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Public Policy Polling (PDF) (6/30-7/2, 7/5, Pennsylvania voters, 4/7-10 in parens):

Barack Obama (D): 44 (42)
Mitt Romney (R): 44 (43)

Barack Obama (D): 53 (50)
Sarah Palin (R): 39 (39)

Barack Obama (D-inc): 50 (45)
Rick Santorum (R): 40 (43)

Barack Obama (D): 50
Michele Bachmann (R): 43

Barack Obama (D): 49
Herman Cain (R): 37

Barack Obama (D): 47
Tim Pawlenty (R): 39
(MoE: ±4.2%)

Mitt Romney continues to do well in Pennsylvania against Barack Obama, though interestingly, the president's margin widened against Palin and Santorum despite otherwise lousy numbers for the POTUS. Here's my question, though: Can Obama lose Pennsylvania but still win states which were closer in 2008? (That's another way of asking, can he lose PA and still win?) Tom makes the following observation:

Obama's poll numbers are worse in Pennsylvania than they are in places like Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, and New Mexico, all states that went Republican in 2004 even as Pennsylvania voted Democratic.

Tom thinks that "Hillary Democrats" are causing problems for the president, and while I think the evidence he cites is a little thin (74% approval among Dems, 70% among white Dems), I could still believe it. (As a completely irrelevant aside, I'm still amazed that Hillary Clinton, of all people, somehow turned into a touchstone for conservative, white, working class/blue collar Democrats.) But whether you buy this theory or not, if you think the presidency is winnable for Obama even without PA, you've still gotta ask yourself the mah nishtanah: "Why is this state different from all other states?" (Or at least, the ones listed above.)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 12:07 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  More jobs reports like the one released today... (8+ / 0-)

    And I'm going to be seriously worried.

    Yet another state that looks like a tossup against Romney and lean to likely Democratic against the rest of the field.

    Independent, MD-05 voter, OR-01 native, Swingnut for life, and keeper of the DKE glossary.

    by SaoMagnifico on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 12:10:35 PM PDT

    •  Aye (4+ / 0-)

      Romney's weak in the primaries but very strong in the general. Plus Crossroads GPS is blitzing the airwaves with attack ads trying to make sure Obama isn't the beneficiary of a possibly decisive primary.

      I think Obama's best bet of winning would be to do what Paul Keating did in Australia in the 1993 election down there and turn the election into a referendum into the GOP's nutty ideas. And hope when the GOP nominee is trying to explain how Paul Ryan's budget supposedly saves Medicare they fail miserably.

      President Barack Obama and Democrats: Moving America forward since 2008.

      by ehstronghold on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 12:23:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They should be prepared (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SaoMagnifico, MichaelNY

        to rake Republicans over the coals for the Ryan plan no matter what the case. It's bound to help us, whether it merely saves Obama or turns a victory into a route.

        As I said in the other thread, this is exactly the sort of state where it could make a big difference.

        •  Under cutting (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jncca, MichaelNY

          How effective is that argument going to be if the president goes along with Republican proposals to cut Medicare and Social Security? Especially since the president himself has now put those cuts on the table.

          •  It might make the attack (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            less effective, but in the end, the Ryan plan will probably stay as is. It's clear people are, at best, skeptical of it, or at worse, actively hostile to it. If the Democrats keep reminding people of how it changes Medicare so drastically and the Republicans insist on supporting it no matter what, I would be surprised if it didn't have an effect, perhaps a big one.

            The problem is, they kind of have to demagogue the issue in a sharp, persistent manner. They have to pretend as if they never supported any cuts at all, even though the cuts they put in place are worthwhile. Basically, if they are asked a question, they have to repeat the same few lines of "I will never, ever vote to privatize Medicare." And they have to force the Republicans to state their positions loudly and clearly.

      •  [[Birthday cake interview]] (0+ / 0-)

        New favorite Wikipedia article; thanks for linking it!

        How does homeopathy work? | Rick Santorum | Self-appointed DKE Hudson River Crossings Caucus Chair

        by gabjoh on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 12:51:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Priorities USA is blitzing back. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        They're pointing out that these are by a Karl Rove group and then goes on to say who is really out to ruin medicare.

        Ad hoc, ad loc and quid pro quo! So little time, so much to know!

        by KingofSpades on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 07:21:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Semi-serious question: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheUnknown285, MichaelNY

    Does Romney also have a home state effect in Pennsylvania?

    BTW David, they brew Rolling Rock in New Jersey now.

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 12:13:41 PM PDT

  •  man, would it really suck if (5+ / 0-)

    Bush got two terms to mess things up, and Obama got only one to fix it.

  •  Obama won Democrats 90-10 in PA (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Allen, TheUnknown285, MichaelNY

    in 2008. So now, it's 74-18. That seems like it could have a big impact on the overall numbers.

  •  Securing Democrats is the key here (9+ / 0-)

    He's got work to do here and this will be some place where time will need to be spent. Republicans have a stumbling block, because they never try to avvoid getting crushed in Philadelphia County and blown out in Allegheny County, which make up the largest vote share in the state. In presidential elections, it doesn't work to just winning everywhere else and not offset in those two counties.

    25, Male, CA-24, DK Elections Black Caucus Chair.

    by DrPhillips on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 12:25:22 PM PDT

    •  In 2010 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DCCyclone, MichaelNY

      Toomey got percentages in the teens in Philadelphia County and still won Pennsylvania. He kept it close enough in Alleghany County though where he won 45%. Still, McCain won 42% of the vote in Alleghany County while getting 45% statewide, compared to Toomey's 45% in Alleghany County but 51% statewide. His performance in Central PA with the Allentown/Berks/Harrisburg areas must have helped him despite those areas swinging heavily toward Obama in 2008. Those are the real swing areas in Pennsylvania elections. If Republicans cannot win them, they are in trouble. Democrats can lose them and still win because Kerry lost those counties combined in 2004 but still won.

      For more election analysis and redistricting maps, check out my blog http://racesandredistricting.blogspot.com/

      by Alibguy on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 02:15:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A great way to do that is to propose (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MikePhoenix, MichaelNY, walden

      cuts in Medicare.  ;-)

  •  honestly (0+ / 0-)

    I suspect the more Romney talks, the more he will shoot himself in the foot in the primary. But I'm not sure if the beneficiary will be someone who'll be flawed (Bachmann/Palin) or someone who is slick/far right (Perry).

    The economic reality is probably very close to sandbagging. (Don't believe it's a coincidence that the job growth began to shrink when they renewed the tax cuts). At the very least, there's probably people sitting on their hands to try and hold the economy back until 2013 to get more Republicans elected. But it's kind of the thing that we know, but we can't quite find a way to say it.

    The Republican Party isn't a party of small government, it's a party of a government for the few. @bhindepmo

    by RBH on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 02:10:13 PM PDT

    •  I've said it before and I will say it again: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      I think Romney would be reasonably strong in the general, but he's definitely taking advantage of not being in the spotlight. Once his record comes under inspection--once his time at Bain Capital is looked at, once he has to talk about health care again and pretend as if there are huge differences between his plan and Obama's when there aren't, once he has talk about his alleged job creation plan--things will be different. This might be by own bias talking, but he doesn't have much of anything to offer besides being sane. That will only get him so far.

      •  Yes, unless the economy is in the toilet. n/t (0+ / 0-)

        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

        by MichaelNY on Sat Jul 09, 2011 at 12:33:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It'll have an effect (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          even if the economy is in the toilet. In other words, were Obama to lose because of the economy, it's possible Romney would only win Pennsylvania by, say, five instead of seven, mostly for the reasons I listed above. He's probably still their most electable candidate, but this doesn't negate that.

        •  PA not as bad in recession, I think (0+ / 0-)

          Here in the Pittsburgh area we didn't really participate in the real estate boom or bust, and we've had an influx of economic activity with the gas drillers that has kept construction and other jobs number and the general economy out of the toilet.  I don't think it is as bad here as it is in many other areas of the country.  (The Pirates are even winning some games this year!)  

          I think Corbett's new budget could be a much larger influencing factor, along with what happens with the gas drilling.  U. of Pitt just raised tuition by 8% (and I think 12% for the medical school) after Corbett gutted the state education budget.  Families understand the cause and effect there and they are NOT happy.  I'm positive more and worse cuts are coming.  Corbett plans to keep all of his campaign promises, which will be bad for your average resident, but good for the rich and the polluters, and for Dem prospects here next year, I think.  

          "When people show you who they really are, believe them." - Maya Angelou

          by Pennsylvanian on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 11:26:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  love the ma nishatanah (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, David Nir

    reference david

    18, D, CA-14 (home) CA-09 (college next year). Economic liberal, social libertarian, fiscal conservative. Put your age and CD here :) -.5.38, -3.23

    by jncca on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 02:57:24 PM PDT

  •  Sample very different than their last one (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    And now in line with all their others (except Montana, and maybe New hampshire, where they apparently didn't ask the Obama/McCain question).

    So this is the first state where PPP asked the Obama/McCain question, and have a sample similar to 2008, and where Romney outperforms McCain.

    That's an interesting thing to note, but still, I can't see the heated Republican primaries helping Romney here... so Romney's chances here still depend mostly on Obama messing up badly.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/11/13/21516/201/804/660248

    by tommypaine on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 03:49:35 PM PDT

  •  Your amazement over Hillary Clinton: Hardhat Hero (3+ / 0-)

    Is shared.  But hey, she was running against some ivy league lawyer!

    Anyhoo, not to start that all up again.  My only consolation is that Hillary Clinton: Hardhat Hero must have basically the same effect on Peggy Noonan as those uncountable marbles did to that philosopher in the Borges story.  "The world doesn't make sense anymore!"

    25, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-12(now)

    by Xenocrypt on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 06:04:40 PM PDT

  •  Honestly, I'm bracing for a summer of bad polls (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, tietack

    Given the terrible jobs numbers, and the likelihood of the economy now staying sluggish through the rest of the year, I'm bracing for Obama's ratings to fall into the low 40s. Wouldn't surprise me if there are even a few with him in the 30s.

    That being said, it doesn't necessarily matter. Things could pick up more next year and this summer's numbers really don't have any predictive effect. I'd still bet on him winning reelection, but it certainly isn't going to be a fun summer (politically).

  •  it is possible that (0+ / 0-)

    Mitt Romney attack ad ( Allentown) is the reason PA  battleground state;

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    Obama Isn't Working: Allentown, PA

    Thom Hartman - The Daily Take : What Really Happened in Allentown

     http://www.youtube.com/...

    Republicans have destroyed The American Way

    Don’t come to me if you vote Republican you’re on your own. ~ VP Joe Biden

    by anyname on Sat Jul 09, 2011 at 09:06:04 PM PDT

  •  Romney? Formidable? No sir. (5+ / 0-)

    Once his baggage comes out, he goes the way of Dukakis. Bachmann has it in the bag. We'd best nominate Heath Shuler/Ben Chandler in 2012 to keep the GOP out.

  •  Easy - non support for EFCA. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    devtob, neroden, Kimball Cross

    Western PA is heavily union - and Pres Obama's refusal to at the least publically fight forthis act has really hurt him here imo.

    Steeltowner's like someone with grit, and determination and stick-to-it-ness.  They love hard nosed offense and defense in their sports and their politics.  They love  someone willing to stand up for blue-collar working class values.  Qualities Candidate Obama displayed in 2008 but are visably  lacking in President Obama.

    "But such is the irresistable nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants is the liberty of appearing." -Thomas Paine

    by Tommymac on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 08:00:40 PM PDT

    •  I disagree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, AAMOM

      I'm going to go out on a limb here and state that there's an element of racism involved, not "union" issues.

      Toomey won 51% - 49% in a heavily Republican year! Obama will have Casey and Biden as strong surrogates there, so unless things get much worse, I don't see Romney taking the state, although being their "Lucy's football" he'll try.

  •  Fantasy Politics... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JC from IA, MichaelNY

    These polls are titalating, but right now they're fantasy politics. Until the republicans actually have a nominee, and an actual campaign has begun, it's kind of hard to sort these things out. Romney isn't even in the lead right now, by these polls.

  •  Every four years Dems seem to stress over PA (6+ / 0-)

    and every four years Dem win it at the presidential level. I am not worried about PA. I think enough Democrats will turn out that Obama will win. It hasn't been very swingy in a presidential election in a long time. There are a lot of urban and AAs who vote for president.

  •  Unbelievable (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    I'm still amazed that Hillary Clinton, of all people, somehow turned into a touchstone for conservative, white, working class/blue collar Democrats.

    Putting a black man in the White House has produced some very bizarre results.  This is, and has been for quite some time, a crazy country.

  •  FYI -- Rolling Rock is no longer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike

    made in PA.

    Anheuser-Busch (now foreign-owned) bought out the Rolling Rock company and closed the Latrobe brewery, laying off hundreds of union workers.

    RR is now made in New Jersey.

    A public option for health insurance is a national priority.

    by devtob on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 08:11:58 PM PDT

    •  Has RR always been unionized? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      devtob

      If so, I'm proud to say I've been supporting union made beer all my life.  Literally--my parents have a picture of me from 1976 in my high chair with a Rolling Rock can!

      On a related note, Baltimore's signature beer Natty Boh (National Bohemian) is now brewed in North Carolina, but we here in the "Land of Pleasant Living" still consider it our own.

    •  Beat you by a few days on that one (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      devtob, MichaelNY

      Except that it wasn't exactly American owned when it was owned by InBev.

      Ok, so I read the polls.

      by andgarden on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 08:31:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  PA (0+ / 0-)

    Obama shouldn't even be in this position.. WTF is his political team doing?!   Oh man.. maybe the country just needs to have a Romney and/or Bchmann and then they will scream for hep and it will be too late.. geez we are fucked as a country!

  •  Hillary for VP (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, amatoforce, Jeremimi

    And do it sooner, rather than later.

    I am waiting in my car, I am waiting in this bar, I am waiting on your essence. - Lucinda Williams

    by Bensdad on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 08:16:54 PM PDT

  •  the attack ads "Wakeup" & "Allentown" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    have been playing in PA ( other states) check them out:

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Karl Rove, Crossroads:  - "Wake Up" attack ad

    has been up and going for awhile now

    and

    Thom Hartman - The Daily Take -  "AllenTown" attack ad

    Republicans have destroyed The American Way :  What Really Happened in Allentown

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    Don’t come to me if you vote Republican you’re on your own. ~ VP Joe Biden

    by anyname on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 08:19:04 PM PDT

  •  Can we even win without PA? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    devtob, MikePhoenix, MichaelNY, Odysseus

    If PA is a battleground state we are going to have one hell of a tough election.

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 08:20:12 PM PDT

  •  Nothing new here... (6+ / 0-)

    Doesn't this always seem to be the case with Pa?  It's declared a toss-up for much of the election season, then slides comfortably into the blue zone by voting day.

  •  When given a choice between Republican-lite and (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    devtob, neroden, MikePhoenix, LordMike

    regular Republican, voters choose the real thing.

    The Republicans can win the Presidency if they run Romney and the President tries to woo centrists with the same tepid ideas.

    Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. - Poor Richard's Almanac 1755
    The government exists to protect us from the thugs who got rich ripping off our ancestors. - Mungley 2011

    by mungley on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 08:46:27 PM PDT

  •  Obama hasn't differentiated himself enough (4+ / 0-)

    from Romney and can't win the Presidency without PA.

    OTOH...Romney hasn't been scrutinized much and has a tough road to win the nomination, though I think he will.

    It's the fascism, stupid!

    by lastman on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 09:21:43 PM PDT

  •  Romney is indistinguishable from Obama (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kimball Cross

    except for party label.  I can see why he's a "threat" to Obama.

    Both of them would be crushed by a Perot-style candidate, for what it's worth.  (Who might be even worse.)

    Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

    by neroden on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 09:24:36 PM PDT

  •  At least we know 40% of the country (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    is literally crazy.

    The only reason Hillary got that label is because she was white and he was black with a Muslim sounding name. It's really not that hard.

  •  If memory serves... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, Kimball Cross

    ...Pennsylvania has one of the largest populations or percentages of folks over 50 or 55 of any state in the nation - don't remember specifics.  And I think it's one of the fastest aging states as well.

    If that's accurate, given how the desire for progressive change in this country is increasingly along generational lines as well as economic, and, to a lesser extent, ethnic, then it highlights Obama as simply not appealing to a large mass of Pennsylvanians because he represents a world they don't and can't see themselves part of.

    My two bits...

    As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.

    by Palamedes on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 10:24:34 PM PDT

  •  New Jersey is the Keystone State? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kimball Cross

    FYI - Rolling Rock was bought by Anheuser-Busch a couple of years ago and is now made in New Jersey.  I don't know about national sales, but here in Pittsburgh its market share has dropped line a, well, rock.

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:57:26 PM PDT

  •  When do the Progressives offically declare Obama (0+ / 0-)

    done?  I reially think progressives are wanting the Romney/Bachman ticket to win to teach us all a lesson.  Unfortunately, if this happens, there will never be a chance for another Democratic President.  Just look ay Republican redistricting in Tea Bag States.  It's almost to the point of no return now.  Will the Progressives wake up in time to realize their misplaced support.

  •  PA will go for Obama (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, jncca

    I harken back to this story I read on DailyKos back in 2008:

    So a canvasser goes to a woman's door in Washington, Pennsylvania. Knocks. Woman answers. Knocker asks who she's planning to vote for. She isn't sure, has to ask her husband who she's voting for. Husband is off in another room watching some game. Canvasser hears him yell back, "We're votin' for the nigger!"
    Woman turns back to canvasser, and says brightly and matter of factly: "We're voting for the nigger."

    "This country was founded on compromise. I couldn't go through the front door at this country's founding" - President Barack Obama

    by AAMOM on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 04:14:52 AM PDT

  •  not this close in PA per crosstabs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus

    Crosstabs show Obama getting only 77% of African-American vote against Romney.  Obama 77%, Romney 16% and undecided / would not state 7%.  Ain't gonna happen.  No Repub has gotten that high an A-A vote in decades.  In 2008, Obama actually got 100% of the votes in some A-A Phila precincts and 98%+ in many, many others.  A-A Phila mayor Nutter and the A-A churches will be all-in to turn out a massive Phila vote to prevent the first A-A President in history from defeat by a rich white country-club conservative Mormon who has zero history of support for issues of importance in the A-A community.  Dems will also be working to reelect our Dem US Senatorand the few standing Dem members of Congress after redistricting.  There will be a huge turnout the vote effort in the 4 Phila suburban counties to try to take back some Congressional seats lost in 2010.  The GOP GOTV efforts in the suburbs in behalf of the GOP Congressmen will marginally help Obama - in those suburban counties some of the GOP "moderate" voters who still vote GOP for Congress (esp. professional women GOP voters) split their ballots and do not vote for the right wing GOP Presidential candidate; they will vote Obama - a small percentage, but measurable.  P.S. I thought that "ni***r" anecdote from 2008 was from a white working class area of NE Phila, not in Washington county, PA.  

  •  KOS, I agree with Tweety on PA (0+ / 0-)

    Step one foot outside the City of Philadelphia and you are in another world.  I ought to know....I lved one-half of my life in Philadelphia and knew on a first name basis, and had a friendship with The Democratic Alderman all of the years I was growing up there.

  •  FL poll results (0+ / 0-)

    The President trails Romney. The Presidents approval in FL is at 39% and this poll was done before the last unemployment numbers came out

  •  Alabama, thats why (0+ / 0-)

    Like a certain pundit put it, James, " you got philly in the east, you got pittsburgh in the west, and alabama in the middle."
    That's why Kyle, that's why.

    "There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life." Frank Zappa

    by da888 on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 10:45:09 AM PDT

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