The 2012 Pennsylvania primary is scheduled for April 24, and the presidential election will top the ballot.
President Barack Obama is likely to win the Democratic Party nomination without a challenge, while at least eight Republicans are expected to seek their party’s nod.
By late April, the GOP might already have settled on a nominee, making the Pennsylvania primary an afterthought.
Easton-based Communication Concepts LLC last week released the results of a poll, and U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota led the way with 23 percent, followed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with 16 percent.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum took 13 percent. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich each had 5 percent. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty was at 4 percent. Herman Cain, a former businessman and media commentator, received 3 percent. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman managed 1 percent.
Another 29 percent were undecided or preferred other candidates.
In a general election matchup, 77 percent of Republicans said they would vote for the GOP candidate, while 5 percent would back Obama.
The firm conducted a statewide survey of 622 Republican voters in Pennsylvania.
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Al Taubenberger, a Republican candidate for a City Council at-large seat, believes the city’s public education system can improve only with new leadership.
Taubenberger, a Fox Chase resident and president of the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, is calling for the resignations of Arlene Ackerman, superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia, and members of the School Reform Commission.
The school district is facing a deficit of more than $600 million. City Council recently approved a property tax increase of 3.85 percent, with revenue earmarked for the district.
“The failure of Superintendent Arlene Ackerman and the School Reform Commission to properly manage the Philadelphia school district is toxic to Philadelphia’s growth,” said Taubenberger, a Northeast High School graduate who has sent his children to public schools.
Meanwhile, Taubenberger is happy that Mayor Michael Nutter vetoed a bill that would require businesses to offer paid sick days to employees.
Council had passed the measure 9-8. Taubenberger testified against it.
“The mayor and I both believe the paid sick leave bill puts Philadelphia at a competitive disadvantage at a time when the city should be focusing on job creation and growth,” said Taubenberger, who lost to Nutter in the mayor’s race four years ago.
The municipal election is Nov. 8.
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Patrick Murphy, a Democratic candidate for state attorney general in 2012, recently collected several union endorsements.
The state chapter of the American Federation of Teachers is the latest union to announce its support for the former congressman, who once served in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps and as a special assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.
“With Patrick Murphy’s background in law enforcement, he has seen firsthand the profound connection between getting a good education and staying out of trouble with the law,” said Ted Kirsch, president of the state chapter of the AFT. “He knows the vast majority of people in prisons today had academic and behavioral problems long before they dropped out of school and turned to crime.”
A Parkwood native, Murphy has also won the support of the Laborers District Council of the Metropolitan Area of Philadelphia and Vicinity, Sheet Metal Workers Local Union 19 and Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers’ and Grain Millers’ Local 6.
Murphy won the 8th Councilmanic District seat in 2006, ousting freshman Republican Mike Fitzpatrick. He was easily re-elected two years later, but lost a rematch to Fitzpatrick in 2010.
Former Lackawanna County Assistant District Attorney Kathleen Kane is also running in the Democratic primary. Dan McCaffery, the runner-up in the 2009 Philadelphia district attorney’s Democratic primary, also plans to run.
Possible Republican candidates include state Sen. John Rafferty, Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed and Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman. ••
Reporter Tom Waring can be reached at 215-354-3034 or firstname.lastname@example.org