Trib: Abother Bad Poll for Obama
By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor
The Pennsylvania Republican Party and the Republican National Committee are giddily circulating news about a Susquehanna Polling and Research survey that shows that a generic Republican beats President Barack Obama in Pa. by 7 points, 45 to 38.
Certainly the President’s low Pa job approval ratings in this and other recent polls should be cause for concern for his campaign. However, it’s also important to note that that Obama won’t be facing a “generic Republican,” but rather a specific opponent with strengths and weaknesses. According to most polling, he maintains a lead in most head-to-head matchups.
Conservatives are less than thrilled with the candidates running, hence the periodic fervor over non-candidates, like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Indeed, the “generic Republican” has consistently lead the GOP primary field.
A generic or “nameless” Republican would beat President Obama in Pennsylvania, according to a statewide poll out today.
The poll by Susquehanna Polling and Research shows that a Republican would defeat Obama 45 percent to 38 percent with 15 percent undecided and 3 percent saying they didn’t know. The poll didn’t further define “nameless Republican,” nor did it match up the current GOP presidential candidates against Obama.
Obama’s job approval rating — 41 percent approving and 54 percent disapproving — shows little change from a June poll, said Jim Lee, president of the Harrisburg-based polling firm. What changed is the intensity of voters’ disapproval.
“The negative intensity should be of concern to the president since 42 percent say they strongly disapprove compared to only 18 percent who strongly approve — or more than a 2-1 disparity,” Lee said. Intensity is important because it can be a “galvanizing factor” in determining voter turnout, he said.
The poll surveyed 725 voters from Oct. 13 through Wednesday. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points. Participants included 362 Democrats (50 percent), 312 Republicans (43 percent) and 51 independents (7 percent).
The most notable shift regionally was a 29-point swing away from Obama in the vote-rich Philadelphia suburbs of Montgomery, Bucks, Chester and Delaware counties, the poll said.