PPP's first poll of the 2016 Pennsylvania Senate race finds it picking up pretty much where the 2010 Senate race left off- with Pat Toomey holding a narrow edge over Joe Sestak. Toomey leads Sestak 40/36, similar to his 2 point margin of victory the first time the duo faced off.
Four years into his first term, Toomey's approval numbers aren't terribly impressive. 28% of voters approve of the job he's doing to 35% who disapprove, comparable to the 31/34 spread he posted on PPP's last poll in June. A plurality of voters- 37%- don't have any opinion about Toomey at all. That level of anonymity with voters leaves his fate next year somewhat up to the political winds- if it's another good year for Republicans like the last time he ran he may be alright, but if it's a stronger Democratic year he'll be in deep trouble.
Sestak has largely faded from Pennsylvanians' minds since his 2010 bid as well. Only 40% of voters in the state have an opinion about him with those holding one pretty evenly divided in their feelings.
We tested 6 potential candidates against Toomey. The only one who leads, and a very unlikely candidate, is former Governor Ed Rendell. He would start out ahead of Toomey 44/41. Rendell's favorability is 43/42, which while not exactly setting the world on fire, suggests there's been a lot of improvement in his image since he left office. Our final approval poll while he was Governor found Rendell at a 34/53 spread.