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Web site says Casey to challenge Santorum

March 2, 2005 at 6:01 PM

WASHINGTON, March 2 (UPI) -- Pennsylvania Democratic State Treasurer Robert Casey, Jr., will run for U.S. Senate in 2006 against Republican Rick Santorum, reports Politicspa.com.

Democrats consider Casey, son of former Gov. Bob Casey, the most formidable challenger they could field against Santorum, the Senate's No. 3 Republican.

An independent Quinnipiac survey in mid-February showed Casey ahead of Santorum, 46 percent to 41 percent, among 1,250 Pennsylvania voters surveyed with an error margin of 2.8 percentage points.

The same poll showed Santorum with a 52-31 percent approval rating, with voters saying by almost the same margin that he "deserves to be reelected."

Complicating matters is the likely candidacy of former State Treasurer Barbara Hafer, a Republican-turned-Democrat who disagrees with both Casey and Santorum on the issue of abortion rights. EMILY's List, the pro-abortion rights women's political organization, has already pledged to support Hafer in the Democrat primary over Casey.

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