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Susquehanna Poll: Casey 46, Smith 44

The latest survey from Susquehanna Polling and Research shows the smallest margin yet of the race for U.S. Senate in Pa. Republican Tom Smith trails Sen. Bob Casey by just 2 points, 46 percent to 44, and the race is within the poll’s margin of error.

That’s close to the 45 percent to 42 percent lead Casey had in mid September, but smaller than his 45 percent to 36 lead from SP&R’s July survey. Independent voters are tilting toward Smith 41 percent to 37.

“Smith has gained considerably when compared with our July survey, when Casey led Smith by a 45-36 margin – representing an 8-point gain for Smith with Casey’s ballot position virtually unchanged in 4 months of surveys since July,” the pollster wrote in the release memo.

Casey was up by double digits for most of the campaign, but his lead started to shrink a month ago when Smith began his TV blitz. Now, Casey’s lead is 8.3 percent according to an average of polls by Real Clear Politics, not including today’s release from SP&R.

Smith was alone on television in the Philadelphia media market for much of the last month. That likely contributed to his narrow 47 percent to 46 lead in Philly’s suburban counties.

SP&R did not release crosstabs, but the polling memo included a few other observations.

Smith needs to solidify his base. Casey, a pro-life, pro-gun Democrat, is pulling 19 percent of self-identified conservatives and is outperforming President Obama by 12 points in the conservative “T” of central Pa.

The poll shows Smith ahead in Allegheny County, near his southwest Pa. geographic base, 54 percent to 44. Meanwhile, Casey leads in northeast Pa. and Philadelphia by wide margins.

SP&R surveyed 725 likely Pa. voters from Oct. 4-6 via live telephone interviews (defined as likely by their having voted in at least one the general election in 2008, 2009, 2010 or 2011 and new voters registered since November 2011). The margin of error is plus or minus 3.7 percent.

This firm’s polls have consistently shown Republicans Smith and Mitt Romney performing above their average in other surveys, something SP&R pollster James Lee attributes to differing sample selection methods.

“Interviews are closely monitored to ensure a representative sample of Pennsylvania’s electorate is achieved based on party, geography, gender, age and other demographics; results are sometimes statistically weighted,” the firm wrote in its description of methodology.

12 Responses

  1. I am voting for Bob Casey.

    If you knew Mr Smith you would reconsider your vote. He would not give raises to his workers, he would fire them with no reason, and he had the worst health insurance. Mr Smith is not for the voting people of PA. He is all for Mr Smith.

    Mr Smith claims in one article that he does not like speaking in front of people. Mr Smith thrives on being in the lime life. He just wants to be in DC.

    Do not vote for someone who spends millions and millions of dollars to win. Mr Smith has personal agendas and not your agenda in his site for the senator job. Yes he will speak such a good talk but he is not the man for the job. So wake up voters. Look at the primary and how he lied about the other candidates who were very qualified for the senator job.

    I bet we are all wondering if any of those candidates are voting for him that he humiliated during the primaries. All of these wonderful qualified men have relatives in the state. So are they encouraging them to vote for the other candidate. It would be very wise of them to do this because they was cheated out of the office by a candidate who had put millions into his campaign just so he could win. Why do we vote for a candidate just because of dollars? Do we have no morals? Why would you not do the research of the candidates? Why would someone want to win so much to spend so much money?

    It is not for you or for me but his own personal agenda of winning the race for senator.

    Bob Casey will win by 7 points for senator 2012!!!

  2. Jimmie Lee Susquehanna Reseaech may emerge as premier pollster in Penna having accurately foreseen Tom Smith win. This is the sleeper race in the country. Tom Smith is the real deal who makes the impossible happen.

  3. Tom Smith is making it happen in SEPA. He may even have a strong showing in Philadelphia, as the GOTV effort in the Philly is considered one of the best in the nation in the RNC camp. The chatter is that Smiths people will have some surprises up their sleeves that will push to seal the deal, with an assist from national Republicans and Romney/Ryan efforts in the last days….gonna be fun to watch.

  4. Ask Philly how they feel about Smith and Toomey as their Senators and watch voter turnout skyrocket

  5. Do you seriously expect people to believe Casey is really ahead in the polls in Susquehanna county? And in a year when Republicans are fired up like they are after 3-1/2 years of Obama. they must have only polled Democrats then, this poll is not credible at all, sorry.this is too big a lie.

  6. I’m sorry meant to say Casey’s supporters DO NOT have fire in their bellies for their man…

  7. Big mo is on Smith’s side. Casey cannot do anything to stop it. His waffling on abortion has not won him friends on either side of the argument. Even Casey’s most strident supporters have “fire in their belly” for the man. Smith is our version of Ted Cruz.

  8. Someone cannot receive a 100% rating from NARAL for 2010 and 2011 and credibly run as a pro-life candidate.
    Senator Casey, we aren’t buying it this time.

  9. whatever, the point is that Casey’s running a horrible campaign, and seems to be mailing it in, at least in the Philadelphia region. All he’s got is one commercial, while Smith has a bunch of well produced ads with good messaging. Not really sure why Casey seems to be doing nothing in the Philly area. He should be doing the exact same thing that Menendez is doing in New Jersey, defining himself and promoting a positive agenda. It’s kind of disspiriting and seems to be the reason for Smith closing the gap in the polls…if Casey loses it will be because his campaign seems virtually non-existent…

  10. “[Susquehanna’s] polls have consistently shown Republicans Smith and Mitt Romney performing above their average in other surveys, something SP&R pollster James Lee attributes to differing sample selection methods.”

    Takeaway: Unreliable.

  • 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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