Poll: Rohrer Leads Senate Field

By Brittany Foster and Keegan Gibson

He’s been in the race for all of a day, but a poll released Tuesday morning shows former State Rep. Sam Rohrer atop a crowded primary field for U.S. Senate.

The survey from Public Policy Polling gives Rohrer 25 percent of the vote, compared to 15 percent for former congressional candidate Tim Burns, 3 percent for coal industry veteran Tom Smith, 2 percent for Scranton Tea Party co-founder Laureen Cummings, and 1 percent each for retired Colonel John Vernon and former congressional candidate Steve Welch. Marc Scaringi, a Harrisburg attorney and former staffer to Rick Santorum, takes 0.

Rohrer is certainly helped by the residual name ID from his 2010 primary bid for Governor, in which he pulled in 31 percent against Tom Corbett and built a network of grassroots conservative supporters.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway is just how unknown the prospective primary opponents to Senator Bob Casey really are. Rohrer polled at 24 percent, Burns at 18, and everyone else is sitting in the low teens. 51 percent of Republican primary voters are still undecided or are supporting someone else.

Voters who consider themselves part of the tea party are similarly up in the air, though also favorably inclined toward Rohrer, who recent served as Pa. state director of Americans for Prosperity.

“Rohrer is looking particularly strong at this point with Tea Party voters, where he gets 33% compared to only 20% with Republicans who don’t identify with that movement,” PPP wrote in its polling memo. “It’s nice to start out in the lead but in this race there’s a long way to go.”

On the presidential front, Newt Gingrich has pulled ahead in Pennsylvania. Gingrich leads Romney 26 percent to 21 percent. Poll analysis suggests that as the support of Herman Cain dwindles, support for Gingrich increases. Cain now ties with former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum 11 percent and no other candidate has double digit support in the Commonwealth. Formerly popular Rick Perry has fallen to 3 percent, the same support as Jon Huntsman.

PPP surveyed 400 Republican primary voters from November 17th to 20th via automated telephone interviews. The margin of error for both surveys is +/-4.9%

9 thoughts on “Poll: Rohrer Leads Senate Field

  1. I believe you are witnessing a dynamic that is going to play out in the primary season. Rep. Rohrer has name recognition from the time in the legislature and in his unsuccessful run against endorsed candidate Tom Corbett.

    His natural base is the tea party and those who oppose party endorsement. However, there will be slices into the tea party pie by a well heeled Tom Smith from I-A Patriots and Laureen Cummings from the Scranton Tea Party. All three have support across the state. In addition, many tea party people have voiced favor with both John Vernon and Marc Scaringi (whose policies resemble Rand Paul).

    Mr. Rohrer spoke at length about the “promise he regrets” that resulted in the infamous pay raise vote at his announcement for the US Senate in Camp Hill.

    The PAGOP smear campaign against him in the closing days of the gubernatorial primary for taking his salary and mileage reimbursement during his tenure turned a lot of people off and most saw it for what it was. The counterbalance is Mr. Rohrer is a man of principal and does understand how the system works. He knows how to avoid “newbie” pitfalls due to his service.

    The tough part of this primary is that basically many hold similar positions. As voters we are going to have to decide who has the ability to take those principals and put them into action.

    As to Judy endorsing someone, as a private individual or even as a group leader, or as a state committee person, Judy has every right to endorse, strongly endorse, the candidate of her choice and to point to what she views as a potential weakness in a candidate. I believe there is a huge difference in between a person, a committee person or a group endorsing someone as opposed to the state committee. If the state committee endorses, all elected committee people are effectively muzzled and can not work for a non-endorsed candidate.

    There will be a lot of interesting dynamics in this race. Will someone take the nomination with less than 25% of the vote? A good primary will be good for the party. Make sure to work for the candidate of your choice and donate in some way to their campaign.

  2. Friends, Sam Rohrer didn’t vote for a tax increase in 18 years. That’s a great track record in my book.

  3. EITC is a big one for Sam. Look, guys like Sam Rohrer do not introduce legislation for the sake of developing a pass record. They push forward what they think is good and right–and as VA says they often stand alone. Sam’s conservative voting record is unmatched.

    @Judy–the power of seniority? HUH? What are you talking about? You know how it works!!!

    As a well-known state committee person, you are bringing shame on yourself and the committee by publicly blasting a fellow Republican. And you are turning your back on those that elected you. Shame on you. We all know you support Vernon. Endorse him if you must, despite that we have demanded open primaries, and despite that you won your seat on that platform. But for goodness sake, have some class. A little bit of power has gone to your head.

  4. VA – Sam was never alone. There were lots of conservatives that could have helped him. He did not use the power of his seniority to get things done.

    Becky – what laws did he get repealed? I saw a lot of regulations passed in his 18 years that should never have been passed. Tell us what he did. Although Sam did not vote on Act 129 of 2008 (nicknamed PA Cap and trade) http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/CL/Public/cl_view_action2.cfm he did nothing to get it repealed. That act took away our liberty and freedom. And tell me what did he do to get rid of the PA State Police illegal gun registration database?

    Dem/Casey don’t fear Rohrer – they will use his votes for the unconstitutional payraise and pensions and his record against him. Explain why he voted for those?

    I don’t disparage Sam – I just post his record which not a single person can dispute.

  5. It takes more than one legislator to pass a bill. Sam’s always stood for what’s right–often alone. We need more like him. 72,000 great votes cannot be discounted. Period.

  6. Judy, Sam Rohrer did EVERYTHING to preserve our freedom and liberty by NOT PASSING unnecessary laws. We have TOO MANY LAWS AS IT IS and YOU WANT MORE? If you are voting on someone to go to the Senate so that they will create more intrusive laws and regulations to stifle us, I guess Sam Rohrer is NOT the man you want. Those of us who TRULY value our freedom and liberty know that he is THE person who can protect it. I know he will FIGHT against legislation presented by others in the Senate that are intended to take away our freedom and liberty, rather than spend a MINUTE creating more. GO, SAM!!!!

  7. “Those ‘they’ fear the most are the same ‘they’ most disparage.” Wise words from Rush Limbaugh and ones I’ve always found to be true.

    Good to know Ms. Brown is the first to confirm the fact that the Dems/Casey fear Sam Rohrer the most of any candidate.

  8. OMG here is a 18 year state rep who never got a bill passed, voted for the midnight payraise and increase in his pension and used all the perks available to him and he is leading. Voters need to wake up. He took taxpayer money for 18 years and never accomplished anything to preserve our freedom and liberty.

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