Bob Casey has nothing to worry about, according to an internal poll released Friday by his campaign. The freshman Democratic Senator leads GOP opponent Tom Smith by 13 points, 52 percent to 39 percent.
The poll was taken from Oct. 15 to 17 by the Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group. They surveyed 604 likely Pennsylvania voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.
A few highlights from the polling memo:
- Casey has an “overwhelming lead” in the Philadelphia media market (which comprises two-fifths of the statewide vote)
- He leads by near double digits in the Pittsburgh media market.
- He is running even with Smith in the rest of Pennsylvania.
- H leads 47 percent to 35 among independent voters.
- He is winning white voters by five points.
As with all internal polls, this should be taken with a grain of salt. Team Casey’s goal in releasing numbers like this is pretty clearly to blunt to narrative that Smith is surging in the polls.
The Real Clear Politics average of polls on the race show Casey leading by 5.3 percent, 47 percent to 41.7. Casey’s survey shows the Senator with his widest lead of any poll since August.
“While this U.S. Senate race has become more competitive over the last month due largely to Tom Smith’s lavish spending from his personal fortune, Smith’s role as a Tea Party founder, his support of the radical Rand Paul budget, and Senator Casey’s reservoir of good will among voters is why the senator has been able to maintain his lead in this and other credible public polls,” the pollster wrote, a less-than-subtle jab at one firm in particular.
Casey’s team and supporters have been frustrated by the fact that some polls, particularly those conducted by Susquehanna Polling and Research, have contributed to the overall narrative that the race is tightening. SP&R surveys, when conducted for newspapers or independently, are included polling averages. Democrats say the firm, which does work for Republicans, is seeking to skew the numbers.
The memo cites recent polls by the Philadelphia Inquirer and Public Policy Polling, which show the spread at 10 points and 11 points, respectively.
However, SP&R isn’t the only pollster showing the race close. Recent polls by Quinnipiac and Muhlenberg College show the race at 3 points and 2 points, respectively.