IS PENNSYLVANIA IN PLAY? – AT 9:02 A.M. ET: Pennsylvania has been listed routinely as "leaning Obama." Is that changing? We won't say definitively that it is, but a new poll suggests that there may be a break in the Obama Pennsylvania polka. From The Politico:
The Franklin & Marshall College poll released Thursday paints a different picture of Pennsylvania than the last state poll, the CBS/New York Times/Quinnipiac survey that was fielded in late July.
Mitt Romney trails Barack Obama by just five points, 47 percent to 42 percent, a smaller spread than in the Quinnipiac poll, which reported an 11-point advantage for Obama.
The last time F&M polled Pennsylvania in early June, Obama had a 12-point edge.
Notably, the F&M poll shows Romney closing the gap on Obama in the populous southeastern part of the state — essentially the region that includes the populous Philly suburbs and exurbs, but not the city itself.
There is no chance in the city itself, for sad racial reasons. The African-American community will not, perhaps understandably, abandon Obama, no matter how awful his policies have been for its economic survival.
In June, the former Massachusetts governor trailed Obama 54-31 in southeastern Pennsylvania, but in the latest poll the gap has closed to 47-38.
That’s a healthy uptick, but it’s still not good enough. Romney needs to be much more competitive in suburban Philadelphia so that he has enough votes to cut into the landslide Obama margins that will come out of the big city.
The Romney-Ryan pairing should be far more attractive to the once-Republican Philly suburbs than the last three GOP national tickets so keep an eye on the first post-Ryan numbers out of that part of the state.
COMMENT: If Pennsylvania becomes truly competitive, it means that Obama is in serious trouble around the country. If Pennsylvania falls to Romney, Obama calls the moving van.
August 17, 2012