republicans so far. They're the ones with the signs out, the ones who are on TV. Nobody's heard of us yet, and we didn't expect people to pay attention to us until 10 days to the race."
Expecting that early emphasis on the GOP, Lee only recently started to "get out the vote," he said.
Lee is ramping up his campaign and plans to contact 30,000 voters by phone and by foot before April 24, he said.
Perkinson said he's going to continue spreading word about his campaign, waiting for "the real results" that come out after the primary.
"I'll keep doing what I'm doing until April 24," he said.
-- Reach Christina Kauffman at 505-5436, ckauffman@yorkdis patch.com, or follow her on Twitter at @YDYork County.