Susquehanna Poll Suggests Obama Would Lose Pennsylvania

Brad Bumsted
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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. Voters there approve of the job he’s doing by a 38 percent margin with 58 percent disapproving. That compares to a positive rating of 52 percent to 43 percent less than a year ago, Lee said.

Voters said their top issue is the economy, with 50 percent listing it as their No. 1 concern.

“While this hardly seems newsworthy, it is striking when you consider that 50 percent is now officially the highest percentage we have on record since we started asking this question in February 2003,” Lee said.

Republican Gov. Tom Corbett holds a positive (47 percent to 34 percent) approval rating, a reversal of a negative (35 percent to 38 percent) rating in March before passage of the state budget.

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