Obama and Clinton Seen As Equally "In Touch" In Pennsylvania
by Todd Beeton, Mon Apr 28, 2008 at 05:21:01 PM EDT
I was watching a Barack Obama townhall in North Carolina on CNN.com earlier and the guy I saw on that stage was not the same old confident Barack Obama that I'm used to seeing on the campaign trail. My gut is that Pennsylvania has shaken him. He is sounding to me as though he thinks he has to be everyone's friend, like he has bought into the hype that he needs to be more down home, more accessible, less the caricature of the "out of touch elitist" his opponents would like us to think he is. His manner is more casual but in a sort of forced way and so to me he comes off as less genuine, which is about the worst thing a politician can appear to be. Which says to me he should probably listen to his own talking points more and to the media, which has actually absorbed the Clinton post-PA talking points, less. Looking at the CNN exit polls, turns out Pennsylvanians actually did not see Obama as any less "in touch" than Clinton at all.
Is Clinton in touch with people like you?
Clinton Obama Yes (67%) 73% 27% No (32%) 17% 83%
Is Obama in touch with people like you?
Clinton Obama Yes (66%) 37% 63% No (33%) 90% 10%
Who is in touch with people like you?
Clinton Obama Only Clinton (26%) 98% 2% Only Obama (25%) 4% 96% Both (41%) 56% 44% Neither (7%) 61% 39%
As you can see, the percentage of the PA electorate that felt that each candidate was in touch with "people like them" was virtually identical (67% & 66%), as was the percentage of support each candidate got from those that felt that he or she alone was in touch with people like them (98% & 96%). Ultimately, the race was won or lost among those who felt that both candidates were equally in touch; in other words, on other issues entirely.