Obama tied with Romney in PA, new poll says

Another day, another poll suggesting that Pennsylvania may be the shakiest right now among the states President Obama’s campaign counts on in its strategic plans for 2012.

A new Public Policy Polling survey Tuesday found 42 percent of Pennsylvania voters approve of his job performance, to 53 percent who disapprove – a 9-point swing from the 46 to 48 percent approve/disapprove ratio that the Democratic firm found there five months ago.

The president's approval rating is in line with other recent polls of the state, and compares to an average national score of 44 percent in the Real Clear Politics compendium of  polling results.

In Pennsylvania, the president ties Republican Mitt Romney in a head-to-head contest, PPP found, with each receiving 45 percent of the vote if the election were held today. Obama had varying leads of anywhere from four percentage points to 18 percentage points over all the other GOP contenders. (The worst-faring Republican candidate? Former pizza exec Herman Cain, who would lose 35 percent to 53 percent in a matchup with the president.)

“Pennsylvania is Barack Obama’s most worrisome state for 2102,” said Dean Debnam, president of PPP, based in Raleigh, N.C. “He’s slipped there more than in any other large state, and the electoral college picture changes fundamentally if it goes into the GOP column.”

Obama's campaign points out that early polls don’t mean all that much, and believes that everything will turn around as voters, particularly independents, realize that all the GOP candidates want to protect the interests of the uber-rich and cut programs important to the middle class.

PPP surveyed 500 Pennsylvania registered voters with an automated telephone system from Nov. 17 through 20. Results are subject to a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points, the pollsters said.

 Here's a link to the full poll.