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Election 2018: Pennsylvania Senate

Pennsylvania Senate: Casey (D) 52%, Barletta (R) 38%

Incumbent Democrat Bob Casey Jr. appears comfortably on his way to reelection in Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race.

The first Rasmussen Reports telephone and online survey of the race finds Casey with the support of 52% of Likely Pennsylvania voters to Republican Congressman Lou Barletta’s 38%. Two percent (2%) like some other candidate, and eight percent (8%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Among the 87% who say they are definitely going to vote in the upcoming election, Casey posts a 53% to 39% lead.

Fifty percent (50%) of all voters in the state say the election is a referendum on President Trump’s agenda. Thirty-eight percent (38%) say it’s more about the candidates and issues. Twelve percent (12%) are undecided. This is comparable to attitudes nationwide.

Casey leads 60% to 34% among voters who see the election as a referendum on the president. Among voters more interested in the candidates and the issues, it’s a tie race at 44% apiece.

Trump carried Pennsylvania by less than a point in the 2016 election. Forty-six percent (46%) of the state’s voters approve of the job he is doing, with 35% who Strongly Approve. Fifty-three percent (53%) disapprove of his job performance, including 46% who Strongly Disapprove. This is in line with Trump’s approval ratings nationally in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.

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The survey of 800 Likely Voters in Pennsylvania was conducted on September 12-13, 2018 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Rasmussen Reports will release its first numbers on the Pennsylvania gubernatorial race tomorrow morning.

Casey, who is seeking a third six-year term in the Senate, is the son of a popular governor and is by far the better known of the two candidates. Nineteen percent (19%) of Pennsylvania voters say they have never heard of Barletta. The Republican is viewed Very Favorably by 23% and Very Unfavorably by 19%. The Demcoratic incumbent earns Very Favorables of 27%, Very Unfavorables of 23%.

Casey has agreed to two debates; Barletta wants more. Seventy-seven percent (77%) of the state’s voters consider debates important in terms of how they will vote, with 36% who say they are Very Important.

Barletta has just 70% support among Pennsylvania Republicans. Casey has the backing of 84% of the state’s Democrats and holds a seven-point lead among voters not affiliated with either major party.

Men prefer Barletta over Casey, but the incumbent leads in nearly all other demographic categories.

Given eight major issues and asked which is the most important to their vote this fall, 20% of Pennsylvania voters say taxes and government spending, closely followed by the economy at 19%. For 16%, illegal immigration is the big issue, while 14% tap government ethics and corruption. Of less concern are social issues (9%), the environment (7%), education (5%) and school safety (3%). Four percent (4%) cite some other issue.

Barletta leads among voters who put the economy and illegal immigration first. Casey has the advantage in all other categories.

Sixty-two percent (62%) of Keystone State voters rate the U.S. economy as good or excellent. Only nine percent (9%) describe it as poor. Fifty-seven percent (57%) consider their own finances as good or excellent, while 14% view their personal finances as poor.

Barletta leads among voters with a positive assessment of their own finances. Casey is far ahead among those who view their finances as poor.

Democrats continue to lead on the Rasmussen Reports weekly Generic Congressional Ballot.

Thanks to our citizen sponsors, additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are open to the public.

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