Sam Rohrer leads the GOP race for the US Senate nod and endorsed candidate Steve Welch is dead last, according to Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling, though there's still a long way to go before April 24 with 48% of GOP voters undecided. All of them are well behind incumbent Dem Bob Casey however.
Bob Casey's approval ratings are nothing to write home about, but he continues to have a large lead over all of his potential Republican opponents.
38% of Pennsylvania voters approve of the job Casey is doing to 36% who disapprove. A higher than usual 26% have no opinion. Usually a Senator with a 38% approval rating would be in a lot of trouble. But Casey actually has an unusual amount of crossover support from Republicans, with 22% approving of him. The reason his numbers are low is that only 58% of Democrats approve of him to 23% who disapprove. Usually Senators are in the 70-80% range with members of their own party.
Casey may have only 58% of Democrats who approve of the job he's doing, but 76-78% of them still commit to voting for him in the general election against any of his potential Republican opponents. In addition to strong support from the Democratic base he takes anywhere from 17-22% of the GOP vote against his possible foes, and leads with independents by 17-23 points.
It all adds up to a 15-20 point early lead no matter who runs against him. Sam Rohrer comes the closest of the Republicans, trailing by 15 at 49-34. Tom Smith and David Christian trail by 18 points at 49-31 and 50-32 respectively. Marc Scaringi and Steve Welch do the worst, trailing by identical 20 point margins at 49-29.
One interesting thing about these numbers is that all of these folks- who with low name recognition at this point fall into the 'some dude' category- do about as well as Rick Santorum did against Casey in 2006. Not a great reflection on Santorum's home state electoral strength.
In addition to being the strongest Republican candidate against Casey Rohrer is also leading the GOP primary field for the time being. He's at 16% to 12% for Tom Smith, 10% for David Christian, 8% for Marc Scaringi, and 5% for Steve Welch. The big winner though is undecided- 48% of voters say they don't yet know who they'll choose.