« Gingrich winning in both Arizona and Pennsylvania | Main | Obama, Romney tied in Pennsylvania »

November 22, 2011


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Very strange that Obama has a big lead in Ohio but is struggling in PA!


This polls is clearly ignoring that its too early to say. In the end it depends on how much Obama can convince them to vote for him or not. You cannot predict how a state is going to vote this early in the election season. Seems like PPP and most opinion polls like to ignore that fact and sell it off as this is how its going to happen.

Alan Snipes

Well, this poll shows that Pennsylvania will be tough. However, I am encouraged by the fact that Pennsylvania has gone Democratic in the last five Presidential elections.
In the final analysis, I think Obama will pull it out here. Curiously, Obama is polling better in Ohio than Pennsylvania and Ohio is slightly more Republican than Pennsylvania. However, if Obama can't carry Pennsylvania, he will probably lose.


I only wish you had broken down the numbers by region. For those that watch Pa. closely, it is axiomatic that Philadelphia is underpolled which is why on election day the Democrats seem to do 1-2% better than the final polls will show. Additionally, to get a real handle on what will happen, you must know what is going on in the Philadelphia suburbs. This area, more than any other in PA is quite fickle and becoming more unpredictable. If Obama is doing poorly in this area of the state, then his chances of carrying the entire state are diminished. Those suburban voters who are economic conservatives and social liberals are the swing ones in this election and if they trend Republican, Obama will lose.

David Donovan

A couple of people have noted that it seems odd that the President is polling better in Ohio than in Pennsylvania. I suspect that Democrats generally, including the President, are getting a boost in the Midwest because of the rabid partisanship and extreme right-wing agendas being pursued by Republicans there. We've seen a government shutdown in Minnesota, recalls and mass protests in Wisconsin, and a citizen's veto in Ohio, but we haven't seen nearly the same level of political brinkmanship and citizen revulsion in Pennsylvania. That could help to explain some of these numbers.


I have a question for PPP on the favorability question of candidates. I have long taken note that the favorability of the Republican candidates is almost always in negative territory but I really wonder if the favorable vs unfavorable is really realistic, because it doesn't allow an in between option like 'somewhat favorable' or 'somewhat unfavorable'. For instance, in this poll, it shows that voters regard Romney unfavorably by a whopping 51%-32% margin while they disapprove of Obama just 53%-42%, yet the 2 candidates are tied with the edge likely going to Romney.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not accusing you of cooking the results or anything - I'm just trying to understand why your candidate unfavorable generally seem to be way higher than in other surveys? Is there something I'm missing?

Tom Jensen

The main reason the favorability numbers come out so bad for the Republicans is that only 50-60% of GOP voters express a positive opinion of most of them (because they're supporting another candidate) while almost all Democrats express a negative opinion of each of them. Once the GOP has a nominee that person presumably will end up at least in the 70-80% favorability range within their party and that will bring their overall numbers back closer to even or positive range.

Dustin Ingalls

jeff: Nowhere did we say anything about what PA would do a year from now. In fact, Tom said, "If those folks really had to make a decision today it's likely they'd move in Romney's direction and hand him the state." The challenge is bringing up his share of the blue-collar, white Democratic and independent vote between now and then.


Thanks, Mr Jensen, for the informative explanation. It makes a lot of sense.

Obama 2012

Democrats should be attacking Romney 100% day & night starting yesterday for two reasons:

(1) if he ends up as the nominee (which I still think is likely despite Gingrich's gains) then it's important to drive up the negatives on Romney as high as possible.

(2) the biggest attack on Romney is his flip flopping which should be a negative to GOP primary voters as well as to voters in general... thus by focusing their attacks on Romney now they could decrease the chance of Romney as the nominee... leading to Gingrich as nominee... leading to Obama's reeleciton.


The fact that Romney barely polls higher than oddballs like Gingrich, Santorum, and Paul speaks volumes about how weak a candidate he is.



They're in the middle of a primary campaign, Paul supporters don't want to say they like Romney, Gingrich supporters don't want to say the like Perry, and on and on and on. It looks bad for their candidates.


You only polled Pennsylvania. Now poll Florida, poll North Carolina, poll Virginia...poll states that Obama won in 2008. See how weak he is, and how much he harms the rest of the party down-ticket.

A new poll shows Obama is 10 points down to Romney in New Hampshire - Obama won NH in 2008.

A new poll shows that his favorability in New Jersey is 37%. 37%!

If Obama is the nominee, and he has to fight for places like Pennsylvania and New Jersey and Wisconsin and Michigan (I saw a poll there that blue collar workers are now against Obama, and whites have completely turned against him), if he has to fight for these states that should be walkaways for Democrats (and he may win them in the end, but he will have to spend resources to keep them), then Obama can raise $10 billion and it will not help him.


It's unfortunate and brings question to the methodology that while RealClearPolitics has Bachmann at more than twice the polling numbers than Santorum, you leave the single woman Republican candidate off the polling.


Another issue with Pennsylvania is its "T" political shape. There's Philly in the southeast, Pittsburgh in the southwest and the rest is pretty conservative. Philly and Pittsburgh came out strong for Obama in '08, and the "T" stayed home due to lack of enthusiasm for McCain. This time, the situation is reversed. The "T" is highly motivated to remove Obama from office - they don't care who, just not Obama. The cities will have a tough time matching the '08 turnout, due to lower approval numbers. The best way to win PA would be to mount a primary challenge and nominate someone else.


Anyone questioning why various people were left off the ballot clearly hasn't been paying much attention to PPP or you'd already know the basis PPP uses for picking who goes on the regular presidential polls. Likewise, somebody complaining that PPP needs to poll North Carolina not only hasn't been paying attention, but didn't have the wit to look at the poll that was just released three weeks ago, where PPP did in fact poll North Carolina, and Florida and Virginia are both options in the voting, not having been done in a while (and the race changes frequently as the Republican frontrunner shifts around).


Still waiting on:

Bob Casey's approval numbers
Tom Corbett's approval numbers
Bob Casey in a match-up with various Republicans
PA's approval/disapproval of Same-Sex Marriage
Jeff Flake against Don Bivens/Richard Carmona
And Arizona's approval/disapproval of Same-Sex Marriage

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

PPP POLLS BY YEAR: 2006-2017

We came to PPP after a public poll in the San Jose Mayoral race showed our opponent ahead by 8 points. They found our candidate (Sam Liccardo) ahead by 3 points and that allowed us to be able to push back with the press against the perception that our opponent was now a strong favorite in the race. Sam ended up winning by 2 points and is now the next Mayor of San Jose. PPP worked very fast and had a very accurate read on the electorate when we needed them
–Eric Jaye, Storefront Political Media.

For more information on hiring PPP for your polling needs click here

Among the Best Pollsters, Year after Year.

2014 :
Rated Most Accurate Pollster in Governor’s Races Nationally

2012 :
Correctly predicted the winner of every state in the Presidential race, and the winner of every major Senate race

2010 :
First pollster to predict Scott Brown’s upset win over Martha Coakley in the Massachusetts Senate race, only pollster to predict Christine O’Donnell’s upset victory over Mike Castle in the Delaware Republican Senate primary.

2008 :
Ranked by the Wall Street Journal as the 2nd most accurate swing state pollster in the Presidential election.

WSJ Graphic


Public Policy Polling
2912 Highwoods Blvd., Suite 201
Raleigh, NC 27604
Phone: 888.621.6988

Questions or Comments?
Email Us




Dean Debnam Dean Debnam
Public Policy Polling CEO

PPP is best known for putting out highly accurate polling on key political races across the country, but we also do affordable private research for candidates and organizations.  Why pay tens of thousands of dollars for a survey when one of the most reliable companies in the nation can do it for less?"

Learn more about working
with PPP for your next project >


Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter
RSS Feed RSS Reader