Public Policy Polling’s new Presidential polls have the President with a 6-point lead over challenger Mitt Romney in Pennsylvania. The last poll conducted by PPP in the state was in May, which had Obama at 50, Romney at 42.
This number comes despite Obama’s slipping approval rating, which puts him at 46 percent approving and 50 percent disapproving of the job he’s done. However, Romney is still battling likeability issues in the Keystone State; he currently stands at 39-51.
According to the polling group, Obama’s competitiveness with white voters is what gives him the edge. Romney only bests him by one point with whites at 46-45, but given the size of the African-American population, even splitting the white vote would still give Obama the win.
Obama has the upper hand among women voters, 54-37 in PA, offsetting the closer men’s race. Obama also leads with Independents, who break for the President 46-39.
Hope isn’t lost for the Romney camp, however – his choice of a running mate makes all the difference in PA.
Picking former Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice gives him a 6-point bump, putting the race in a dead heat, 45-45. Her favorability rating among Democrats is high in PA, at 47-38.
The poll also looked at other potential picks Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, but none packs the punch of a Romney-Rice ticket. Jindal makes Romney +1, while Pawlenty bumps him up 2 points. Portman would put him -1.
There is another factor Romney needs to consider, and that is his tax returns. Pennsylvania voters think he should release 12 years’ worth of returns by a 62-31 margin.
“Barack Obama is still a clear favorite in Michigan and Pennsylvania,” said PPP President Dean Debnam. “He may not match his 2008 margin of victory in those states, but he’s in a good position to win them again.”
PPP surveyed 758 Pennsylvania voters between July 21st and 23rd. The margin of error is +/-3.6 percent, and was conducted through automated telephone interviews.