In the first poll of PA voters since GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney chose Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan to be his running mate, the numbers indicate that the pick did nothing to move the needle of the leans-blue state in Romney’s favor.
According to The Morning Call/Muhlenberg College poll, Obama maintains a strong lead of 9 points over his challenger, 49 percent to 40 percent.
Here is The Morning Call’s Colby Itkowitz with the report:
In other recent statewide polls Obama’s lead has ranged from 12 points to six points, but he’s consistently been ahead.
Notably, Obama maintains his lead despite weak job approval — 47 percent of voters disapprove of the job he’s doing in the White House, compared to 43 percent who do.
“Nine points is a very good place to be going in to the conventions,” said Chris Borick, Muhlenberg College pollster. “And this comes despite very mediocre reviews of his performance among likely voters and personal favorability numbers that aren’t as strong as they used to be. Pennsylvania voters are by no means thrilled with what they see from President Obama, but they are unimpressed with alternative, which is Mitt Romney.”
“Romney’s favorability is fairly dismal,” Borick added.
Nearly half of likely voters surveyed, 48 percent, have an overall favorable impression of Obama, while just 37 percent do of Romney. And nearly half, 49 percent, have a negative view of the former Massachusetts Governor.
Meanwhile, Romney’s running mate doesn’t fare much better. Around one-third of likely voters have a favorable view and one-third an unfavorable opinion of Ryan. A quarter of those surveyed are neutral or unsure about the GOP vice president pick.
Medicare probably has something to do with these results.
When it comes to the popular entitlement program, 47 percent said they trust the President more, while just 34 percent picked Romney.
A Quinnipiac/New York Times/CBS poll of voters in the swing states of Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin said that Medicare was the third-most crucial issue to likely voters (after the economy and health care in general).
“Roughly 6 in 10 likely voters in each state want Medicare to continue providing health insurance to older Americans the way it does today,” wrote Michael Cooper and Dalia Sussman of the Times.
“Fewer than a third of those polled said Medicare should be changed in the future…as Mr. Romney has proposed.”
The Romney/Ryan Medicare plan would give future beneficiaries the option of purchasing private insurance over Medicare by offering voucher-like credits.
Democrats have accused Republicans as trying to “end Medicare as we know it,” while supporters of the plan say it’s the best way for the program to remain financially stable.
The poll of 422 likely voters was conducted Monday Aug. 20 through Wednesday Aug. 22 and has a margin of error of +/- 5 percent.