Poll: Obama Leads All Challengers In PA In Hypothetical 2012 Matchups

A new PPP poll of Pennsylvania voters finds President Obama in good position to again carry the important swing state in 2012 as he did two years ago.

In the poll, Obama led all hypothetical challengers, including the state’s former Senator Rick Santorum. However, both Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee trailed by smaller gaps than the survey’s margin of error.

In a head to head mathcup with Huckabee, Obama came out on top 47% to 44%. Against Romney, that spread was one point better, with Obama edging the former Massachusetts Governor 46% to 42%. Santorum trailed by the next smallest margin, lagging the president 48% to 40%.

Both Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin trailed Obama by double digits in the poll. Against Gingrich, Obama reached the symbolic 50% threshold to Gingrich’s 40%. He leads Palin 51%-36%.Santorum’s tepid support in his home state does not bode well for his chances in 2012, especially given Obama’s net negative job approval rating in the state. Forty-nine percent of Pennsylvanians disapprove of the way Obama is handling his presidency, versus 46% who approve.

Santorum lost his reelection bid in 2006, and it looks like voters there haven’t changed their minds about him. Only 38% of respondents said they have a favorable opinion of him, versus 44% who have an unfavorable opinion of him.

Obama carried Pennsylvania in 2008 by 10 points. While reapportionment due to the census will strike one of the state’s House seats by 2010, it will still hold a formidable 20 electoral votes.

The PPP poll was conducted January 3-5 among 547 Pennsylvania voters. It has a margin of error of 4.2%.

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