Maybe it's because he visits so damn much?
We told you this morning about Rick Santorum's abysmal numbers in his home state in a theoretical matchup against President Barack Obama in 2012. Public Policy Polling's second data dump this afternoon reveals that he's about in the middle of the pack of top presidential contenders in the key swing state -- and no one is beating POTUS at this early stage.
Proud Tar Heel Tom Jensen's polling firm has the numbers in hypothetical matchups:
Mike Huckabee, trailing 47-44 and Mitt Romney, trailing 46-42 are both within the margin of error against Obama and appear they would make the state much more competitive than John McCain did when he lost by 10 points in 2008.
The other two leading Republicans would see about the same fate as McCain in the case of Newt Gingrich - who trails 50-40 - or a much worse one in the case of Sarah Palin who trails Obama 51-36. The last time a Republican candidate lost Pennsylvania by a margin that large was Barry Goldwater in 1964. We also tested Rick Santorum as a home state candidate and his performance falls somewhere in the middle, trailing 48-40.
The numbers are a potentially damaging sign of how Mrs. TLC will perform outside of Tea Party country. Also interesting to the pollsters was how Obama is holding onto the state's independents:
The most striking thing in the Pennsylvania poll might be the independents. Exit polls in the state last year showed Pat Toomey winning them by 10 points in the Senate race and Tom Corbett with an 18 point advantage with them in the Gubernatorial contest. But Obama has a double digit lead with them against every single one of the Republicans - 12 points over Huckabee, 18 over Palin and Romney, and 20 over Gingrich and Santorum. That's a pretty clear early sign that the strong Republican advantage with independents in 2010 was more of a one time thing than the beginning of a long term trend.