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Poll: Perry holds slight edge over DePasquale

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
Congressman Scott Perry attended opening ceremonies at the 104th Pennsylvania Farm Show Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020. Saturday was the first day of the week-long farm show. Bill Kalina photo

U.S. Rep. Scott Perry holds a narrow lead over state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, according to a poll commissioned by DePasquale's campaign. 

The internal poll, conducted by Washington-based research firm GBAO, found that the Carroll Township Republican leads the 10th Congressional District race with the support of 50% of likely voters. DePasquale, Perry's Democratic challenger, had the support of 47% of those surveyed, which was within the poll's margin of error.

Perry campaign spokesperson Brian Nutt said the results show voters are spooked after DePasquale's "underwhelming performance in the primary against an underfunded candidate" and are concerned with allegations DePasquale illegally used state-level campaign funds to bolster his congressional bid.

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Nutt was referring to a complaint in April to the Federal Election Commission by Tom Brier, who lost to DePasquale in the June primary election. He has since endorsed the auditor general.

However, Brier said he never notarized the complaint, as required by the FEC, and wasn't of an actual investigation.

DePasquale's campaign also found good news in the poll results, saying the numbers are a good sign for the candidate who "has seen overwhelming enthusiasm on the ground."

"The residents of PA-10 know Eugene will put them first when he serves in Congress, and this poll shows when we get our message out, we win,” said campaign manager Rachele Fortier.

The GBAO poll also found that Perry has a name recognition advantage. Of respondents, 80% reported being familiar with the him, while 63% reported being familiar with DePasquale.

State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale talks with the media during his visit at York Hospital Wednesday, June 12, 2019. Bill Kalina photo

That came despite the fact that analysts have cited DePasquale's name recognition is a key factor in his candidacy.

Although President Donald Trump carried the 10th Congressional District by 9 points in 2016, analysts have noted Democrats have made significant progress in recent years, particularly in Harrisburg.

The Cook Political Report and Politico also have both listed the race as a toss-up.

Perry's last race was in 2018, when he defeated Democrat George Scott by less than three points.

The 10th District includes northern York County, part of Cumberland County and all of Dauphin County.

GBAO surveyed 600 likely general election voters between May 28 and May 31, and the poll has a margin of error of 4%.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.