The latest Franklin & Marshall poll shows a slight drop in the numbers for both the President and Senator Casey, but still has them leading their opponents.
Respondents also ranked the problems facing Pennsylvanians today by order of importance. Here are the top five: unemployment or finances, government or politicians, education, the economy and taxes.
Obama v. Romney
The President is back where he started – that is, where he was in August 2008. F&M’s poll numbers show his re-election prospects to be similar to the numbers right before the 2008 presidential election.
Although his numbers now are lower than they were then, Romney’s numbers are much lower than McCain’s were at the same time.
The President’s favorability dropped 1 point from June, from 47 percent to 46, while Romney’s rating went up from 27 percent to 32.
If the election were held today, Obama would lead Romney 44 percent to 38 percent. Factoring in voters who “lean” toward one candidate gives him a 47 percent to 42 percent advantage, with 7 percent of voters “truly undecided” – enough to change the outcome.
President Obama has led Mitt Romney in every Franklin & Marshall College Poll since
August 2011, although his lead has shrank since their last poll conducted in June.
Voters said the President is best prepared to handle: the job of Commander in Chief, foreign policy and the concerns of everyday Americans. He is also closest to most respondents’ views on social issues like abortion and gay marriage (although this is the smallest lead he has, at 44 percent to 42 percent).
When it comes to the economy, Romney wins out at 44 percent to 42 percent. Two months ago, Obama had a 6-point lead in this category 44 percent to 38 percent.
Casey v. Smith
Currently the incumbent Senator is sitting on a comfortable 12-point lead of 35 to 23 percent – however, with nearly two in five voters undecided (39 percent) the numbers are not certain or definitive.
Adding in initially undecided voters gives Casey a larger 15-point advantage in this poll of 43 percent to 28 percent, but still leaves a high 24 percent of voters who are undecided.
June’s numbers put Casey 21 points ahead of Smith, 42 percent to 21.
Key problems for Smith include name recognition, with only 32 percent of people knowing who he is. Casey also leads his challenger in most regions of the state, and among most voting blocs.
But Casey’s favorability dropped from 38 percent to 36 percent, while Smith’s has gone up from 8 percent to 13 percent – the numbers are still low, most likely on account of his still-low name recognition in the state.
But Smith seems to be catching up, having put a 9-point dent in the gap between himself and the Senator since June.
Interviews were conducted from Aug. 7 – Aug. 12 at the Center for Opinion Research at Franklin & Marshall College, with 681 registered voters responding.
There were 343 Democrats (50 percent), 254 Republicans (37 percent) and 84 registered as Independent/Other (12 percent).
The sample error for this survey is +/- 3.8 percentage points.