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Poll: Santorum leads GOP field for Senate

Published by Tim McNulty on .

Rick Santorum is focused on a 2012 presidential bid, not running against Bob Casey for his old Senate seat, but as Public Policy Polling has showed, his presidential numbers aren't so good in his home state.

His Senate numbers look better, mostly because voters know him better than other names out there.

From PPP:

Raleigh, N.C. – Right now, Rick Santorum is far-and-away the choice of his party to
take on Bob Casey next year, but that is when he is tested in a field of candidates
unknown to at least two-thirds of even these hardest-core Republican voters. If he
chooses instead to go ahead with a presidential bid, his rationale for getting the GOP's
nod against Obama would not include the overwhelming home-base support on which
candidates usually count, as he runs fifth behind the usual frontrunners in his own state.
Luckily for him, Pennsylvania's presidential primary generally matters little.

In an eight-candidate Senate slate, Santorum dominates with 45% support; everyone else
is in single digits—Jim Gerlach at 9%, Charlie Dent and Mark Schweiker at 8% each,
18th-District Rep. Tim Murphy at 7%, State Sen. Jake Corman at 3%, and Marc Scaringi
and State Sen. Kim Ward each at 1%, with 19% undecided or preferring someone else.

If Santorum chooses not to butt heads with Casey again, he leaves a void any of these
candidates—or someone else—can easily jump in and fill. As the only candidate to have
served statewide other than Santorum, Schweiker seems to benefit most. But the
standings largely fall on name recognition, and a full third are unsure of who they would
support. Schweiker currently leads with 18%, followed by Gerlach's 14%, Murphy's
13%, Dent's 10%, Corman's 9%, Ward's 2%, and Scaringi's 1%. Scaringi is the only
candidate who is so far officially in the race, so he will be able to say he started out with
literally nothing if he goes on to win the nomination.

 

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