Poll has Summer Lee with comfortable lead in 12th District Congressional race – TribLIVE

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A recent poll from political group Emily’s List has state Rep. Summer Lee, D-Swissvale, with a 25 point lead over her nearest competitor in the Democratic race for Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional district.
Among Democratic primary voters polled, 38% said they would vote for Lee. Squirrel Hill lawyer Steve Irwin received 13% in the poll and University of Pittsburgh law professor Jerry Dickinson garnered 7%. Other Democratic candidates Jeff Woodward and William Parker are polling at 2% and 0%, respectively, while 40% of voters were undecided.
Emily’s List is a national political group that supports Democratic women candidates who support access to abortion care. Emily’s List is backing Lee’s run. She is the only woman in the 12th District race.
Lee campaign manager Annie Weinberg acknowledged the poll is just a snapshot of the race, but is encouraged by the results. She said there is momentum behind Lee.
“She is the candidate with the authentic connection to working families,” said Weinberg. “She has a proven track record of fighting for them and winning, which is why so many individuals and organizations, including leading labor unions, have endorsed her.”
Washington, D.C.-based pollster GQR conducted the survey for Emily’s List. GQR polled 400 likely Democratic primary voters within the 12th District between March 26-31. The 12th District includes the city of Pittsburgh, eastern and southern suburbs of Allegheny County, and western sections of Westmoreland County.
The poll also shows Lee holds a more than 20-point lead in name indefinitely and favorability, with 39% viewing Lee favorable and 10% unfavorable. Fourteen percent of polled voters view Irwin favorably, compared to 11% who viewed him unfavorable. Dickinson received 17% of voters viewing him favorable, compared to 4% who were unfavorable.
Progressive group Justice Democrats is also backing Lee, and Executive Director Alexandra Rojas said the poll’s results show Lee’s campaign focused on building a movement around marginalized people is resonating with voters. If elected, Lee would become Pennsylvania’s first Black woman representative in Congress.
“It is clear that Rep. Lee’s experience in the State House standing up for workers, taking on fossil fuel corporations, and organizing to expand our democracy has made an inspiring impact on the voters in PA-12,” said Rojas.
In terms of campaign money raised, Irwin is leading the pack with over $615,000 donated the first quarter of 2022, according to FEC filings. About half of Irwin’s first quarter haul was from a PAC affiliated with the pro-Israel group AIPAC. Lee raised more than $300,000 in the first quarter, and Dickinson raised nearly $162,000 in the first quarter of 2022. Going into the final stretch before the May primary, Irwin has $614,000 cash on hand, while Lee has $383,000, and Dickinson has $215,000.
The Irwin campaign said the Emily’s List poll is not reflective of what it is seeing on the campaign trail.
“We’ve been endorsed by Congressman Doyle, labor leaders, County Exec Rich Fitzgerald, the Allegheny County Dems, and on and on,” said the Irwin campaign in an email. “Our support is as deep as it is wide.”
Dickinson campaign manager Will Taylor said that the more the voters get to know Dickinson and his story as the primary approaches, the more his support will grow.
“What we know from talking to voters is that the more they hear about Jerry’s story of growing up in foster care, struggling with trauma, and working hard to get where he is today, the more they realize that he understands the challenges ordinary families face and that his values are their values,” said Taylor.
Primary Election Day is May 17.
Ryan Deto is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Ryan by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .
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