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Romney, Smith Lead in Penn. GOP Poll

5:35 PM, Oct 19, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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Mitt Romney leads Barack Obama by four points in Pennsylvania, while Republican Senate candidate Tom Smith leads incumbent Democrat Bob Casey by two points, according to a state GOP poll conducted by Susquehanna Polling and Research. Of the 1,376 likely Pennsylvania voters surveyed, 49 percent support Romney for president, while 45 percent support Obama.

In the Senate race, Smith has 48 percent support to Casey's 46 percent support. 

The poll was done on behalf of the state Republican party, though, and as Politics PA points out, there are some caveats:

As with all internal polls, this should be taken with a grain of salt. In addition to the obvious fundraising tie-in, the PAGOP has a direct interest in keeping its volunteers and supporters engaged in the race. Even if Romney loses Pa., Republican turnout will affect other races.

The Real Clear Politics presidential poll average for Pennsylvania doesn't factor in the latest Susquehanna poll, and Obama still leads Romney in the Keystone State by 5 points. Then again, Paul Ryan is attending a rally in Pittsburgh Saturday morning, suggesting the Romney campaign may be testing the waters in Pennsylvania to see if it can win a state that hasn't voted for a Republican for president since 1988.

In the Senate race, meanwhile, this poll is the first to show political novice Smith ahead of his Democratic opponent. The two-point lead for Smith follows three more recent polls that showed Smith within four points of Casey. Without the Susquehanna poll, Casey's average lead over Smith is 5.3 points.

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