Pollster: PA Obama's Biggest Headache

Pennsylvania “is looking more and more like it could be a tough hold” for President Obama in the 2012 election, according to a Public Policy Polling analysis based on three of the firm’s surveys of the state.

Indeed, Pennsylvania may be the toughest state for the president’s re-election campaign, the pollsters say.

Obama’s state approval rating is 46 percent, to 48 percent disapproval, in the latest PPP poll, and he has been “underwater” in all three of the automated surveys it has run there so far in 2011.

The best Obama can muster in a hypothetical head-to-head Pennsylvania matchup with Republican front-runner Mitt Romney is a tie. This is a state he carried by 10 percentage points in 2008, despite having lost the Democratic primary to Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“Obama's poll numbers are worse in Pennsylvania than they are in places like Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, and New Mexico - all states that went Republican in 2004 even as Pennsylvania voted Democratic,” pollster Tom Jepsen wrote in his analysis. “The President's persistently poor numbers in a state that's gone Democratic in every Presidential election for the last 24 years probably make Pennsylvania the place where Obama should be most concerned about his current standing.”