Poll: McGinty Gains Slight Lead in Senate Race as Clinton Pulls Ahead of Trump

A new Quinnipiac poll hints that Katie McGinty is benefiting from Hillary Clinton's success. Is Donald Trump hurting Pat Toomey?

A new Quinnipiac University poll says that Democrat Katie McGinty has gained a small lead on Republican incumbent Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania’s Senate race.

The poll, which was released today, puts support for McGinty at 47 percent of likely voters, ahead of Toomey’s 44 percent, but says the race remains a toss-up. Women and minorities in Pennsylvania who participated in the poll largely back McGinty, while white male participants prefer Toomey.

The Quinnipiac University survey is the most recent of three notable polls released shortly after the Democratic National Convention that place McGinty ahead of Toomey. There’s one thing the three polls have in common: They also place Hillary Clinton ahead of Donald Trump.

Toomey, an incumbent, has refused to distance himself from Trump, the GOP presidential candidate who’s drawn criticism for several recent comments, including one that sparked accusations that he suggested violence toward Clinton.

Peter A. Brown,, assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll, said in a statement that Republican candidates for U.S. Senate in swing states like Pennsylvania are “running against their own presidential nominee … as much as they are against their Democratic opponents.”

Despite Trump’s fall in recent polls, Toomey said at a press conference that he remains “in a mode of waiting to be persuaded” about supporting the controversial GOP presidential candidate. In the same speech, Toomey called Clinton “unacceptable.”

McGinty, on the other hand, has loudly denounced Trump while supporting Clinton. When McGinty spoke at a Clinton rally on Temple University’s campus just one day after the DNC, she repeatedly compared Toomey to Trump, shouting, “While we’re sending Pat packing, let’s dump Trump!”

Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll, suggested that McGinty’s campaign is benefitting from Clinton’s 10-point lead over Trump in Pennsylvania, as claimed in the same poll, and that “any way you cut it, this first-timer is giving the incumbent a run for his money.”

The latest Toomey and McGinty beef surrounds Philly’s sanctuary cities policy.

The Quinnipiac poll surveyed 815 registered voters in Pennsylvania with a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points. According to Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight, the Quinnipiac University poll receives an A- polling grade and has a slight Republican bias.

Follow @ClaireSasko on Twitter.