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October 05, 2015

Poll: Trump, Carson lead among Pennsylvania Republicans

National security, job creation seen as biggest issues

Donald Trump and Ben Carson are in a dead heat among Pennsylvania Republicans, according to a poll released Monday.

The survey from Mercyhurst University’s Center for Applied Politics polled 483 registered GOP voters in the state and found businessman and reality television star Trump tied with retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson with 18 percent each.

Trailing the two candidates were former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (9 percent) and businesswoman Carly Fiorina (8 percent).

No other candidate, including New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, polled higher than 4 percent. 

Among the two leading candidates, Carson tops Trump in favorability rating, 70 to 54 percent. Trump had the second-highest number of voters say they viewed him unfavorably at 40 percent, a number only lower than Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (45 percent).

While illegal immigration has become a highly contentious and talked about issue in the race, a talking point Trump credits himself for bringing into the national discussion, it isn't the most important issue among Pennsylvania republicans, according to the survey.

Half of the respondents said national security and terrorism should be the top priority of the federal government while 45 percent said it should be job creation and the economy. 

The survey was conducted between Sept. 21 and Oct. 1 and has a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points.