Poll finds that prez has expanded his lead in Pa. & Philly is a big reason why

Posted: September 27, 2012

PRESIDENT Obama holds an 11-point lead over Mitt Romney among registered Pennsylvania voters with six weeks to go before the Nov. 6 general election, according to a new Daily News/Franklin & Marshall College Poll.

The poll shows Obama leading Romney 50 percent to 39 percent, with 6 percent undecided and 5 percent leaning toward presidential candidates from smaller political parties.

The new poll matches up with an average of Pennsylvania polling compiled by the website Real Clear Politics, which on Tuesday gave Obama an 8-point lead in the state based on the last six polls by other organizations. That included one apparent outlier, a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review poll that cast the state as neck-and-neck.

Pollster G. Terry Madonna said that Obama holds healthy leads among women, liberals, moderates, independents, the young (aged 18-34) and minorities.

"One of the reasons he's winning is he has a huge lead in Philly and the southeast," Madonna said. "They're the independent, swing voters in the suburbs and up in the Lehigh Valley."

Romney leads Obama only in central and southwestern Pennsylvania. Madonna said that the Republican nominee, a former governor of Massachusetts, scored well with born-again Christians, protestants and conservatives.

Voters in the poll saw Obama better-suited to lead in five areas: the economy, social policy, the military, foreign policy and the concerns of ordinary Americans.

The poll found U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. leading his Republican challenger, former Armstrong County coal-company owner Tom Smith, 46 percent to 34 percent with 14 percent of the voters undecided.

The poll continued a downward spiral for Gov. Corbett's popularity, with 28 percent saying that he is doing a poor job, 36 percent saying he is doing only a fair job and 28 percent saying he is doing a good job.

Nearly half the voters, 49 percent, said that the next state attorney general should review how Corbett, when he was state attorney general, conducted the investigation into the Jerry Sandusky child-sex-abuse case at Penn State. Thirty-nine percent said that Corbett had done a poor job on that investigation, and 27 percent said that he had done only a fair job.

A new law requiring voters to show state-approved identification before casting a ballot is popular, with 54 percent strongly favoring it and 21 percent somewhat favoring it, even when asked about eligible voters being disenfranchised because they lack IDs.


Contact Chris Brennan at brennac@phillynews.com or 215-854-5973. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisBrennanDN. Read his blog at phillyclout.com.

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