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Politics

The Likability Factor

June 15, 2011

The Allentown Morning Call takes a closer look today at Sen. Bob Casey's, D-Pa., likability factor. Casey's personality is well-regarded, and the fact that he's not an antagonist along the lines of former Gov. Ed Rendell or former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., is part of his appeal.

New Quinnipiac numbers out today show the first-term senator's job approval rating to be just under the 50 percent threshold that incumbents want to stay above (47 percent). President Obama's approval rating stands at 48 percent in the state, according to the same poll. While not overwhelmingly positive, the numbers are an encouraging sign for Casey (his approval rating has been on the rise since December of 2010) who has so far not attracted top-shelf GOP opponents.

I wrote in April about Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., who like Casey often sides with the president when it comes to votes in the upper chamber, but has managed to nonetheless appeal to a broad cross-section of the electorate. Klobuchar's work on consumer issues and other non-controversial measures has enhanced her own likability across party lines.

For Democrats running for reelection in 2012, politics matters, the climate matters (Republicans are coming off successful cycles in Minnesota and Pennsylvania) and Obama's approval rating does too, but a look at Klobuchar and Casey -- who so far have both avoided the tough reelection fights other Democratic incumbents find themselves in -- is a reminder that the candidate also matters.

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