Former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney has been the frontrunner for the GOP nomination in national polls, but we have yet to see much polling that shows him beating President Obama in a crucial swing state. But a new Quinnipiac poll shows that a plurality of GOP voters want Romney in PA, and he now leads Obama 44 - 42, inside the margin of error and therefore a statistical dead heat.
The President bests other GOP contenders, but remains under 50% in all matchups. Obama beats former PA Sen. Rick Santorum 45 - 43, Minn. Rep. Michele Bachmann 47 - 39, and Tex. Gov. Rick Perry 45 - 39. Voters in the state disapprove of Obama’s performance by a 54 - 43 margin, and say the President doesn’t deserve to be reelected by a 52 - 42 spread, according to the poll.
As TPM has reported over the last few days, the prolonged debt debate is pulling down the approval ratings of national leaders, and PA is no exception. Obama beat Romney 47 - 40 in Quinnipiac’s June poll, and Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipaic Polling Institute, urged caution. “Let’s see how the public reacts to the news and whether today’s results are a baseline for measuring future results, or whether they show the president is in big trouble in Pennsylvania, a key swing state,” Malloy wrote.
Still, Romney now leads Obama by a slim .4% margin in the TPM Poll Average of the matchup in Pennsylvania.
The new Quinnipiac poll utilized telephone interviews with 1,358 registered voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percent for the general election matchup. For the Republican sample, there were 532 interviews and a 4.3 margin of error.
Kyle is the Editor of TPM Media’s PollTracker. He graduated from Beloit College (WI) and began working in politics before getting an M.A. in magazine journalism from New York University, where he interned at TPM and the website of The New Yorker.