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All Tied Up in Pennsylvania

The latest Quinnipiac poll shows the race for the Senate between Joe Sestak and Pat Toomey to be tied at 43 percent approval for each candidate. A large segment of the electorate doesn’t know enough about either one of them to form an opinion. But Toomey has a higher percentage of Republicans (82 percent) backing him than Sestak does Democrats( 77.5 percent) and leads by a considerable 44-35 percent among independents. Most interesting, however, is how badly Obama is doing:

President Barack Obama’s negative 46 – 49 percent job approval rating is essentially unchanged from his negative 45 – 49 percent score April 8 and his negative 46 – 48 percent score May 13. It is, however, a dramatic fall from May of 2009, when it was 66 – 29 percent approve. The President’s current job rating reflects 82 – 16 percent disapproval among Republicans, 76 – 19 percent approval among Democrats and 53 – 40 percent disapproval among independent voters.

Pennsylvania voters say 48 – 42 percent that President Obama does not deserve reelection in 2012. In fact, 41 percent of voters say they would vote for an unnamed Republican candidate in 2012, while 40 percent say they would vote for Obama. Independent voters say they would go for a Republican 37 – 33 percent.

“When a politician’s approval rating is down 13 points among independent voters, that is generally a sign of political vulnerability,” said Brown. “The 6-point margin held by those who say President Obama doesn’t deserve a second term over those who think he does also should make the White House nervous, especially since Pennsylvania has not voted Republican for president since 1988. Here too, his weakness is among independents, who say 51 – 35 percent he does not deserve a second term.”

Once the Pennsylvania voters learn the degree to which Sestak has rubber-stamped the Obama agenda, the race may widen. But one thing is certain: as long as Obama’s numbers are this bad, he’s not going to be doing a lot of campaigning in the Keystone state for Sestak. The last thing Sestak needs is to remind the voters that he’s marched in lockstep with the Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda.


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