PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pennsylvania could be back in play as a toss-up state in this year’s presidential election.
That’s the opinion of 1,500 voters polled in the latest Quinnipiac University poll.
President Barack Obama leads Gov. Mitt Romney by just four points, 50 percent to 46 percent, after leading by 12 points three weeks ago, 54 percent to 42 percent.
That puts the state in the toss-up category again, says Tim Malloy, a Quinnipiac pollster.
“Yes, it’s in play. Yes, it’s a swing state,” Malloy told KDKA political editor Jon Delano.
The President still gets positive reviews — with 52 percent viewing him favorably and 45 percent unfavorably.
In contrast, Gov. Romney is viewed favorably by 46 percent with 44 percent unfavorably.
Romney is closing the gap because he has picked up support from white Catholics, who support him 56 percent to 43 percent for Obama.
At the same time, Obama is winning the state because women back him by 18 points, 57 percent to 39 percent.
“President Obama’s popularity with women stays rock solid in Pennsylvania,” adds Malloy.
The race for U.S. Senate may be even tighter, as Democratic incumbent Sen. Bob Casey has just a three-point lead over Republican challenger Tom Smith.
Casey now leads Smith 48 percent to 45 percent, down from a six-point lead three weeks ago, 49 percent to 43 percent. That leaves 7 percent currently undecided.
Smith has a nine-point advantage among men, while Casey has a 15-point advantage among women.
Malloy credits Smith’s TV advertising with closing the gap.
“We do know that he has outspent Casey nearly three-to-one in TV ads, and whoever rules the airwaves gets the upper hand in state races to be sure,” Malloy said.
This week, Casey has substantially increased his television presence, but Republicans smell an opportunity.
To be fair, other recent polls show Casey with a 10 or 11 point lead, but this race could come down to the wire.
As for the presidential race, surprisingly, Romney has no TV advertising and has withdrawn some campaign staff from this state.
But at this poll suggests, Pennsylvania is still up for grabs.
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