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Pennsylvania Senate: Casey by 23

Santorum Remains Most Vulnerable Incumbent

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Santorum now trails Democratic challenger Bob Casey 56% to 33% (see crosstabs). Our latest survey of the governor's race also brings good news for the Democrat in that contest.

Last month, Santorum trailed by thirteen percentage points. The incumbent began 2006 down by 20 points and closed to within single digits by March. That was before the Primary Election solidified Casey's position as the Democratic nominee.

Santorum continues to flounder with his base, attracting support from only 67% of GOP voters. Casey now attracts 87% of Democrats, a ten-point gain since our April 20 poll.

The Senate race has been enlivened of late by controversy over Santorum's official residence, with the incumbent accusing the Casey campaign of spying.

Senator Santorum is viewed favorably by 42% of likely voters, unfavorably by 47%. About a quarter, 26%, view Santorum Very Unfavorably.

Casey is viewed favorably by 59%, unfavorably by 28%, with 13% undecided.

Pennsylvania voters tend to trust Democrats more than Republicans on most issues, with the exception of national security. See our story on the gubernatorial race for details.

Senator Santorum has no presidential coattails to cling to: only 36% approve of the job President Bush is doing. Sixty-two percent (62%) disapprove including 45% who Strongly Disapprove.

On national security issues, the President's performance is rated fair or better by 62% of likely voters; 35% say Poor. About 45% give him a grade of Poor on immigration and the economy. On Iraq, 56% say Poor; on energy policy, 53% say Poor.

To date, our three-poll rolling averages of the Pennsylvania race have shown Santorum lagging by anywhere from eleven points to seventeen percentage points.

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