Just like that, Pennsylvania has a ball game
A Quinnipiac poll released this morning shows Senator Bob Casey with less-than-invincible numbers. Casey has a 39 – 29 percent job approval rating, a 43 – 35 percent lead over a generic Republican in 2012, and his ‘deserve re-elect’ at 40 – 33 percent.
Among politicos, an incumbent earning less than 50% in the ‘deserve re-elect’ category is seen as vulnerable.
At first blush those numbers are reassuring to Republicans, who have struggled against perceptions of Casey’s strength as they work to raise money and recruit candidates to run against him.
In one striking figure, 50% of respondents including 52% of Independent voters believe that Casey shares the same views as President Obama. Connecting Casey to Obama is likely to be a key Republican message against him.
Bear in mind that this is just one poll, and a very early one at that. A large percentage of respondents simply haven’t tuned in yet, including 32% of those asked about Casey’s job performance and 27% asked if he deserves re-election.
In a release this morning, Democratic Party spokesman Mark Nicastre aptly noted that, “Voters approve of Sen. Casey’s job performance and they support him over a Republican by a wide margin – even in a difficult political environment.”
So, are these numbers terrible for Casey? No.
But one thing is for sure: Pennsylvania’s 2012 Senate contest is shaping up to be a major race.