October 16, 2012 - Romney Closing In On Obama In Pennsylvania, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Casey-Smith Senate Race Too Close To Call

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Gov. Mitt Romney has narrowed a 12-point gap with President Barack Obama and now trails the president 50 - 46 percent among Pennsylvania likely voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This compares to a 54 - 42 percent Obama lead in a September 26 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

In today's survey, men back Romney 54 - 43 percent, compared to a 49 - 48 percent split September 26. Women back Obama 57 - 39 percent, little changed from last month. White voters back Romney 53 - 43 percent while black voters back Obama 97 - 1 percent. White Catholic voters go Republican 56 - 43 percent. Voters with college degrees back the president 54 - 43 percent while voters without degrees are divided with 49 percent for Obama and 47 percent for Romney.

Only 7 percent of Pennsylvania likely voters say they might change their mind in the next 21 days.

"Gov. Mitt Romney is coming on strong in the Keystone State, especially among white Catholics," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Pennsylvania voters say Vice President Joseph Biden, a native son and a Catholic, won the debate and is more qualified than U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan to be president. But that doesn't seem to be lifting the top of the ticket."

Pennsylvania likely voters say 42 - 37 percent that Pennsylvania-born Vice President Joseph Biden beat U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan in last week's debate. Independent voters say 41 - 35 percent that Biden won.

But more than 60 percent of voters say the debate does not affect their presidential vote.

Biden is more qualified than Ryan to serve as president, voters say 50 - 42 percent.

By a 52 - 45 percent margin, Pennsylvania voters have a favorable opinion of Obama.

Romney gets a divided 46 - 44 percent favorability rating.

U.S. Senate Race

Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Robert Casey Jr. has 48 percent in his reelection bid to 45 percent for businessman Tom Smith, his Republican challenger.

In this Senate race, men go Republican 53 - 42 percent, while women back the Democrat 53 - 38 percent. Independent voters are divided 44 - 44 percent.

"Tom Smith's relentless TV ad barrage has lifted him out of the coal mine to give Sen. Robert Casey a run for his money," Malloy said. "Casey had a 55 - 37 percent lead in Quinnipiac University's August 1 survey. Now this race is too close to call."

Pennsylvania voters disapprove of the job Gov. Tom Corbett is doing by a narrow 42 - 38 percent, compared to a 47 - 36 percent disapproval September 26.

From October 12 - 14, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,519 Pennsylvania likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percent. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia 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. If the election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Barack Obama the Democrat and Mitt Romney the Republican, for whom would you vote? (If undecided) As of today, do you lean more toward Obama or Romney? (Table includes leaners)
                     LIKELY VOTERS..............................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Obama                50%     5%    89%    50%    43%    57%    43%    97%
Romney               46     93      9     43     54     39     53      1
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -      3      2      -      1      -
DK/NA                 3      1      2      3      2      4      2      3
 
                     WHITE..............................................
                     COLLEGE DEG                               BornAgnEv
                     Yes    No     Prot   Cath   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Obama                49%    41%    35%    43%    37%    50%    26%    44%
Romney               49     55     61     56     60     46     70     54
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      1      1      -      2      1      1      -
DK/NA                 1      3      3      1      1      3      4      1
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Obama                54%    49%    58%    49%    51%    49%    59%    50%    48%
Romney               43     47     37     46     48     48     36     47     48
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      1      2      -      2      3      1      -
DK/NA                 1      3      4      4      1      1      1      2      3
 
TREND: If the election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Barack Obama the Democrat and Mitt Romney the Republican, for whom would you vote? (If undecided) As of today, do you lean more toward Obama or Romney? (Table includes leaners)
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Oct 16  Sep 26  Aug 01
                     2012    2012    2012
 
Obama                50      54      53
Romney               46      42      42
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1       1       1
DK/NA                 3       2       4
 
1a. (If candidate chosen q1) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......
                     CANDIDATE CHOSEN Q1
                     Tot    Obama  Romney
 
Mind made up         92%    91%    93%
Might change          7      8      6
DK/NA                 1      1      -
 
TREND: (If candidate chosen) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     CANDIDATE CHOSEN......
                     Oct 16  Sep 26  Aug 01
                     2012    2012    2012
 
Mind made up         92      92      87
Might change          7       7      12
DK/NA                 1       1       1
 
 
2. Is your opinion of Mitt Romney favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS..............................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            46%    90%    10%    45%    53%    40%    53%     -
Unfavorable          44      6     78     45     39     50     39     86
Hvn't hrd enough      7      4      9      8      7      7      6     10
REFUSED               2      -      4      3      1      4      2      3
 
                     WHITE..............................................
                     COLLEGE DEG                               BornAgnEv
                     Yes    No     Prot   Cath   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Favorable            50%    54%    62%    55%    58%    47%    67%    55%
Unfavorable          44     36     28     38     34     44     22     38
Hvn't hrd enough      4      7      8      5      7      6      8      6
REFUSED               2      3      2      1      1      3      3      1
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Favorable            47%    46%    36%    44%    47%    51%    40%    45%    48%
Unfavorable          47     43     51     46     46     42     52     45     42
Hvn't hrd enough      5      8      9      7      5      5      7      8      7
REFUSED               2      3      4      3      1      1      -      3      3
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Mitt Romney favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Oct 16  Sep 26  Aug 01
                     2012    2012    2012
 
Favorable            46      41      39
Unfavorable          44      50      47
Hvn't hrd enough      7       8      11
REFUSED               2       2       3
 
 
3. Is your opinion of Barack Obama favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS..............................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            52%     8%    88%    54%    45%    59%    46%    98%
Unfavorable          45     89      9     44     54     37     52      -
Hvn't hrd enough      1      1      2      1      1      2      1      -
REFUSED               1      1      1      1      1      2      1      2
 
                     WHITE..............................................
                     COLLEGE DEG                               BornAgnEv
                     Yes    No     Prot   Cath   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Favorable            50%    44%    37%    45%    40%    52%    28%    47%
Unfavorable          47     54     60     52     59     44     70     51
Hvn't hrd enough      1      1      1      1      -      2      -      1
REFUSED               1      1      2      1      1      2      2      1
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Favorable            56%    51%    58%    52%    53%    51%    64%    51%    49%
Unfavorable          42     46     39     46     44     48     34     46     48
Hvn't hrd enough      1      2      2      1      2      1      2      2      1
REFUSED               1      1      2      1      1      -      -      1      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Barack Obama favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Oct 16  Sep 26  Aug 01
                     2012    2012    2012
 
Favorable            52      54      53
Unfavorable          45      43      42
Hvn't hrd enough      1       2       2
REFUSED               1       2       3
 
 
4. If the election for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were Bob Casey Jr. the Democrat and Tom Smith the Republican, for whom would you vote? (If undecided) As of today, do you lean more toward Casey Jr. or Smith? (Table includes leaners)
                     LIKELY VOTERS..............................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Casey Jr.            48%    10%    83%    44%    42%    53%    43%    86%
Smith                45     88     12     44     53     38     51      5
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 7      2      5     11      5      9      6      9
 
                     WHITE..............................................
                     COLLEGE DEG                               BornAgnEv
                     Yes    No     Prot   Cath   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Casey Jr.            49%    40%    35%    45%    37%    49%    25%    47%
Smith                46     53     60     49     58     43     70     48
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 6      7      6      6      4      9      5      5
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Casey Jr.            52%    46%    56%    50%    46%    47%    50%    49%    47%
Smith                41     47     37     43     49     47     37     44     48
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 7      7      7      7      5      6     12      6      5
 
TREND: If the election for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were Bob Casey Jr. the Democrat and Tom Smith the Republican, for whom would you vote? (If undecided) As of today, do you lean more toward Casey Jr. or Smith? (Table includes leaners)
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Oct 16  Sep 26  Aug 01
                     2012    2012    2012
 
Casey Jr.            48      49      55
Smith                45      43      37
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -       -       -
DK/NA                 7       8       8
 
 
5. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Tom Corbett is handling his job as Governor?
                     LIKELY VOTERS..............................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              38%    66%    17%    35%    48%    29%    42%    12%
Disapprove           42     21     57     47     40     44     41     50
DK/NA                20     13     26     18     12     27     16     39
 
                     WHITE..............................................
                     COLLEGE DEG                               BornAgnEv
                     Yes    No     Prot   Cath   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Approve              39%    44%    46%    47%    52%    33%    49%    44%
Disapprove           46     39     37     39     38     45     32     42
DK/NA                15     17     17     14     11     22     18     14
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Approve              36%    39%    33%    35%    43%    40%    30%    41%    39%
Disapprove           48     40     43     42     42     47     38     41     44
DK/NA                16     21     24     23     15     13     31     18     17
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Tom Corbett is handling his job as Governor?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Oct 16  Sep 26  Aug 01
                     2012    2012    2012
 
Approve              38      36      38
Disapprove           42      47      45
DK/NA                20      17      17
 
 
6. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                     LIKELY VOTERS..............................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              50%     7%    87%    50%    44%    56%    43%    97%
Disapprove           48     91     10     48     55     41     55      2
DK/NA                 2      2      3      2      1      3      2      1
 
                     WHITE..............................................
                     COLLEGE DEG                               BornAgnEv
                     Yes    No     Prot   Cath   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Approve              47%    40%    34%    43%    38%    48%    27%    43%
Disapprove           51     57     63     55     61     49     71     54
DK/NA                 2      2      2      3      1      3      2      3
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Approve              53%    48%    56%    52%    48%    47%    61%    47%    48%
Disapprove           46     49     40     47     48     53     37     49     50
DK/NA                 2      3      3      1      4      1      1      3      2
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Oct 16  Sep 26  Aug 01
                     2012    2012    2012
 
Approve              50      51      49
Disapprove           48      45      46
DK/NA                 2       3       4
 
 
7. Which candidate do you think did the best job, or won, Thursday night's vice presidential debate Paul Ryan or Joe Biden?
                     LIKELY VOTERS..............................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Ryan                 37%    74%     7%    35%    42%    34%    43%     2%
Biden                42      7     73     41     40     45     37     79
TIE (VOL)             5      5      4      6      6      4      5      2
DIDN'T WATCH(VOL)    11      8     13     13      7     14     10     15
DK/NA                 4      5      3      5      5      4      5      3
 
                     WHITE..............................................
                     COLLEGE DEG                               BornAgnEv
                     Yes    No     Prot   Cath   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Ryan                 38%    45%    50%    46%    46%    40%    58%    43%
Biden                40     35     29     37     35     39     23     38
TIE (VOL)             7      5      4      6      6      5      4      6
DIDN'T WATCH(VOL)    11     10     10      8      8     13      9      9
DK/NA                 3      5      6      3      5      4      6      3
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Ryan                 35%    39%    34%    37%    39%    37%    28%    37%    41%
Biden                45     41     49     44     39     42     50     41     42
TIE (VOL)             6      4      4      3      7      7      2      6      5
DIDN'T WATCH(VOL)    11     11      9     11     12      8     13     13      8
DK/NA                 3      5      4      5      3      5      6      3      5
 
 
8. Did you watch or listen to the vice presidential debate between Paul Ryan and Joe Biden, or not?
                     LIKELY VOTERS..............................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes                  81%    85%    77%    81%    84%    77%    82%    69%
No                   18     15     21     18     15     21     17     27
DK/NA                 1      -      2      1      1      1      1      4
 
                     WHITE..............................................
                     COLLEGE DEG                               BornAgnEv
                     Yes    No     Prot   Cath   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Yes                  85%    81%    82%    86%    85%    80%    82%    84%
No                   15     18     18     14     15     19     17     15
DK/NA                 -      1      1      -      -      1      1      1
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Yes                  86%    78%    80%    77%    82%    88%    74%    80%    83%
No                   14     20     20     21     17     12     24     18     16
DK/NA                 -      1      -      2      1      1      1      2      1
 
 
9. Did the vice presidential debate make you more likely to vote for - Barack Obama, less likely, or did it have no effect on your vote choice?
                     LIKELY VOTERS..............................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
More likely          17%     2%    35%    12%    15%    20%    14%    39%
Less likely          18     36      3     18     19     17     20      -
Had no effect        62     59     59     69     65     60     63     57
DK/NA                 3      3      3      1      2      3      3      4
 
                     WHITE..............................................
                     COLLEGE DEG                               BornAgnEv
                     Yes    No     Prot   Cath   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
More likely          12%    15%    11%    14%    12%    16%     9%    13%
Less likely          18     22     24     22     21     20     31     20
Had no effect        70     59     62     63     66     60     55     65
DK/NA                 -      4      3      1      2      4      5      1
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
More likely          14%    19%    22%    17%    16%    13%    15%    16%    20%
Less likely          16     18     13     21     17     16     11     16     21
Had no effect        69     59     62     59     66     70     73     65     56
DK/NA                 -      4      3      3      1      -      1      3      3
 
 
10. Did the vice presidential debate make you more likely to vote for Mitt Romney, less likely, or did it have no effect on your vote choice?
                     LIKELY VOTERS..............................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
More likely          19%    40%     4%    17%    20%    19%    22%     3%
Less likely          15      2     29     13     14     17     13     29
Had no effect        63     56     64     68     64     61     62     64
DK/NA                 3      2      3      2      2      3      3      4
 
                     WHITE..............................................
                     COLLEGE DEG                               BornAgnEv
                     Yes    No     Prot   Cath   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
More likely          20%    23%    25%    25%    22%    22%    30%    22%
Less likely          11     14     11     12     12     14      9     12
Had no effect        68     59     61     63     64     60     57     65
DK/NA                 -      4      3      1      2      4      3      1
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
More likely          18%    20%    16%    20%    21%    16%    13%    18%    21%
Less likely          13     17     22     13     14     14     16     15     16
Had no effect        69     60     57     64     65     70     69     64     60
DK/NA                 -      4      5      3      1      -      3      3      3
 
 
11. Who do you think is best qualified to serve as president if it becomes necessary Paul Ryan or Joe Biden?
                     LIKELY VOTERS..............................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Ryan                 42%    86%     9%    38%    49%    36%    48%     -
Biden                50      8     84     53     44     55     44     90
DK/NA                 8      5      7     10      6      9      8      9
 
                     WHITE..............................................
                     COLLEGE DEG                               BornAgnEv
                     Yes    No     Prot   Cath   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Ryan                 45%    50%    57%    50%    55%    41%    65%    48%
Biden                49     41     34     45     39     49     28     45
DK/NA                 5      9      9      5      6      9      8      7
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Ryan                 41%    43%    37%    39%    45%    43%    34%    43%    45%
Biden                55     47     56     49     50     51     56     49     48
DK/NA                 5      9      7     12      5      6     10      8      7
 

Demographic Summary