December 16, 2010 - Casey Gets Ok Marks From Pennsylvania Voters, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters Back Tax Deal, Split On Health Care Repeal

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Pennsylvania voters give Sen. Robert Casey Jr. a 39 - 29 percent job approval rating; by 43 - 35 percent they favor him over an unnamed Republican for re-election in 2012 and by 40 - 33 percent they say he deserves another term, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

Voters split 45 - 45 percent on whether or not Congress should repeal the health care overhaul passed last winter, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University survey finds. The poll, except for Monday night's interviewing, was completed before a federal judge in Virginia ruled that part of the law was unconstitutional.

By an overwhelming 69 - 24 percent, Pennsylvania voters approve of the tax deal that President Barack Obama had negotiated with congressional Republican leaders.

President Obama has a split 44 - 43 percent approval rating in the Keystone State, and would defeat an unnamed Republican in 2012 by 41 - 37 percent. Still, voters are split 44 - 45 percent on whether the president deserves a second term in the White House. This compares to a negative 46 - 49 percent approval rating July 14, when Commonwealth voters said 48 - 42 percent Obama did not deserve re-election.

"Half of Pennsylvania voters say Sen. Robert Casey generally shares the same views as President Barack Obama, while 16 percent say he does not. A third, 34 percent, are not sure," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Depending on how popular the president is in Pennsylvania in 2012, and how Sen. Casey conducts himself during the next 23 months, that could be a plus or a minus for Casey's re-election prospects."

"Although there is a sense in the political community that Casey will be a strong bet for re- election, his numbers are not overwhelming," Brown added.

At 44 percent, Democrats are the least sure that Casey shares Obama's views, while 52 percent of independent voters and 57 percent of Republicans think that he does. About a quarter of voters, 24 percent, think Casey is too liberal, while 7 percent say he is too conservative and 43 percent see his views as about right.

On Obama, 38 percent say he is too liberal, 7 percent too conservative and 45 percent about right.

"President Obama carried Pennsylvania by 55 - 44 percent in the 2008 election. Although these new numbers are not exact comparisons, it's clear that he has lost some support since then," said Brown.

Among independent voters, the key voting bloc that was heavily Democratic in 2008 and just as strongly Republican this November, voters are split 40 - 40 percent on whether Obama deserves a second term.

On health care, 73 percent of Republicans, but only 42 percent of independents and 22 percent of Democrats, want it repealed.

"Health care remains a highly partisan issue," said Brown.

Although many Democrats in Congress have balked at the tax deal Obama negotiated with the GOP, at least in Pennsylvania rank-in-file Democrats are solidly behind the president on the issue, supporting the deal 66 - 29 percent. Republicans back it 72 - 21 percent while independent voters support it 72 - 20 percent.

By 56 - 38 percent, Pennsylvania voters do not think the United States should be involved in Afghanistan, a decline from July when by 48 - 45 percent voters thought the United States was doing the right thing by being there.

From December 6 - 13, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,584 Pennsylvania voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research. For more data or RSS feed- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds
 
Approve              44%    18%    72%    41%    43%    45%    47%
Disapprove           43     75     17     42     43     42     47
DK/NA                13      7     11     17     14     12      6
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Approve              42%    74%    40%    48%    48%    28%    38%
Disapprove           40     20     37     44     45     58     49
DK/NA                18      6     23      8      7     15     13
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Dec 16  Jul 14  May 13  Apr 8   Mar 2   May 4   Dec 16
                     2010    2010    2010    2010    2009    2009    2010
 
Approve              44      46      46      45      49      66      44
Disapprove           43      49      48      49      46      29      43
DK/NA                13       5       6       6       4       5      13
 
 
2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bob Casey Jr. is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds
 
Approve              39%    28%    55%    36%    42%    37%    44%
Disapprove           29     42     16     30     31     26     26
DK/NA                32     30     30     34     27     36     30
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Approve              42%    53%    43%    34%    37%    43%    34%
Disapprove           25     17     23     32     30     35     32
DK/NA                32     30     34     34     33     22     34
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bob Casey Jr. is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Dec 16  Jul 13  May 13  Apr 8   Mar 2   May 28  Dec 16
                     2010    2010    2010    2010    2010    2009    2010
 
Approve              39      48      47      48      53      56      39
Disapprove           29      29      30      30      29      21      29
DK/NA                32      23      23      22      18      23      32
 
 
4. If the 2012 election for President were being held today, do you think you would vote for Barack Obama the Democratic candidate, or the Republican candidate?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds
 
Obama                41%     5%    77%    36%    41%    42%    41%
Republican           37     81      7     32     39     36     34
DEPENDS ON CAND(VOL) 14     11      9     21     13     14     16
DK/NA                 8      3      7     11      8      8      9
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Obama                45%    75%    39%    43%    36%    28%    32%
Republican           37     12     37     35     42     47     45
DEPENDS ON CAND(VOL) 10     10     16     14     12     17     14
DK/NA                 8      3      8      8     10      7      9
 
 
5. Do you feel that Barack Obama deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds
 
Yes                  44%     9%    76%    40%    44%    44%    44%
No/Does not          45     84     14     40     44     46     45
DK/NA                11      6      9     20     13     10     11
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Yes                  45%    76%    44%    48%    44%    28%    33%
No/Does not          44     14     45     42     49     62     52
DK/NA                11     10     11     10      8     10     15
 
 
6. If the 2012 election for United States Senator were being held today, do you think you would vote for Bob Casey Jr. the Democratic candidate, or the Republican candidate?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds
 
Casey                43%     8%    77%    35%    43%    42%    49%
Republican           35     75      6     34     35     35     30
DEPENDS ON CAND(VOL) 11     10      9     15     10     12     11
DK/NA                11      8      8     16     11     10     11
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Casey                46%    70%    45%    40%    36%    38%    34%
Republican           33     17     35     35     42     38     42
DEPENDS ON CAND(VOL) 14      4     14     13      9     12     12
DK/NA                 7      8      6     13     13     12     13
 
 
7. Do you feel that Bob Casey Jr. deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds
 
Yes                  40%    15%    65%    36%    42%    38%    47%
No/Does not          33     59     13     32     32     33     27
DK/NA                27     26     22     32     25     29     26
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Yes                  46%    53%    41%    33%    36%    39%    38%
No/Does not          28     18     27     40     35     43     34
DK/NA                26     29     31     27     29     18     28
 
 
8. Do you think Barack Obama is too liberal, too conservative, or about right?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds
 
Liberal              38%    70%    11%    39%    39%    36%    34%
Conservative          7      4     10      6      8      6      9
About right          45     16     71     44     42     47     46
DK/NA                10     10      8     11     11     10     11
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Liberal              38%    13%    36%    39%    40%    47%    43%
Conservative          6     12      5      5      9      6      7
About right          49     70     40     49     41     35     37
DK/NA                 8      5     19      7      9     12     12
 
 
9. Do you think Bob Casey Jr. is too liberal, too conservative, or about right?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds
 
Liberal              24%    46%     7%    26%    26%    23%    23%
Conservative          7      3      9      8      7      7      8
About right          43     25     64     38     43     43     50
DK/NA                25     25     19     28     23     27     20
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Liberal              22%    10%    24%    30%    32%    28%    24%
Conservative          8      9      4      7      7      8      8
About right          48     57     41     36     40     42     43
DK/NA                23     25     30     27     20     22     25
 
 
10. Do you think Bob Casey Jr. generally shares the views of Barack Obama on major issues or not?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds
 
Yes                  50%    57%    44%    52%    56%    45%    52%
No                   16     14     19     13     17     15     16
DK/NA                34     28     37     34     27     41     32
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Yes                  45%    50%    50%    58%    46%    51%    47%
No                   15     18     14     10     20     22     17
DK/NA                41     32     36     32     34     27     36
 
 
22. Do you think the U.S. is doing the right thing by fighting the war in Afghanistan now, or should the U.S. not be involved in Afghanistan now?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds
 
Right thing          38%    54%    27%    40%    44%    33%    43%
Shld'nt be invlvd    56     41     68     54     50     61     53
DK/NA                 6      5      6      6      6      6      5
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Right thing          40%    26%    41%    43%    33%    44%    37%
Shld'nt be invlvd    56     70     52     52     61     50     54
DK/NA                 4      4      7      5      5      6      8
 
TREND: Do you think the U.S. is doing the right thing by fighting the war in Afghanistan now, or should the U.S. not be involved in Afghanistan now?
                     Dec 16  Jul 14
                     2010    2010
 
Right thing          38      48
Shld not be invl     56      45
DK/NA                 6       7
 
 
23. Do you think Congress should try to repeal the new health care law, or should they let it stand?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds
 
Repeal it            45%    73%    22%    42%    45%    44%    43%
Let it stand         45     20     68     45     45     46     47
DK/NA                10      7     10     13     10     10     10
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Repeal it            44%    26%    37%    46%    52%    55%    48%
Let it stand         47     70     47     45     38     33     40
DK/NA                 9      4     16      9     10     12     11
 
 
24. As you may know, President Obama reached agreement with Republican leaders in Congress on a broad tax package that would extend the Bush-era income tax cuts for two years, reduce worker payroll taxes for one year, and continue unemployment benefits for an additional 13 months. Do you approve or disapprove of this plan?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds
 
Approve              69%    72%    66%    72%    69%    69%    71%
Disapprove           24     21     29     20     25     23     22
DK/NA                 7      7      4      9      6      8      6
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Approve              63%    75%    71%    70%    80%    64%    66%
Disapprove           30     19     21     23     14     30     28
DK/NA                 7      7      8      7      6      6      6
 
 
25. (If disapprove q24) Do you disapprove of the deal mainly because the tax cuts increase the federal deficit or mainly because tax cuts should not go to the wealthy?
                     DISAPPROVE PLAN Q24...................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Increases deficit    19%    27%    13%    17%    19%    19%
Cuts shldn't go
 to wealthy          67     48     83     69     64     69
OTHER REASON(VOL)     9     16      2      7      9      9
DK/NA                 6      9      2      7      8      3