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F&M poll shows wide disparities for Democratic gubernatorial candidates

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As primary day approaches, we're being bombarded with political ads telling you to vote for this candidate over that candidate.

With Gov. Tom Corbett having officially declared he's running for a second term (and he's got minor competition from long-shot Bob Guzzardi, an attorney), in my opinion it will be the Democratic side of the race that will be the one to watch.

In that vein, Franklin & Marshall College conducted a poll in March to identify the front-runner and those who need to step up their campaigns.

For the record, one of the findings was that 46 percent of registered Democratic voters haven't picked a favorite yet, according to a news release. That's a lot of votes up for grabs in the next month.

Here's a look at some of the highlights from the study:

• York County businessman Tom Wolf continues to lead the Democratic gubernatorial primary, with 33 percent saying they'll vote for him. The next-closest candidate is U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, who had 7 percent planning to vote for her. Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord came in with 6 percent, and Katie McGinty, a longtime governmental figure, garnered only 4 percent.

• 71 percent have seen a TV commercial for at least one of the candidates. Of those who have seen a commercial, 85 percent have seen a Wolf commercial, 42 percent have seen a McCord commercial and 39 percent have seen a McGinty commercial.

• Education remains the top issue for Democratic voters: 31 percent said candidates' view on education was most important, while 19 percent said it was the economy/job market.

Margin of error on the study was +/- 4.3 percent. The Center for Opinion Research at Franklin & Marshall College interviewed 524 registered Democratic voters March 25-31. Full results of the poll are available here.

A reminder: You have one week left to register to vote in the primary — deadline is April 21. The primary will be held May 20.

Which candidates have impressed you so far? And how long do you wait until you know who you're going to vote for?

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Amy Gulli

Amy Gulli

Amy Gulli is the managing editor of the Central Penn Business Journal. Have a question or tip for her? Email her at Follow her on Twitter, @amygulli. Circle Amy Gulli on .

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