Poll: Smith Leads Senate Race

Tom Smith is atop the field of Republicans seeking to unseat Sen. Bob Casey, according to a poll released this morning. Smith has 25.7 percent to Sam Rohrer’s 17.9 percent, but a strong 48.2 percent of respondents are still undecided.

The survey was commissioned by the affiliated PAC of Citizens United, a conservative group that endorsed Smith last week. So, while not exactly an internal poll, it should be taken with a grain of salt. The full polling memo and toplines are below.

The results were:

Tom Smith – 25.7%
Sam Rohrer – 17.9%
David Christian – 4.3%
Steven Welch – 2.2%
Marc Scaringi – 1.7%
Not Sure – 48.2%

Polling of the race has varied greatly based on phrasing of the main poll question. Yesterday, Franklin and Marshall released a poll showing Smith with a narrow lead at 9 percent, but 81 percent undecided. In mid March, a Public Policy Polling survey showed Rohrer leading with 16 percent, but 48 percent undecided.

What they have in common is the fact that Smith, who has been on television since December, is gaining name ID. According to the pollster, Smith has caught up to Rohrer in name ID. Rohrer is well known among Pa. conservatives for his gubernatorial bid in 2010. That’s probably why the pollster found that 48 percent of Rohrer’s supporters are committed to supporting him – the highest of any candidate.

From the memo:

The race is a dead heat among TEA Party conservatives, the survey shows, with Smith winning 28% and Rohrer 27%. Smith holds a substantial 30% to 10% lead over Rohrer among traditional conservatives, and a slim 14% to 11% lead among those who identified themselves as political moderates.

While Rohrer held a 20% to 14% lead in the Philadelphia area, Smith leads by substantial margins in the rest of the state with the exception of the Susquehanna Valley and South Central Pennsylvania, where the two candidates are essentially tied. Smith also leads among younger and older voters, while Rohrer holds a small advantage among those likely voters in their 40s and 50s.

The pollster also surveyed the Presidential primary, and found good news for Rick Santorum.

Santorum: 45.6%
Mitt Romney: 25.9%
Ron Paul: 10.4%
Newt Gingrich: 8.6%

The polling firm is Wenzel Strategies, which conducted a telephone survey of likely Republican primary election voters from March 26-27. The results include 997 respondents, at a margin of error of +/- 3.07 percentage points.

Christian is a veterans advocate and businessman from Bucks County; Rohrer is a former state Rep. from Berks County; Scaringi is an attorney from Cumberland County; Smith is a former coal company owner from Armstrong County; and Welch, the candidate endorsed by GOP state committee, is an entrepreneur from Chester County.

Pennsylvania Senate Race-GOP Primary Polling Memorandum 3-28-2012 1docx

PA GOP Senate Poll Topline Report 3-28-2012 (3)

10 thoughts on “Poll: Smith Leads Senate Race

  1. If Smith is willing to put out a factually inaccurate hit piece on Sam Rohrer, who, by the way, Smith generously supported in the 2010 race, ($30,000) then what does that make Smith? It makes him complicent or a liar. In this case, Mr. Smith is lying. There, I said it in the nicest way possible.

  2. Smith has done everything except demonstrate he is qualified for the second highest elected office in the nation. He’s purchased himself a rock star your bus. He’s demonstrated the ability to buy name recognition–and people. He’s avoided and canceled debates and now has attacked a good man with distortions of the truth. Good show. Integrity and honor? Doesn’t possess. Can’t buy. Class? Doesn’t come with wealth. Clearly. The voter who’s convinced to vote for Smith based on his antics this far is the voter who deserves him. Hopefully there aren’t that many stupid people in Pennsylvania.

  3. Here is the bottom line. I just received a totally disingenuous hit piece on Sam Rohrer from the Smith campaign in the mail today. The entire piece is filled with half truths and I am confronting them on their accusations. Sam Rohrer has never run negative advertising against a fellow candidate in his entire political career. So one has to ask themselves, if Smith will not be totally honest with the voters in the primary, how can we trust him to be honest in Washington. We can’t.

    As a previous poster commented, two candidates, two life choices. One chose integrity in this election. That man, Rohrer, has my vote.

    Awe shucks ain’t gunna cut it.

  4. I’m glad to see Santorum doing well in polls in spite of the decision by Fox News that Romney has won it all.
    I believe they are lying during the past few days.

  5. “As Tom Smith rolls out the media ads, his numbers will rise rapidly. Few Republicans seem to know there is even a primary or who the candidates are.”

    Agreed Bob. More people prior to the ad knew Sam’s name from the 2010 race. They don’t know the rest because people have not followed it.

    So, on one had we have people who know Sam because he was an elected representative, with a voting record, something he touts as a plus. He is the only one with a voting record at the state level. That was a life decision Sam made.

    Tom on the other hand took over the family farm and bus company when his dad became ill, later mortgaged that and took a risk at obtaining the American Dream. He raised a family, adopted a family and was a successful business man.

    So Tom made a life decision to risk everything and buy a coal mine, work it, employ people and then sell it. Now he is using a portion of those proceeds (that he could just as easily keep) to run for US Senate.

    Two candidates, two different life choices giving them different advantages in the same race.

  6. As Tom Smith rolls out the media ads, his numbers will rise rapidly. Few Republicans seem to know there is even a primary or who the candidates are.

    Campaigns need money, message and manpower. Each of the candidates has the message of Economic Freedom and Values, some campaigns like Sam Rohrer and Dave Christian have the “manpower”, an organization.

    None have Tom Smith’s money. Tom is committing a sizable portion of his net worth that he earned by entrepreneurial risk taking and spending it on changing Pennsylvania’s direction.

    Pittsburgh 9.12 Project put out an excellent voter guide for the Republican Senatorial candidates.
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/87183096/2012-Voter-s-Guide-9-12-Project

  7. Like the article says take this “with a grain of salt.” Everyone knows Christian will win! Its going to be a fight to beat casey and Christian is a born and tested fighter and businessman. The only one ready for the task.

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