Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s potential presidential candidacy attracted strong support from Pennsylvania voters in two early tests of the speculative 2016 field.
She was the overwhelming choice of the state’s Democratic voters as their nominee in a survey by Public Policy Polling, and she topped every Republican candidate tested in separate trial heats conducted by PPP, and the Quinnipiac University poll.
Despite the controversy over his associates’s roles in the notorious George Washington Bridge lane closings, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie won the most support among GOP voters although no Republican enjoyed the dominant position of the former First Lady.
President Barack Obama, who twice captured the state’s electoral votes by big margins, may be glad not to have to face the state’s voters a third time. In the Quinnipiac University survey, only 44 percent of the state’s voters approved of the way he is handling his job, while 53 percent disapproved. There was a predictable Republican-Democratic contrast in views of the president, but a strong majority of independents, who broke his way in 2008 and 20012 in Pennsylvania, expressed disapproval, by a margin of 63 percent to 32 percent.
The state’s U.S. senators, Democrat Bob Casey and Republican Pat Toomey, received middling grades from the voters. Mr. Casey’s approval rating was 44 percent, while 27 percent disapproved. Mr. Toomey, whose seat will be on the 2016 ballot, got a positive rating of 41 percent, with 27 percent disapproving.