This article presents an unbiased comparison of the political positions and policies of Bob Casey and Tom Smith, candidates for the 2012 senate elections in Pennsylvania.
RESULT: Casey beat Smith to win re-election.
Bob Casey Jr., a member of the Democratic party, is the incumbent. He is a lawyer and a politician by profession. In 2006, Casey defeated two-term incumbent Republican Senator Rick Santorum with a margin of 18 points, 59%-41%, one of the largest margin of defeat seen in Pennsylvania history. This was also the first time a Democrat was elected to a full Senate term from Pennsylvania since Joseph Clark was re-elected in 1962.
Early Life and Career
Bob Casey was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and received his BA from the College of the Holy Cross in 1982. He earned his JD at the Catholic University of America in 1988 and practiced law from 1991 to 1996. In 1996, he was elected Pennsylvania State Auditor General and held this position until 2005, when he became the Pennsylvania State Treasurer. He won a place in the US Senate in 2006.
Tom Smith grew up on a farm in Armstrong County. After graduating high school, he went to work in a surface coal mine, and in 1989, he began to build his own series of companies in the coal business.
Differences in Economic Policy
Bob Casey opposes the privatization of Social Security. 
Tom Smith supports privatizing social security. 
Tom Smith opposes legal abortion. 
Tom Smith opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants. 
Tom Smith opposes gay marriage and would support a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. 
Tom Smith has not spoken about this issue.
Bob Casey supports increased federal and public funding for education. 
Tom Smith has not spoken about education policy.
Bob Casey supports the right to bear arms and opposed increased regulation of firearm ownership. 
Tom Smith is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and a member of the National Rifle Association. 
Bob Casey supports natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania. He supports legislation to develop technologies to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and aims to encourage investment in local alternative energy sources. 
Tom Smith aims to reduce American dependence on foreign energy sources by utilizing the country’s own resources, including oil and clean coal. 
Differences in Foreign Policy
Position on Iran
Bob Casey supports economic sanctions on Iran. 
Tom Smith has not spoken about his policy on Iran.
Opinion Poll Ratings
|Poll source|| Date(s)|
| Bob |
Casey, Jr. (D)
|Quinnipiac||June 19-25, 2012||49%||32%|
|Quinnipiac||June 5–10, 2012||51%||32%|
|Franklin & Marshall College||May 29–June 4, 2012||42%||21%|
|Rasmussen Reports||May 21, 2012||48%||41%|
|Public Policy Polling||May 17–20, 2012||49%||33%|
|Public Policy Polling||March 8–11, 2012||49%||31%|
|Public Policy Polling||November 17–20, 2011||48%||32%|