(WHTM) – Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Casey is leading Republican Dave McCormick in one of the first polls released in the 2024 Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race.

The poll released by Quinnipiac University Polling on Wednesday shows Casey with a 50-44 percent lead over McCormick, who was endorsed by the state’s Republican Party shortly after he announced a second run for Senate.

During the 2022 Republican primary McCormick lost by less than 1,000 votes to Mehmet Oz, who was later defeated by John Fetterman in the general election.

“David McCormick, who defied former President Trump by refusing to say the 2020 election was stolen, dusts himself off from his previous Senate bid and comes back for more in what is immediately an intensely watched and competitive race with three term incumbent Senator Bob Casey,” said Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy.

Votesr have a favorite opinion of Casey (42% to 26%) while a majority of voters say they don’t know enough about McCormick. Twenty-five percent said they have a favorable view of McCormick while 17% were unfavorable.

Notably, McCormick led among voters without a college degree (60%), voters 50-64 (52%), and white men (54%), while Casey led among women (53%), voters 18-34 (53%), and voters 65 and older (57%).

In the Republican presidential primary, former President Donald Trump received 61%, followed by 14% for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and 8% for former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley.

“It’s certainly not enough for Trump to ‘hear footsteps,’ but Ron DeSantis may well take note that
candidate Nikki Haley is closing in on second position,” added Malloy.

President Joe Biden received 70% in the Democratic primary poll, followed by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at 17%.

In a hypothetical matchup, 47% of voters said they would support Trump while 45% would support Biden.

More than half of the voters interviewed had an unfavorable opinion of both Biden (57%) and Trump (46%).

“Biden vs. Trump: same as it ever was, setting up another likely bare-knuckled brawl between the two candidates in Biden’s home state,” added Malloy.

The top issues for Pennsylvania voters were the economy (30%), preserving democracy (23%), and immigration (15%).

The Quinnipiac University Poll surveyed 1,725 self-identified registered voters from September 28 through October 2 with a margin of error of +/- 2.4%. Of the voters surveyed, 711 self-identified as Republicans and 759 self-identified as Democrats.