Poll: Casey Leads Smith Despite Tepid Numbers

In the first head-to-head poll since the primary last month, Bob Casey boasts a solid lead over Republican opponent Tom Smith. The freshman Senator leads the former coal company owner 49 to 33 percent.

Survey firm Public Policy Polling says Casey, “continues to look like an overwhelming favorite for reelection in the Pennsylvania Senate race.” The margin is only two points closer than a March poll where Casey was ahead 49 to 31 percent.

Smith has work to do to shore up the GOP base, 22 percent of which said they plan to vote for Casey, and crack into the Senator’s 42 to 24 percent lead among independents.

The poll has some bright spots for Smith, namely Casey’s lackluster approval ratings. 39 percent of voters surveyed approve his job performance and 38 percent disapprove. That’s a double digit deficit from the magic 50 percent mark where incumbents can start to feel safe.

Writes the pollster, “the silver lining for Smith is that if he improves upon his 59% of the GOP vote and brings it more towards Casey’s 76% of his own party, he is bound to tighten the race. But he will also have to cut into Casey’s nearly 20-point lead with independents.”

However, Smith’s own numbers are worse. While his name recognition increased from 25 to 45 percent since March, only 16 percent of voters see him favorably to 29 percent who have a negative opinion.

Attorney General

Kathleen Kane continues to enjoy momentum from her win in the Democratic primary last month; the former prosecutor from Lackawanna County leads Republican Cumberland County District Attorney Dave Freed 42 to 33 percent.

Kane’s campaign released an internal poll a few weeks ago showing her with a 48 to 27 percent lead.

Auditor and Treasurer

Democrats hold identical 1 point leads in both down-ballot statewide races. State Rep. Eugene DePasquale (D-York) is in front of State Rep. John Maher (R-Allegheny) 35 to 34 percent in the race for Auditor General.

Incumbent Treasurer Rob McCord (D) leads Washington County Commissioner Diana Irey Vaughn 35 to 34 percent as well.

Finally, Democrats lead the generic congressional ballot in PA 45 to 42 percent, including a 10 point lead with independents.

PPP, a firm that often works for Democrats, surveyed 671 Pennsylvania voters from May 17th to 20th via automated telephone interviews. The margin of error for the survey is +/-3.8 percent.

May 23rd, 2012 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Harrisburg, PA Offices 2012, Poll, Senate, Top Stories | 5 Comments

5 thoughts on “Poll: Casey Leads Smith Despite Tepid Numbers”

  1. Harish says:

    Casey is a Dem SociList that supports ObamaCare

  2. @Bob – this poll came out on Wednesday, when this PoliticsPA story was published. The Rasmussen poll came out Thursday, when this PoliticsPA story was published: http://www.politicspa.com/updated-poll-casey-48-smith-41/35983/

  3. For some reason, the usually astute Keegan Gibson failed to post the Rasmussen telephone poll of likely voters showing Casey 48 and Smith 41.

    Bad news for Sen. Casey’s re election. Everyone knows Bob Casey and that he is not shellacking Smith is surprising.

    If voters ask themselves who is more likely to create jobs, Tom Smith who has met a payroll, built a business and created jobs or Bob 98% Casey who has been on taxpayer payroll all his life, I think Tom Smith wins.

    I will be interested to see how the Ds demonize Tom Smith, one of the most unpretentious, low key, down to earth guys in the world. Tom Smith still lives on the farm he grew up on.

  4. John says:

    So the news is that Tom Smith has gained on Bob Casey according to a Democratic Polling Company. Not surprising considering that 20% of Democratic Primary Voters did not vote for the freshman Senator in the primary. Those voters will be at the polls in November.

    With the democratic voter registration edge, if the 22% of republicans do not support Smith, and 20% of democrats do not support Casey, the edge goes to Smith.

    The bottom line will be who can turn the most people out to vote. Again, the primary results give us a real hint about voter dissatisfaction in the democratic party and that will impact the turn out for democrats. 13.3% did not cast a vote for the President, 20% did not vote for Bob Casey and the most votes cast were in the Attorney Generals race, the third race on the ballot.

    The theme of the November election will be similar to 1994…it’s the economy …. With the current shape our economy is in and Sen.Casey’s voting record, it is not something that will inspire people to come to the poll to vote for him.

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