Poll shows Elaine Paul Schaefer ahead in race for 165th


Democratic poll shows Dem ahead in race for 165t

from the Delaware County Daily Times

by Kathleen E. Carey

September 7, 2016

A poll conducted for the House Democratic Campaign Committee reported that Democrat Elaine Paul Schaefer is 2 points ahead of Republican Alex Charlton in the race for the 165th State Legislative District. 

Schaefer’s campaign also stated that she had outraised her opponent by $30,000 in the latest finance report, which was filed in May.

Charlton’s campaign contends the poll completed weeks ago isn’t as steady as other indicators and points to Charlton getting to know his neighbors as in his feat of knocking on more than 10,000 doors.

Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner Research polled 400 likely voters of all registrations in the 165th District between Aug. 4-8. They asked, “Thinking ... about the election for state Legislature, if the election were held today, would you vote for Democrat Elaine Paul Schaefer or Republican Alex Charlton?” Respondents chose Schaefer with 2 points over Charlton.

The poll’s margin of error was 2 percent. 

“Elaine Schaefer is the strongest challenger Republicans have faced in the 165th District in three decades and the voters are ready for a change,” Schaefer’s campaign manager, Devin Gosnell, said. “So, it’s no surprise that Elaine holds a slight edge over her Republican opponent.”

Virginia Davis, manager of the Charlton campaign, disagreed.

“An early August poll in Delaware County is not necessarily reliable or meaningful,” she said.

In addition, she said, “While Elaine Paul Schaefer is busy fundraising in Manhattan, Alex Charlton has been out getting to know middle class families across the 165th District going door to door personally. Alex Charlton’s priority has been and continues to be understanding the issues that matter most to the residents of Springfield, Radnor, Broomall and Morton.”

In fact, the Charlton campaign announced that he had knocked on 10,000 doors, 10 weeks before Election Day. 

“It has been a tremendous privilege to meet voters, be invited into their homes and hear directly from them on the issues about which they care most,” Charlton said. “Jobs and the economy, improving our schools, lowering taxes and keeping our communities safe have dominated our discussions. There is no substitution for traditional grassroots campaigning and I look forward to meeting even more voters between now and Election Day.”

Gosnell disputed Charlton’s 10,000-door claim.

“We doubt that number,” he said. “It’s a little eyebrow raising.”

“There are very few people that have knocked on more doors than Elaine Schaefer,” he said, adding that she’s surpassed the 3,000 mark. “Elaine is out there every day, six or seven days a week. I don’t know how it’s possible for anybody to knock on more than that. I’m watching my candidate sweat.” 

With regards to the poll, respondents were polled in a similar breakdown of the district with 50 percent from Springfield, 30 percent from Marple and 20 percent from Radnor, according to Gosnell.

“It accurately represents the population distribution,” he said. “It was done the most scientific way possible.”

Gosnell pointed to the registration statistics that 54 percent of voters in the 165th are Republican, 34 percent are Democrat and 11 percent are Independents.

He added, however, that the poll said it found 45 percent of respondents identified as Democrat and 48 percent identified as Republican.

Overall, no matter what party, 45 percent of the poll respondents identified as moderate.

Despite the district’s dislike of Donald Trump, according to the poll that said the GOP presidential nominee tracked a 65 percent unfavorable rating there, Gosnell said Schaefer’s slight lead was due to her work here, not any trickle down from the top of the Democratic ticket with this poll stating Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton ahead by 13 points. 

“It’s her candidacy, it’s her background,” Gosnell said of Schaefer. “It’s her standing in the community and how respected she is.”

He said the poll stated Schafer, a Radnor township commissioner, has double the name recognition than Charlton.

“The community is responding very well to Elaine’s record of prudent fiscal management and proven consensus-driven approach to government,” Gosnell said, noting her five consecutive budget seasons with a surplus in Radnor.

The seat will become open as state Rep. William Adolph, R-165, of Springfield who’s held the position for 28 years, is not seeking re-election.

Read more here.