Former Sen. Rick Santorum, who recently announced his bid for the White House in 2012, is not faring well among his fellow Pennsylvania Republicans or among voters in general, according to a poll released this morning.
The Quinnipiac University poll shows Mr. Santorum trails former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney among Republicans in Pennsylvania, and trails President Barack Obama, 49-38 percent in an early look at the next presidential election.
The poll shows Mr. Romney as the leader among Republicans with 21 percent, followed by Mr. Santorum with 16 percent. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has 11 percent, but no other candidate rates higher than 8 percent.
Another 17 percent of Republicans voters are undecided on their candidate.
Voters said of a possible presidential election matchup that Mr. Obama leads Mr. Romney, 47-40 percent, and leads Mr. Santorum, 49-38 percent. Independent voters back Mr. Obama by 41-37 percent over Mr. Romney and 46-35 percent over Mr. Santorum.
"President Barack Obama's fortunes in Pennsylvania, a critical swing state in presidential elections, has improved -- at least for now," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Independent voters, a critical bloc, have shifted dramatically in the six weeks since President Obama suffered his all-time low in Pennsylvania."
Mr. Obama has an even 48-48 percent job approval rating in the state, up from a negative 53-42 percent rating April 28. Independent voters split 48-47 percent in the current poll, compared to a negative 57-37 percent April 28.
The poll also shows that voters approve by 47-26 percent of the job Democratic Sen. Bob Casey Jr., is doing, but 27 percent are undecided. Republicans disapprove marginally, 38-37 percent, with 24 percent undecided.
Voters say 47-31 percent, including 46-34 percent among independent voters, that Mr. Casey deserves to be reelected in 2012.
From June 7 through Sunday, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,277 registered voters across the state with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percentage points.