With less than a week to go before the election, state Rep. Rick Mirabito, D-Williamsport, has stretched his lead over challenger Harry Rogers, according to the latest Lycoming College poll.
The second poll conducted by Lycoming students targeting the 83rd state House race reveals the incumbent leading Rogers by a margin of 58.9 percent to 30.6 percent with 10.5 percent of likely voters undecided.
A total of 363 likely voters were surveyed during the week of Oct. 21
The polling numbers are similar to those reflected in a survey conducted earlier in the month that showed Mirabito grabbing 55.2 percent of the vote to 30.3 percent for Rogers, according to Dr. Jonathan Williamson, chairman of the college's Department of Political Science and director of the school's Center for the Study of Community and the Economy.
"The number of undecided voters appears to be down a few points and Mirabito's support is up a few points, but the change is small," he said.
The poll's margin of error is plus or minus 5.1 percent.
Rogers said he finds the poll numbers interesting, given the apparent support he is receiving from people he's reached while campaigning throughout the district.
He estimated he has knocked on 13,000 doors since last spring.
"From the many doors I knock on, I am getting a vastly different response," he said. "A guy just waved me down yesterday and said he voted for me on an absentee ballot. I just know what I'm hearing from people. They say they support me."
The exact question of the survey asked: "If the election for Pennsylvania State House of Representatives were held today, would you vote for Rick Mirabito, the Democratic incumbent; Harry Rogers Jr., the Republican challenger, or someone else to represent the 83rd legislative district of Pennsylvania?"
Williamson said Mirabito's apparent strength in the polls comes from a combination of strong support among Democrats, a smaller majority of independents and a significant minority of Republicans.
Overall, 90.1 percent of self-described Democrats indicated support for Mirabito, while 55.4 percent of independents and 34.4 percent of Republicans said they'd vote for the incumbent.
"Elections are decided on Election Day," Mirabito said. "I would just encourage all my supporters not to be swayed by poll numbers but to get out and vote on Election Day."