A whopping 44 percent of likely voters are undecided in the U.S. Senate race according to the latest survey from Mercyhurst University. Democratic Sen. Bob Casey leads Republican Tom Smith 31 percent to 21.
The number is far higher than most recent polls of the race, which show Casey leading Smith 47.5 percent to 34.3 percent and 18.2 percent undecided. That’s according to the Real Clear Politics average of the four most recent public polls of the race, not including this Mercyhurst survey.
When undecided respondents were pushed to choose, Casey’s lead widened to 14 points, 42.9 percent to 28.5.
The good news for Smith? His supporters are more dedicated to vote for him. 89 percent of respondents who said they’d vote for the former coal company owner said they were very certain of their choice and 11 percent were somewhat certain. 67 percent of Casey supporters said they were very certain and 30 percent said they were somewhat certain.
Likely voters approve Pennsylvania’s new voter ID law, which has enjoyed steady public support despite efforts by mostly Democratic critics to cast it as an effort to disenfranchise minorities, students and the elderly. 57 say the law’s benefits outweigh its costs, 35 percent say the costs outweigh the benefits.
Republicans polled overwhelmingly support an ID requirement (90 percent); Democrats less so (31 percent). Most Democrats 964 percent) believe that such a law would unfairly target disadvantaged people, only 9 percent of Republicans agree.
The law is will be reviewed by the Pa. Commonwealth Court on Tuesday.
The Mercyhurst Center for Applied Politics conducted live Interviews with 522 likely voters at a margin of error of plus or minus 4.29 points. The pollster weighed data on age and gender to correct for discrepancies between sample and population.
52 percent of respondents said they considered themselves to be Democrats, 42 said they consider themselves to be Republicans, and 4 percent identifies as independents.
The survey was conducted from Sept. 12 to 20, an unusually wide window.
You can view the full polling memo here.