A new Pennsylvania poll of likely voters, commissioned by ABC27 News and conducted by Susquehanna Polling and Research, finds Hillary Clinton beating Donald Trump and incumbent Republican Senator Pat Toomey trailing Democrat challenger Katie McGinty, 42-40 percent. In a four-way race Hillary leads The Donald by nine points:

  • Hillary Clinton – 46%
  • Donald Trump – 37%
  • Libertarian Gary Johnson – 7%
  • Green Party nominee Jill Stein – 3%

The new poll was conducted July 31 through August 4 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent. The poll’s presidential race numbers are in line with the Real Clear Politics average for Pennsylvania: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein, which has Hillary up by 8.5 percent.

Jim Lee of Susquehanna Polling and Research is surprised by the results for the presidential race:

Lee said he was surprised by the results considering the poll also showed that jobs and the economy and national security were listed as the most important issues facing the nation. Additionally, 56 percent of respondents feel the nation is on the wrong track. All of those things should push voters to the outsider, Donald Trump, Lee said.

But perhaps the answer is in likeability. When asked their opinion of Hillary Clinton, 49 percent said they view her unfavorably and 40 percent had a favorable opinion.

Donald Trump had a 57 percent unfavorable and just 35 percent favorable view of him.

McGinty’s two point lead, which is well within the poll’s margin of error, along with the Real Clear Politics average for Pennsylvania Senate which has McGinity ahead by only 0.3 percent, provides evidence that Trump’s nose dive in the polls is not yet hurting Senate candidates. Toomey still running more or less even with McGinty even as Trump falls further behind.

Toomey, like other Republican Senators in tight races is keeping his distance from Trump. Sen. Toomey didn’t attend the GOP Convention and in a May op-ed column, Toomey wrote: “Trump was not my first, second or third choice. I object to much in his manner and his policies . . . I find his campaign highly problematic.”

John Feehery recently reminded us, if Trump’s poll numbers don’t improve during the next month, we could see a repeat of 1992, when Ed Rollins suggested that House Republican candidates should distance themselves from George H.W. Bush and 1996, when Republicans decided to throw Bob Dole under the bus and run a separate campaign.