Tom Smith is within 7 points of Sen. Bob Casey according to the latest poll by Rasmussen. The competitive numbers come on the heels of a survey yesterday that showed the freshman Senator with a lead more than twice as wide.
Casey leads Smith 48 to 41.
Casey defeated Sen. Rick Santorum in 2006; Smith is a former coal company owner from Armstrong County.
Yesterday’s survey by Public Policy Polling showed Casey with a 49 to 33 percent lead.
Update: The Smith campaign celebrated the Rasmussen poll, calling Casey’s 48 percent “meager.”
“While Senator Casey is well known by the electorate and failing to break 50%, nearly a third of the electorate has yet to formulate an opinion on Tom Smith,” added Smith pollster John McLaughlin. “As Smith continues to increase his name identification the race will continue to tighten – this race is clearly winnable and will be close.”
Casey spokesman Larry Smar shot back.
“It is way too early to talk about polls considering that most pollsters wouldn’t poll in the race because Tea Party leader Tom Smith’s name ID was so low,” he said. “His camp didn’t put out a press release yesterday when he was down 16 with increasing negatives, but they are in spin overdrive for a poll analysts have called the most inaccurate and biased.”
Rasmussen’s crosstabs, obtained by PoliticsPA, shows a few interesting trends. Casey leads decisively among voters under 40 (56 to 26 percent), African Americans (82 to 18 percent), self-described moderates (57 to 29 percent) and those with a household income over $100,000 (58 to 36 percent).
Smith leads among men (51 to 42 percent), voters ages 40-64 (48 to 44 percent), voters ages 65 and up (56 to 39 percent) and white voters (45 to 43 percent).
The two men are within the margin of error with voters whose an annual household income between $20,000 and $75,000.
Finally, Governor Corbett’s job approval is negative, 51 to 45 percent (12 percent strongly approve, 33 percent somewhat approve, 22 percent somewhat disapprove, and 29 percent strongly disapprove).
Rasmussen polled 500 likely voters on May 21, 2012 by Rasmussen Reports with a margin of error of +/- 4.5 percent with a 95% level of confidence. For the most part the firm used automated polling methods; a more detailed explanation of their methodology is here.