Sen. Bob Casey continues to boast a commanding lead in his race for re-election, according to Quinnipiac. The freshman Democratic Senator leads former coal company owner Tom Smith 55 percent to 37.
The pollster did not appear to have tested the name ID or favorability of either candidate.
Casey leads among women who are likely to vote by a margin of 59 percent to 31; men who are likely to vote by a margin of 50 percent to 43, and independent voters who are likely to vote by a margin of 61 percent to 33.
Casey’s family name and background are giving him a boost, too. He leads among Catholics 59 percent to 37. President Obama, by contrast, lead among Catholics by just 1 point, 48 percent to 47 over Mitt Romney.
“Sen. Bob Casey seems to be sailing toward re-election as his Republican coal mine owner opponent Tom Smith fights a name recognition battle and fails to gain any traction,” said Malloy.
Smith leads among Protestants, 56 percent to 35 percent.
The margin of the race is almost identical in today’s release as it was back in June, when Casey lead by 17 points and 19 points. Little changed in the campaign dynamic between now and then.
Smith’s team began airing television ads on Monday, the last day of the survey. It’s virtually impossible that their buy, estimated at around $200,000 per week, could have had a measurable impact – let alone saturate – on its first day.
Quinnipiac surveyed 1,168 likely Pennsylvania voters from July 24-30 via live calls to land lines and cell phones. The margin or error is +/1 2.9 percent.
Update: Republican political consultant Chris Nicholas noted that the demographics of the Q-Pac poll don’t reflect voter registration realities in the state, with the poll having surveyed 32 percent Republicans, 36 percent Democrats and 26 percent Independents.
Nicholas said no state House district has more than 18 percent of voters registered Independent, and because Independents are overrepresented it skewed the poll results too heavily in the Dems’ favor “as they tend to be less interested and vote less too,” he said.
They sided with the Democrats on Obama and Casey, and in their disapproval of Corbett too.
However, while Nicholas notes that using 26 percent of registered Independents does not reflect reality, the poll question asked self-described ideology, not registration. And party registration is asked two questions later: with 40 percent Republican, 46 percent Democrat, 12 percent other.
Actual registration is currently 50 percent Dem, 37 percent GOP and 12.5 percent other. Pretty close.