Pa. Poll: Obama Tied with Romney, Santorum

Tuesday, 02 Aug 2011 08:32 AM

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The protracted slugfest over raising the national debt limit leaves President Barack Obama with a 54 – 43 percent disapproval among Pennsylvania voters, but he scores better than Republicans or Democrats in Congress, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday.

President Obama has acted more responsibly in the debt ceiling debate than Congressional Republicans, voters say 44 – 37 percent in the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll concluded Sunday as agreement on a new debt limit was announced. Looking at the other players in the national debt debate, Pennsylvania voters:

• Disapprove 68 – 28 percent of the job Republicans in Congress are doing;
• Disapprove 67 – 28 percent of Democrats in Congress.
Pennsylvania voters say 52 – 42 percent that Obama does not deserve to be reelected. Matching the president against possible Republican challengers shows:
• Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with 44 percent to Obama’s 42 percent;
• Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum with 43 percent to Obama’s 45 percent;
• Obama leads Minnesota U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann 47 – 39 percent;
• Obama tops Texas Gov. Rick Perry 45 – 39 percent.

“Any good poll is a snapshot of public opinion and this survey shows President Barack Obama at a low point just before a major announcement on the national debt limit, after a long and bitter debate,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Let’s see how the public reacts to the news and whether today’s results are a baseline for measuring future results, or whether they show the president is in big trouble in Pennsylvania, a key swing state.”

“If it’s any consolation to the White House, voters say Obama acted more responsibly than Republicans during the debt ceiling debate, and approval ratings for Congress are just plain miserable,” Malloy added.

“While Obama was slugging it out with Republicans in Washington, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum were closing the gap in the Keystone State for the 2012 presidential race. How much this shift has to do with the just concluded debt ceiling debate is difficult to read. Again, we’ll have to wait to see if Obama gets a bounce or whether he gets bounced.”

A June 15 Quinnipiac University survey showed Obama topping Romney 47 – 40 percent in Pennsylvania and leading Santorum 49 – 38 percent.

Romney tops a possible Republican presidential primary field with 21 percent, unchanged from June 15. Other results are:

• Santorum with 14 percent, compared to 16 percent June 15;
• Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin with 12 percent, compared to 11 percent;
• Bachmann with 11 percent, up from 5 percent;
• Perry with 8 percent. He was not included June 15.

No other candidate tops 5 percent.

Nine percent of Pennsylvania voters say reports of Bachmann’s migraines make them less likely to vote for her, while 87 percent say the reports won’t affect their vote.

Those who have read or heard of Bachmann’s migraines say 53 – 42 percent media coverage has not been sexist. By a narrow 48 – 45 percent women say coverage has been sexist, while men disagree 60 – 36 percent.

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