Voters polled had more confidence in Obama on economic issues, social issues such as abortion and gay marriage, foreign policy and understanding the concerns of Americans.
Still, one in three voters had a strongly unfavorable opinion of Obama, and one in four voters was undecided about Romney.
Gov. Corbett does not seem well-suited to serve as a local surrogate for Romney, who locked up enough delegates in last week’s Texas primary to clinch the Republican nomination. Twenty-five percent of those polled have a strongly unfavorable opinion of Corbett, up from 17 percent in January, tracking a trend that started in the fall of 2010.
The other high-profile race in the Nov. 6 general election, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey’s bid for a second term, doesn’t look likely to add much heat to the presidential election. Casey leads Republican nominee Tom Smith, a former Armstrong County coal-company owner who financed his campaign with $5 million of his own money, 42 to 21 percent, with 35 percent undecided.
Crossroads GPS, a Republican super-PAC organized by former Bush White House staffer Karl Rove, started airing a new TV commercial Tuesday evening in Pennsylvania, accusing Obama of "reckless spending" paid for by loans from China.
Brad Woodhouse, spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, called that claim an "absolute joke" and "revisionist history" that ignores the economic impact of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan along with tax cuts for the wealthy, all coming during former President George W. Bush’s two terms in the White House.
Franklin & Marshall College Poll Director G. Terry Madonna wonders if third-party spending like Crossroads GPS is having much of an impact on the race.
"Obama’s job performance has been steady for two or three months," Madonna said. "Everyone is running a lot of commercials, but it’s not making a huge difference."
For Madonna, the real question is whether Pennsylvania becomes competitive in the presidential election. He predicts that won’t be known until September.
Romney can take solace in the fact that his campaign hasn’t been that active in Pennsylvania because the state’s April 24 primary election had little impact on the GOP nomination, Madonna noted. But Pennsylvania voters also are likely to zone out on the race over the summer months, he added, as Romney seeks their support against Obama.
Contact Chris Brennan at 215-854-5973 or email him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisBrennanDN and read his blog, PhillyClout.com.