U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, Pennsylvania's Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, is trailing his opponent for this November's election — incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey — by 15 points in a new NBC News/Marist poll, WCAU-TV reported.
Casey leads Barletta 53 percent to 38 percent, according to the survey of 735 registered voters, the station said.
According to the poll, 48 percent of registered voters have a "favorable impression" of Casey, compared to 34 percent who have an "unfavorable impression," WCAU said.
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For Barletta, more voters have "never heard" of him than those who have an opinion of him, according to the poll. Forty-five percent of those polled are "unsure-never heard" of the congressman, compared to 30 percent who have a favorable opinion of him and 24 percent who view him unfavorably.
The former mayor of Hazleton in northern Pennsylvania rose to prominence a decade ago as a hard-liner on immigration. President Donald Trump recently held a campaign rally for Barletta in Wilkes-Barre.
Terry Madonna, a well-known pollster at Franklin & Marshall College, recently described Barletta as "Trump before Trump was Trump."
How did the Barletta campaign react?
A spokesman for the Barletta campaign on Friday told TheBlaze: “Whether it be the Morning Consult poll showing Bob Casey with an embarrassing 32% of Pennsylvanians believing he deserves reelection or the independent Commonwealth Fund's poll showing Bob Casey with just a 2% lead despite oversampling Democrats, we've seen multiple polls in just the past week showing momentum behind Lou Barletta's campaign. Today's NBC/Marist poll surveyed registered voters, not likely voters, and where 14 percent weren’t even registered to vote. It should not be taken seriously as a measure of where the electorate stands.”
What did the poll say about GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner?
Pennsylvania's Republican gubernatorial nominee Scott Wagner didn't fare much better in the poll, as he trailed incumbent Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf by 14 points — 54 percent to 40 percent, WCAU said.
According to the poll, 51 percent of registered voters have a "favorable impression" of Wolf, compared to 39 percent who have an "unfavorable impression," the station said.
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Wagner, a wealthy businessman from the same region of the state as Wolf, has begun airing political ads on television but also remains unknown to nearly a third of the electorate. Both men come from York County, with Wolf a scion of a powerful local family and Wagner rising to prominence through his sanitation collection company.
Thirty percent of registered voters said they are unsure or never heard of him, compared to 36 percent who have a favorable impression and 34 who have an unfavorable impression.
In both races, nearly nine of 10 registered voters said they are likely not to change their vote between now and Election Day.
How did the Wagner campaign react to the poll?
Andrew Romeo, a spokesman for the Barletta campaign, on Friday told TheBlaze that “this is the same poll that had Hillary Clinton up by 12 in Pennsylvania in October of 2016."
WCAU noted that Trump won Pennsylvania by less than 1 point two years ago despite registered Democrats outnumbering registered Republicans by 800,000 — but Trump is now viewed more unfavorably by registered voters, the poll said.
The survey of 825 adults was conducted Aug. 12-16 by The Marist Poll and sponsored and funded in partnership with NBC News, WCAU said, adding that results are statistically significant within 3.9 percentage points.