Obama Leads in Pennsylvania; Races Tight in Florida and Ohio

Tough news for John McCain. Despite the fact that McCain, along with the Republican National Committee, invested at least $6 million in Pennsylvania on advertisements, outspending Barack Obama by roughly a 3-to-2 margin, MccCain's numbers aren't budging upward one bit, according to new Quinnipiac polling.

Pennsylvania (8/17-24, 1,234 LVs, MoE +/- 2.8%)

John McCain (R): 42 percent (42 percent on July 31)
Barack Obama (D): 49 percent (49 percent on July 31)

The numbers out of Florida and Ohio, unlike those from Pennsylvania, are within the margin of error.

Florida (8/17-24, 1,069 LVs, MoE +/- 3.0%)

John McCain (R): 47 percent (44 percent on July 31)
Barack Obama (D): 43 percent (46 percent on July 31)

Ohio (8/17-24, 1,234 LVs, MoE +/- 2.8%)

John McCain (R): 43 percent (44 percent on July 31)
Barack Obama (D): 44 percent (46 percent on July 31)

No doubt it would be nice to see more favorable numbers for Barack Obama in Florida and Ohio at this juncture, though it's likely the case that the race will be tight in both states all the way through November, and a blowout in either direction is not terribly likely. In Florida, in particular, the fact that Obama appears to be losing ground despite the fact that he has been on the air while McCain has not is at least somewhat worrisome (even if Florida is not by any means a necessary part of the Democratic coalition and road to 270 this fall). That all said, that McCain is utterly failing in making Pennsyvlania a real race should be of equal concern to his campaign, especially considering that Iowa, which George W. Bush carried in 2004, leaning towards Obama and other red states -- including Colorado and Virginia, and even North Dakota and Alaska -- definitely in play).

Tags: FL-Pres, OH-Pres, PA-Pres, White House 2008 (all tags)

Comments

29 Comments

Re: Obama

Considering the assault Obama has been under, he's holding up.

by RandyMI 2008-08-26 09:32AM | 0 recs
Agreed

by sweet potato pie 2008-08-26 09:37AM | 0 recs
Lack of primary

I keep hearing over and over again that Obama has been on the air with ads in FL, but McCain has not.  That's BS. In fact, McCain blanketed the air with ads in January in order to defeat Mitt Romney.  I live in Tampa and I see McCain ads all the time, even now.

by shlenny 2008-08-26 11:15AM | 0 recs
Keep Going in FL

I think it's a good idea to continue to spend in Florida and keep up the heat there, McCain may not be spending money there now, but eventually they will taking resources away from other states.   Obama does not need Florida to win, but I think McCain needs Florida for him to win.

by Monkei 2008-08-26 09:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Keep Going in FL

Agreed.

by jlars 2008-08-26 01:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Leads in Pennsylvania;

I agree that Ohio is statistically tied, with a swing of Obama +2 to McCain +1.

Florida, however, is of much more concern, and I think it's wrong to say that these results are "within the margin of error."  It's gone from Obama +2 to McCain +4, a swing of 6 points.  That's significant.

I'm not comfortable being defeatist about Florida, suggesting that it's not a necessary part of our electoral landscape.  It's a huge factor in the election, and I want to be sure we are always contending there.

by milton333 2008-08-26 09:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Leads in Pennsylvania

Some delusional person in MyDD colored Oklahoma blue on the map. You can't be serious!

by Bob Miller 2008-08-26 09:56AM | 0 recs
Oklahoma?

Yes, what is up with that, a random mistake?  If a poll had Barack up in OK I would expect to have heard about it elsewhere...

by DaveMB 2008-08-26 10:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Leads in Pennsylvania; Races Tight in Fl

Pennsylvania is to Mccain , what Florida is to Obama , both would eventually lose both states...

by lori 2008-08-26 09:57AM | 0 recs
I think McCain has written off PA

I was checking the pages for various states on the McCain campaign site. In most states he has a half-dozen or so field offices (nine in Ohio). On the Pennsylvania page, the top office listed is the Ohio and Pennsylvania regional office in Columbus Ohio. There's also one address given for an office in Harrisburg. That's it for McCain in PA.

He spent some money on ads there during the summer, but I think he's giving up. There's not even the illusion of a campaign infrastructure in the state.

by desmoinesdem 2008-08-26 04:10PM | 0 recs
The most worrisome part

Is that in the national tracking polls, Obama seems to have stalled and McCain has inched ahead since early August. If Bradley effect is   a reality and not a figment of imagination, then November will be really an uphill climb. Maybe after the conventions, Obama will edge ahead; but I am thinking that the election is likely to be decided in the debates.

by ann0nymous 2008-08-26 09:58AM | 0 recs
Re: The most worrisome part

National tracking polls have got to be the most worthless things on the face of the earth.  They tell you almost nothing, especially when the race is within less than 7 points.

You have to crunch state by state, and then only with multiple polls to set trendlines.

by dmsdbo 2008-08-26 10:19AM | 0 recs
Re: The most worrisome part

No, PUMA is the most worthless thing on the face of the earth.

by Monkei 2008-08-26 04:43PM | 0 recs
Re: The most worrisome part

I completely disagree that it is due to the Bradley effect that Obama is losing ground now - in fact, that makes no sense at all according to any explanation of the Bradley effect - that people will say they will vote for a black candidate in advance of an election, then vote against that candidate in the relative privacy of the voting booth. It is still long before the election, and incrementally more people are saying they will not support him. He may yet receive a post convention bounce, it is to be expected. If that doesn't show up, then I believe it will be clear that Clinton on the ticket was essential to the GE win. She agreed to serve as VP if asked, so it was up to BO to pick her, and his responsibility to be a successful candidate.

The more likely explanation is that Clinton supporters who were counting on her being the VP are registering their rejection of a ticket that does not include her as they were expecting, resulting in a negative bounce for the VP announcement.

by 07rescue 2008-08-26 10:27AM | 0 recs
What I mean by Bradley effect

is that if bradley effect is not a fictional thing, the polls are underestimating McCain's strength and we will loose in November. I may be wrong, but then what do I know.

by ann0nymous 2008-08-26 10:35AM | 0 recs
What I mean by Bradley effect

is that if bradley effect is not a fictional thing, the polls are underestimating McCain's strength and we will loose in November. I may be wrong, but then what do I know.

by ann0nymous 2008-08-26 10:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Please read and reply MYDD fam.

Florida is the ultimate battle ground state for Obama.  The question that needs to be answered here is if the McCain campaigns choice to not spend money advertising is telling.  Are they so confident in there chances there that they no ultimately there is no way Obama can win the state due to most likely his inability to connect with Seniors and the overall demographics.  Looking at Ohio this state is moving more and more to the democratic column.  Recently with the success of Strickland and Brown, Ohio offers more hope for Obama.  However, race still seems to be an issue with Obama.  In order for Obama to win there he MUST win the Cleveland area by a 80% margin along with a strong showing in Columbus and the other surrounding College towns.  Pennsylvania is in the bag for Obama due to the democratic registration advantage that democrats possess there.

by nzubechukwu 2008-08-26 10:26AM | 0 recs
Obama already has 44 field offices in Ohio

with plans to open a dozen more. His campaign will have a much more powerful field operation than Kerry did in 2004.

by desmoinesdem 2008-08-26 04:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Please read and reply MYDD fam.

we can color this thing any way we want to ... the bottom line is people from that generation, older Americans, south Florida Americans, will never vote for a black man.   I have the same feeling about those Clinton supporters who somehow can find a way to vote for McCain even though he disagrees with about 89 percent of what Obama and Clinton stand for.   We can skirt around this until November, America is still full of racist pigs and it will be another 20-30 years before Obama could ever be elected in this country.   Losing to John McCain says it all.

by Monkei 2008-08-26 04:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Please read and reply MYDD fam.

Absolutely right. Deluded Dems...they always manage to pull a defeat from the jaws of victory. Neither a black nor a woman will be elected President for another fifty years..I will be dead and gone long before then.

by Boilermaker 2008-08-26 07:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Leads in Pennsylvania

McCain's latest Michigan numbers weren't good for him either.   If he can't win either MI or PA then he is done, I think.  Because I do think Obama, and Democrats as a whole, will win in at least 2 states that Bush won in '04.

by RichardFlatts 2008-08-26 11:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Leads in Pennsylvania;

Good points by all. I still think though, that if we can pick up Ohio and the Colorado Coalition, we'll be all right.
Pennslyvania is not a battleground state and hasn't been for a long time.  And if it wasn't before Biden, it sure isn't now.

Florida was never going Democratic against John McCain with  Joe Liberman campiagning there. Not with Hillary and defintely not Obama. The best we can hope to do is a tactic designed to get McCain  to spend more money there.  McCain and Libermann will tie up the veteran, Jewish and Senior votes. What else is there?
 

by xodus1914 2008-08-26 11:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Leads in Pennsylvania;

Interesting that Kerry only beat Bush by 2% in Pennsylvania, but McCain has completely failed to make the state competitive.

by Skaje 2008-08-26 11:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Leads in Pennsylvania;

It's the demographics. Bush may be a multi-millionare but he portrayed the "average joe' better than the windsurfing billionare Kerry did.

The primaries was a different animal. "Mr. 8 Houses" can't connect to the blue collar folks of Pennslyvania  like somebody whose mother was on welfare can. Obama is not an elitist, and doesn't have the background of an elitist, and Penn folks, know it.

Now, the other guy? He has 8 houses, graduated from Annapolis, is married to a billionare......

by xodus1914 2008-08-26 01:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Leads in Pennsylvania;

Lieberman may help McCain in Florida, but it will kill him in western states like Colorado and NM where the main conservative support for a ticket will walk away from a "pro-choice" VP.

Lieberman will definitely mess McCain up and I hope that's who he chooses.

by jlars 2008-08-26 01:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Leads in Pennsylvania;
Hell, he doesn't even have to choose Loserman as a Veep. As long as Joe keeps listening to his inner egomaniac he'll be in the spotlight enough to keep conservatives.
An Edwards-Liberman debate would have been gold. It is a shame that we lost him for this fight.
by xodus1914 2008-08-26 03:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Leads in Pennsylvania;

The hispanic, black, and a young vote.   Up in the northern part of the state just color it red.

by Monkei 2008-08-26 04:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Leads in Pennsylvania; Races Tight in Fl

If Obama picks up Ohio he'll win.  Same with Virginia, Colorado, Florida, and Nevada/New Hampshire.  Of the Kerry states, the only one where he seems vulnerable is New Hampshire (and I think he'll win there).

Here's the good news.  Polls seem to show that all five states/combinations are winnable, and victory in each probably turns on a distinct part of the electorate.

Eg. the defection of rust belt Dems in Ohio probably wouldn't hurt him in these other areas, because they're not part of the rust belt.  Latino turnout in Nevada and Colorado probably isn't connected to what we think of as the mainstream race (that's a different group with their own issues).  Heavy African-American turnout could save Obama in two of these states (but would do nothing in the other four).

The bad news, of course, is that one could imagine Obama's losing all of them (which wouldn't doom him necessarily, there are still some odd combos which could put him over the top, Indiana, for instance, or Montana/Alaska).  And, of course, it could go the other way (he could win all of these states/combos, but for different reasons).

One odd fact which seems to be showing up in the Ohio and Florida polls.  Dems in Ohio seem to be much more upset with Obama than Dems in Florida (talking about the rate of defections and fence sitting), which isn't what most people would have predicted, I suspect, last June.

One explanation is that Clinton's determined campaign in Ohio put a lot of people off Obama, but Florida voters didn't really care all that much about what happened during the primaries, and we're seeing the effects of both.

Call it a gut feeling, but I think Obama will win Ohio by 1 point, and with it the election (which doesn't mean he'll lose these other combos, but he might).  Why?  Because the Dems control Ohio's state government now, and are making it much easier for Dems to vote (no repeat of what happened in 2004).

by IncognitoErgoSum 2008-08-26 12:07PM | 0 recs
Re: polls

Some comments on the polls

1. I am troubled that the decline in Obama's poll numbers in the battleground states has happened at the same time that the Obama field organization has been in full swing opening offices, recruiting volunteers and registering new voters.  Are McCain's television adverts trumping the combination of the Obama adverts and the field organization?

2. I always suspected (but have no proof) that many of the newly registered Democrats in the northern industrial states (new voters and party switchers) voted for Clinton in the primaries in order to register their disapproval of Obama.  If so, we are not seeing Hillary die-hards holding out, but we are seeing anti-Obama voters moving from one anti-Obama candidate to another.  Nothing much to do with Hillary.

3. Do we know anything about how enthusiastic Obama and McCain supporters currently are?  We never have a near 100% turn-out.  Maybe the strategy is that a lot more McCain supporters will not vote, as opposed to Obama supporters who will vote.  (Although I presume that the Rove 72 hour drive will be in effect).  So, McCain could turn out to be the more popular choice for president (among citizens but not 2008 GE actual voters), but Obama still might win on technical points by having a more enthusiastic group of supporters who actually vote.

by oakparker1 2008-08-26 02:31PM | 0 recs

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