Poll: Kane ahead of GOP challenger in Pa. AG race

Jessica M. Karmasek Aug. 28, 2012, 1:55pm



HARRISBURG, Pa. (Legal Newsline) - Kathleen Kane, the Democratic nominee for Pennsylvania attorney general, is leading her GOP opponent, according to poll results released this week.

A new Inquirer Pennsylvania Poll shows Kane, a former Lackawanna County prosecutor, leading Republican challenger David Freed by 11 points.

However, 31 percent of voters said they were still "undecided," according to the survey.

Kane, the first woman nominated to run for state attorney general, has the support of former President Bill Clinton.

In April, Clinton attended a "Get Out the Vote" rally for the former assistant district attorney.

Kane worked on now-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in 2008. She eventually lost the Democratic nomination to now-President Barack Obama.

Kane also received the former president's endorsement.

"Kathleen Kane is the most experienced and qualified candidate to serve as Pennsylvania Attorney General," Clinton said in a statement.

"I am confident that Kathleen will use the legal system to protect and advance the lives of all Pennsylvanians. She is smart, tough and experienced, and she will make a great attorney general."

Freed, Cumberland County's district attorney, ran unopposed for the GOP nomination.

He has been endorsed by Gov. Tom Corbett, a former attorney general himself, and Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley.

Both Kane and Freed are looking to replace current Attorney General Linda L. Kelly.

After Corbett was sworn in as governor in January 2011, William H. Ryan became the acting attorney general. Soon after, Corbett nominated Kelly to replace him.

Kelly, 61, was a prosecutor for more than 30 years, serving as both an assistant district attorney in Allegheny County and senior litigation counsel as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

She is Pennsylvania's first female attorney general since the office became an elected position in 1980. Since then, Republicans have held the office.

The state's general election is Nov. 6.

The results of the Inquirer's poll were based on telephone interviews of 601 potential Pennsylvania voters. It was conducted Aug. 21-23.

The statewide margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points; the five-county margin of error is plus or minus 6.9 percentage points for the entire poll group, and higher for subgroups, according to the Inquirer's website.

As part of the poll, voters also were asked for their opinions on Corbett.

Corbett, who served as the state's top lawyer from 1995 to 1997 and again from 2005 to 2011, was elected governor in 2010. He is up for reelection in 2014.

According to the survey results, voters gave Corbett low job performance ratings.

Thirty-eight percent approved of his performance while 52 percent disapproved.

Many cited the governor's handling of the Jerry Sandusky investigation, according to the poll.

Sandusky, an assistant football coach at Pennsylvania State University, was found guilty on 45 of the 48 charges of sexual abuse in June.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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