Bob Casey's poll numbers continue to look good in the latest report from Democrat-leading Public Policy Polling. His closest GOP challenger is Sam Rohrer at 11 points behind, perhaps because Rohrer is the best-known candidate to Republican voters (having run statewide in the guv primary last year).
40% of Pennsylvania voters approve of the job Casey is doing to 34% who disapprove. Those numbers are actually better than they might appear to be on the surface though. 23% of Republicans approve of the job Casey's doing, an unusual level of crossover support in this highly polarizied political climate. And he's on positive ground with independents at 40/36.
What holds Casey's numbers back is that the Democratic base is not very enthused about him- he has only a 55% approval rating with his own party to 23% who disapprove of him. But even though a good number of Democrats don't necessary like him, 77-80% of them still say they'll vote for him against any of his potential Republican challengers. Casey and Florida's Bill Nelson are in a similar boat- their topline approval numbers make them appear to be more vulnerable than they really are because their numbers get dragged down by their party base not being enthralled with them, even though it will vote for them in the end.
Casey leads all of his potential GOP opponents by double digits, but he doesn't match his 17 point margin of victory against Rick Santorum from 2006 against any of them. The Republican candidate who comes closest is Sam Rohrer, who we also found leading on our primary poll last week. Casey has a 47-36 advantage over him. Casey's up 14 on Steve Welch at 47-33, 15 on Tim Burns at 49-34, and 16 on Tom Smith at 48-32. The key statistic in all of those match ups is that Casey gets 14-17% of the Republican vote. To put that in perspective, last year we found Joe Sestak getting only 8% of the GOP vote on our final poll before the election.