(CNN) - Republicans scored big victories in Pennsylvania in last month's midterm elections, winning back the governor's office, a U.S. Senate seat and five House seats from the Democrats.
But looking ahead to 2012, a new poll of Keystone state voters indicates there is a plurality of support for re-electing Democratic Sen. Bob Casey Jr.
According to a Quinnipiac University survey released Thursday, 43 percent say they favor re-electing Casey in 2012, with 35 percent saying they'd vote for the unnamed GOP challenger, with 11 percent saying it depends on the challenger and 11 percent unsure. Independents questioned in the survey are divided between Casey and an unnamed Republican candidate.
By a 39 to 29 percent margin, Pennsylvania voters approve of the job the freshman senator is doing. The former state treasurer defeated two-term Republican Sen. Rick Santorum in the 2006 election.
The poll indicates that 44 percent approve of the job President Barack Obama's doing in the White House, with 43 percent saying they disapprove.
"Half of Pennsylvania voters say Sen. Robert Casey generally shares the same views as President Barack Obama, while 16 percent say he does not. A third, 34 percent, are not sure," says Quinnipiac University Polling Institute assistant director Peter Brown. "Depending on how popular the president is in Pennsylvania in 2012, and how Sen. Casey conducts himself during the next 23 months, that could be a plus or a minus for Casey's re-election prospects."
"Although there is a sense in the political community that Casey will be a strong bet for re-election, his numbers are not overwhelming," Brown added.
The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted Dec. 6-13, with 1,584 Pennsylvania voters questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.
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