PPP's newest Pennsylvania poll finds things have changed very little in the state over the course of the last ten weeks. Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney 50-42, basically the same as his 49-42 advantage there in early March.
It doesn't look like Obama's going to have to worry too much about Pennsylvania this year, and that's a big change from what we found in our polling of the state over the course of 2011. Obama led by an average of less than a point in four PPP polls there last year. He was plagued by poor approval ratings then, but now voters are pretty evenly divided on him with 48% approving and 49% disapproving of the job he's doing. Meanwhile Romney continues to be unpopular, with just 37% of voters rating him positively to 51% with a negative opinion.
Obama and Romney are holding their party's voters in basically equal numbers, with Obama taking 80% of Democrats and Romney 78% of Republicans. In a state where Democrats have a large registration advantage Obama wins if that holds true. It's a departure from some past polls that found him under even 70% of the Democratic vote, but conservative whites seem to be moving back toward him just as they did after supporting Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primary. Obama's also up 48-24 with Pennsylvania's small contingent of independent voters.
Obama is up 56-36 with women and 64-28 with young voters, two groups that continue to help provide the base of his support in many swing states.
We tested a bunch of prominent Pennsylvania Republicans as potential running mates for Romney. The most helpful for him is Tom Ridge. Ridge has an impressive 50/32 favorability rating, making him more popular than any other politician in the state we've polled on recently. He would pull Romney to within a 48-43 margin of Obama.
Rick Santorum emerged from the Presidential campaign with a pretty dreadful 36/53 favorability rating. It's dropped a net 7 points from -10 at 41/51 in early March. If he was on Romney's ticket Obama's lead would remain basically unchanged at 51/43.
We also looked at Pat Toomey and Lynn Swann as potential Romney running mates, Obama's lead would increase slightly with either of them on the ticket.
Barack Obama has a lot of things to worry about right now. But it doesn't look like Pennsylvania is one of them.
Full results here