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Poll: “Huh?” Leads GOP Field for Senate

The latest F&M poll (PDF) shows that the five men running to face Sen. Bob Casey have some work to do. A whopping 81 percent of Republicans haven’t made up their mind in the race.

Tom Smith leads the GOP primary with 9 percent, followed by Sam Rohrer at 7 percent. David Christian, Marc Scaringi and Steve Welch are each tied at 1 percent.

And even that isn’t set in stone. Of those scant few voters who have a preference, 55 percent say they are certain of their choice while 44 percent say they are making up their mind.

Of those 81 percent undecideds, the poll found that 3 percent are leaning toward Smith, 2 percent toward Welch, and 1 percent each toward Christian and Rohrer.

Smith’s lead is a result of the fact that he has been on television at varying degrees since December (minus three weeks in February). Rohrer maintains name recognition from his 2010 bid for Governor. Welch went on TV yesterday.

But the numbers reiterate the fact that the race is wide open. That’s likely to change over the next week or two as voters begin to tune in, but a bevy of unexpected presidential campaign ads could throw the Senate candidates’ plans – and the ultimate results – into disarray.

Elements of these results are similar to those of a Public Policy Polling survey earlier this month which showed Rohrer leading at 16 percent. Smith came in second at 12 percent, and 48 percent of voters said they were undecided.

The survey was conducted using live interviews from 505 registered Pa. Republicans from March 20-25, 2012. The sample error for this survey is +/- 4.2 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.

15 Responses

  1. Show me a man who has never made a mistake and I’ll show you a man who has been living under a rock. You may quibble and argue about who did what and how often but one thing that sets Sam Rohrer apart from the others is his record…he has never cast an unconstitutional vote. Our country is in fast decline…if not righted soon…she will crash and burn. There has never been more at stake for Americans who believe in God, Flag and Country than at this particular time. Given a choice between politically correct and constitutional…I’ll take constitutional every time.

  2. That’s just a fairly ignorant thing to say. I can’t think if even one time Sam Rohrer voted “aye” on any state budget, Democrat or Republican. He was frequently a “lone wolf”.

  3. Fact Check: Sam Rohrer is the only candidate in the race whose votes have placed the Commonwealth on the path to bankruptcy.

  4. Sam Rohrer is the only candidate in the entire field who has ever held a political office at a level higher than township supervisor. Early on in his 18 years in the PA legislature, he developed a checklist to determine how he should vote on any bill. Rather than deciding according to whim, influence, or convenience, he voted according to his checklist, which includes questions such as: Is it moral? Is it constitutional? Can we afford it? He has the voting record to show his consistently conservative leadership. None of the other candidates have ever cast a single vote for a bill.

  5. Let’s see the reality. Smith was a democrat party official 6 weeks before he declared his “republican” US Senate Candidacy. Welch switched parties 3 times and voted for Obama and he can’t shake that. Rohrer is boubht and paid for by AFP and the Koch Brothers. So, he willl answer to their drum beat not the will of the people. Scaringi was a staffer to Santorum. Wow! that a great qualitication. Christian is the only one who has literally bleed for his country and has international business experiences. The biggest disgrace was the PA. GOP and their attack on David Christian’s petitions which was designed to run him out of time and money because he is in the same mold as Pat Toomey who Corbett did not want either. 81% and virtually an entire month is a lot of time to influence people. Christian will be the last man standing and he will beat Bob “I voted with Obama 97% of the time” Casey.

  6. I am sure that Tom Smith is a lovely man but he cannot articulate his thoughts. I have seen him in two debates and he has a lot of trouble answering the questions without rambling. His performance at PLC was embarrassing. He will never survive a debate with Casey.

  7. Marc Scaringi is by far the best debater and the most knowledgeable on the issues. Tom Smith was even supporting him before he decided to jump into the race himself. Scaringi will whip Casey in the debates the same he whipped Steve Welch at the PLC. Marc is my guy.

  8. This polling is early and far from telling. I am an independent voter and Dave Christian is a republican that I believe will win over the “border” voters that are necessary to beat Casey. Dave Christian for Senate!

  9. Dasve Christian is the only REPUBLICAN running that can defeat Casey. Smith and Welch have openly supported Democrats and have been apart of their operations.
    Christian is a war hero, self made businessman, and not a party loyalist like Scaringi. He also isn’t a hypocrite like Rorher he voted for the Pay Raise AND Pension Increase before he was against them.
    In the end money will decide a lot about this campaign and hopefully Dave Christian can get the support he needs to win.

  10. Personally, I don’t think that any of these candidates can beat Bob Casey. His name ID is far too high, his approval rating is better than most incumbents, and he’ll get huge numbers out of the SE, NE, and the swing Southwest. Republicans should put their best foot forward and nominate the person with the sharpest intellect and the one who is the most capable debater in order to make the best showing possible. That’s why I’m voting for Marc Scaringi on April 24.

  11. Actually, Sam Rohrer is not receiving a pay raise or. He has said it was the worst vote he’s ever made, regretted it soon after and voted for the repeal of it. His vote for the higher pension is also one made on faulty information he was given. It was a couple of bad votes that he immediately took responsibility for and is the best candidate in terms of his vision and ideas. He would run circles around Bob Casey in debates.

  12. Beware of electing the candidate who spends the most money! Generally, doesn’t work out so well.

  13. Tom Smith will be our next Senator from Pennsylvania. He’s working hard and he’s a man who “plays to win”. Tom Smith has been endorsed by Steve Forbes (A.K.A. Mr. Flat Tax) and Dick Morris, a seasoned Fox News political analyst.

  14. Tom Smith is the best candidate for Senate to beat Bob Casey. He is a farmer and a former coal mine owner. He is painfully honest, has the resources to November and he has not served as a Representative that voted himself a pay raise & a pension increase that he is receiving today.

  • Understanding that basic education funding should/will be first, what should be the next highest priority for the General Assembly?

    • Raising The Minimum Wage (25%)
    • Legalizing Adult-Use Marijuana (24%)
    • None of the above. Something Else. (20%)
    • Economic Development (14%)
    • Higher Education (8%)
    • Public Transportation (8%)
    • Workforce Opportunities and Innovation (2%)

    Total Voters: 51

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