[updated] What's going on in Pennsylvania?

I am writing this diary after reading this on CNN:

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell has sent two separate memos to the Obama campaign in the past five days requesting that the Democratic Presidential candidate--as well as Hillary and Bill Clinton--return to campaign in Pennsylvania, Rendell told CNN's Gloria Borger.

Rendell said the McCain campaign is clearly making a push to win Pennsylvania, given the recent visits by the Arizona senator, his wife and his running mate. As a result, he wants Obama to appear in western Pennsylvania, Harrisburg and one more "large rally" in Philadelphia. Democrats generally worry that the race is significantly closer than what recent polls have suggested. According to Rendell, there is also worry among Democrats the McCain campaign has successfully raised the enthusiasm level among Republicans in the state.

Now I go to the Hershey Medical Center often for work and I have seen that quite a few people in that area are McCain supporters but that is from yard signs only. There is no way I can gauge the support of Obama or McCain in Dauphin county (which includes the state capital Harrisburg) although Obama did win there in the primary. I have no way of knowing what is going on in the rest of the state and from what I read and heard on CNN, Gov. Rendell seems to be quite worried, maybe he wants to err on the side of caution. However if there is anyone here from PA who knows what the deal is on the ground in PA please let me know so that on my next visit, which will be soon, I can get involved on the ground there. From the public polls it seems we have a 13 point advantage, is this somehow different from the internals?

Update [2008-10-22 11:11:9 by tarheel74]:
Dauphin1980 R: 59,755 D: 37,6702004 R: 83,699 D: 67,3452008 R: 81,340 D: 81,489

I found those stats on the Pennlive site and I have to say they are quite amazing. Dauphin can be turned blue. In that case we can win PA without the western counties.

Tags: Elections, Pennsylvania (all tags)

Comments

100 Comments

Re: What's going on in Pennsylvania?
Why would Rendell have access to internals? And, if internals were significantly tighter than the public polls, why would it be Rendell of all people sounding an alarm? Methinks that Rendell is being a concern troll. Maybe that's understandable if McCain intends to camp out in his state and he'll be blamed for a loss.
by rfahey22 2008-10-21 08:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Why attack Rendell?

The Rendell political machine in PA is probably the best, if not one of the best in the country among all democratic governors. That is an open secret in PA. You can ask Hillary Clinton, Bob Casey & John Kerry who all benefited from the Rendell machine. If not for Rendell, Kerry might have not pulled off PA against Bush in 04.

Rendell's ears & eyes on the ground are much better than any pollster. Rendell understands the PA very well including the pulse of voters in the West.

Why in the world would you criticize Rendell who is working his ass off for Obama/Biden ? Two local political analyst in Philadelphia have been saying for the last week that McCain is gaining in the Western part of the state.

Mccain just cut off ads in NH,WI.MN & re-route most of it to PA.

Ed Rendell always wins strong because he never ever underestimates any opponent in PA.

If Rendell's people on the ground in the Western part  are telling him that conservative white democrats are breaking for McCain & that Obama may be slipping, why wouldn't he inform the Obama campaign of possible concerns in order to address it ASAP.

Who Democratic or Republican Governor wants his state to lose on a national election ? Tell me who?

by latinomaker 2008-10-21 08:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Why attack Rendell?

I'm not attacking Rendell, I'm suggesting that he's being skittish.  As for his ears and eyes, I'll take hard data any day.

by rfahey22 2008-10-21 08:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Why attack Rendell?

that's where the problem is what is the hard data?

by tarheel74 2008-10-21 09:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Why attack Rendell?

Um, polls showing Obama up between 8 and 16 points, including a daily tracking poll?  

by rfahey22 2008-10-21 09:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Why attack Rendell?

then why the mad rush? I hope it is true because the Republicans are sure looking happy, either it is great play-acting or they are up to something. Either way we still have a lot of work to do on the ground.

by tarheel74 2008-10-21 09:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Why attack Rendell?

Nate Silver over at 538 has a great post on this.

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/10/m ccain-brings-hope-to-pennsylvania.html

 If you're in the field in a dozen or more states each weekend, you are all but certain to wind up with one or two outliers. Perhaps Pennsylvania was such an outlier for John McCain.

If a campaign gets an internal poll that diverges from the consensus of public polling, it needs to ask itself why the divergence exists. If it cannot explain it, it should probably not treat the internal poll as actionable.

He quotes Al Giordano.

That message - that there is only one narrow Electoral College path to victory for McCain, while there are multiple ones for Obama - has cast a deathly spell over the GOP base's enthusiasm, which is now being reflected in paltry early voting numbers by Republican voters, especially in Nevada and North Carolina. And so they're trying to offer the faithful a belief in the suggestion that McCain, too, has multiple paths to win.

Build momentum and drive the narrative and expect poll numbers to go up.

It's really a great read on exactly this question you pose.

by spacemanspiff 2008-10-21 10:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Why attack Rendell?
My theory is that this primarily has to do with the fact that PA has no early voting. McCain can delay his death sentence for two weeks and hope that a miracle occurs if he only focuses on PA and does not have to rely on holding CO or another early voting state, where the electorate is getting locked in right now. It's not that they have a secret plan, it's just that this plan is the least shitty of their shitty options.
by rfahey22 2008-10-21 11:32PM | 0 recs
also possibility of october surprise

if he wants to play the race card, PA is a good state to do it.

by RisingTide 2008-10-22 08:34AM | 0 recs
Re: also possibility of october surprise

It's almost too late for an October surprise. 10 more days until November.

by the mystical vortexes of sedona 2008-10-22 09:35AM | 0 recs
best time

you can't pull something out too quick, or the media will tear it to shreds.

by RisingTide 2008-10-23 04:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Why attack Rendell?

I think you hit the nail on the head.  The Republicans have a great 72-hour GOTV machine where they bus in operatives to blanket an area and get everyone out to vote.  But that doesn't work when we have early voting.  So PA is their best hope to use the voting day dirty tricks plus their GOTV operation.

by GFORD 2008-10-22 09:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Why attack Rendell?

do you really think they have the same enthusiasm as they had in 2004? I do not think they can win now if they could not win in 2004. But what the GOP really is doing here is race-baiting. It is quite apparent from the rallies and the words they are using. You will not see them in Philly or Pittsburgh but they go to the GOP strongholds and code-words fly.

by tarheel74 2008-10-22 09:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Why attack Rendell?

I would really take Rendell's word on this.  Pennsylvania is one of the last of the true party machine states, and if he's seeing weakness then there's probably weakness.

by Jess81 2008-10-22 09:20AM | 0 recs
Re: What's going on in Pennsylvania?

Mccain has placed his flag in Pennsylvania ...

Pennsylvania would be won in

Chester , Bucks , Montgomery and Harrisburg...

Obama has to have good margins  there ...

by lori 2008-10-21 08:34PM | 0 recs
Palin killed it

Sarah Palin cost McCain Montgomery, Chester and Bucks County. Lots of pro-choice upper-middle class women. Many of them changed registration from GOP to Democrat to vote for Hillary. ALL of them despise Sarah Palin.

I know people like this. Palin is utterly loathed in those parts. Remember her reception at the Flyers game? That was the sentiment of the Philly suburbs.

Palin has some appeal among working class women in rural areas. But she has none in the close suburbs and cities - working or middle class.

And without strong GOP support in Philly suburbs a Republican cannot win the state.

by elrod 2008-10-22 05:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Palin killed it

Agreed 100%. Palin scared away a lot of moderate women who naturally would have leaned for a moderate Republican. The type that went for Bush in 2000, but Kerry in 04.

by Airb330 2008-10-22 08:10AM | 0 recs
Re: What's going on in Pennsylvania?

again this diary is to find out if there are people from PA who participate on the ground and if they see things differently than the polls...let me know if you see or hear something.

by tarheel74 2008-10-21 09:02PM | 0 recs
OK Tar, here's some street cred talkin'...

...national Dem (professional media) experience here; decades-long friendships at the sr. level of the Obama-Biden campaign, family from Philly, Philly suburbs and tons from the Harrisburg area on the wife's side (self-admitted, NASCAR-lovin' rednecks they are, and proud of it...much to my dismay); and other close family that works in TV production in the area that happen to specialize in...political promo production for some of the top campaigns nationally, and regionally.

Read my diary...right here: "G.O.P. Fugliness in PA."

The Rethugs are going all out...balls-to-the-wall...banking on focus group results that are telling 'em there is somewhat of a potential Bradley Effect opportunity...and all in the context of having successfully deployed some of the most advanced micro-targeting (see my diary link from the past 24 hours) technology for any party...ever.

My family contact in t.v. says they're satellite feeding this stuff, right out of the post-production studio, to the tune of hundreds of customized spots per week right now, right out of Philly to the local stations and cable outlets, much of it in PA but in other key areas, as well. We're talkin' stealth Freedom's Watch money...millions of it...and it doesn't have to be reported like typical 527 expenditures, either.

If Rendell's calling a "code blue," then the national Dem leadership would be very ill-advised to not heed it.

Personally, I think it's looking good for us...everywhere...but this is precisely the type of complacency and smugness that we must go all out to avoid in the closing days, if for no other reason than to lock it up and to win!

That being said, since my days as a national Carter media operative, it's common knowledge that  "W.A.M." ("walkin' around money") is more effective in PA than just about anywhere else...no ifs, ands or buts. Two to three million in stealthy, GOP street cash, come Election Day, can have a very powerful effect in a place like PA, too. There are stories that come from the heart of recent Democratic Party campaign lore about just this type of thing, specifically in PA...stories that have been repeated frequently in recent decades, too.

There it is, down and dirty, warts and all, as I hear it playing out in PA now...as devious as it gets...so, yeah, we can't take anything for granted. I'd rather be called a concern troll and see Obama win than to be aware of this type of thing and not speak-up about it beforehand.

We're talking high- and low-tech political guerilla war right now in PA...and this time with a bunch of very desperate Republicans...specifically the same cadre that's actually had folks jailed in the past...the stuff they've written books on...and, I'm sure more will be written starting November 5th, too.

by bobswern 2008-10-21 09:58PM | 0 recs
Re: OK Tar, here's some street cred talkin'...

I have not seen that many tv ads in the Hershey/Harrisburg area but I have to tuned to the networks in a long time. Well I guess now I have to keep my eyes and ears open.

by tarheel74 2008-10-21 10:04PM | 0 recs
This is NOT tinfoil hat crap...it's real!

Read my diary link in the previous comment. If you're in an acknowledged Dem household, chances are you won't even be seeing the spots...which would be delivered primarily via Comcast, in your neck of the woods, and targeted specifically at Independent- and Republican-leaning households.

Micro-targeted broadcast cable, along with a bevy of direct mail and robo-calling, as well...specifically not targeted at you.

You won't see much of it! That is the point!

Read my diary link in the previous comment.

by bobswern 2008-10-21 10:12PM | 0 recs
Re: OK Tar, here's some street cred talkin'...

one other thing is this kind of mcro-targeting widespread? Sometimes people end up making mistakes and things get leaked, has anyone recorded these ads? Please ask people to keep their eyes and ears open and if they see such ads record them and report them to the national media.

by tarheel74 2008-10-21 10:09PM | 0 recs
They seal-off the post production...

...studios when they produce this shit...access is very, very limited...with intensive legal intimidation to any that would even begin to think of divulging info...this is a  firsthand account/comment!

As far as the broadcast micro-targeting's concerned, it's widespread where the technology's supported by the cable carrier (only). I know it's occurring--definitively--in northeast PA (Scranton-Wilkes Barre), suburban Philly and suburban Pittsburgh. As far as Harrisburg/Lebanon/York's concerned, I know Comcast is there and wired-up, as well.

by bobswern 2008-10-21 10:23PM | 0 recs
Re: They seal-off the post production...

which begs the third question isn't this illegal according to FEC and FCC guidelines?

by tarheel74 2008-10-22 04:54AM | 0 recs
Hey Bob...Ya think Axelrod might know about

Walking Around Money?

LOL, like he is going to get blindsided by Rick Davis! If Davis is passing around three or four million, I expect Axelrod to unload about 10 Million.

Look, all Tarhell concern aside (OH, LOOK, ANOTHER BIDEN GAFFE!!!!) the reason they are going to risk it all in PA is simple.

Demographically, it's the ONE state they can HOPE a Bradley effect, after two weeks of non-stop Rev Wright and Baby Killer Robo Calls and whisper campaigns,
will turn out them over 50 Catholics to vote their bigotry.

Not enough Catholics in VA or CO, so this state is it.

And, speaking as one, FUCK those idiots to hell and back...

Reagan Democratics my ass. Xenobic Misogynistic Bigots is my take on em...

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-21 10:18PM | 0 recs
If Biden made a gaffe...

... then didn't Rendell?

Why publicize this?

Reverse psychology or foot in mouth disease?

If the latter, why isn't tarheel a bit more concerned about this gaffe?

by spacemanspiff 2008-10-21 10:23PM | 0 recs
Re: If Biden made a gaffe...

Have you seen the news? top story on David Gregory, Larry King, AC360, Wolf Blitzer, Campbell Brown, even Hardball and NPR for the second day was this "gaffe". A gaffe is when you say JOBS is a 3 letter word. What Biden said and how he said is pure dumbass foolery. No Democrats want to talk about defending what Biden said 14 days before thelection when we should be on the offensive. Now Washblue keeps his head in the sand that is his prerogative. I am working on the doors and the phones and this hurts our grassroots organization.

by tarheel74 2008-10-22 05:05AM | 0 recs
SAND?

Hey, I'm in Seattle...

The correct invective is, WashBlue can't even come in out of the rain.

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-22 07:20AM | 0 recs
Re: SAND?

You gotta love the shows tarheel watches.

This has really screwed up the grassroots effort!

HA!

Man oh man.

Talk about a chicken little.

by spacemanspiff 2008-10-22 07:31AM | 0 recs
Re: SAND?

because you live in Seattle it explains your apparent disconnect from the swing states. Get on the ground in NC and PA and then you can espouse whatever opinion you are spouting. Seattle will vote Democratic even if hell freezes over but that alone will not get us to the white house. We need NC, we need PA, and VA and loose talk like what Biden did only hampers the work of us here in the swing states who are doing the grunt work on the ground.

by tarheel74 2008-10-22 07:57AM | 0 recs
Re: SAND?

Sorry Tarheel, what I see is you are THE most fixated person here on Biden, look at your diary history.

You wanted Hillary as VP, and, my take is, you're still pissed about it?

Yes, Biden gaffes, and the pundit class craps all over itself.

And, what do the polls show?  Palin keeps tanking, and Joe keeps hitting those red-meat states where Barack needs him....

How about you put together some FACTS showing that Biden's gaffes is actually HURTING Obama in those states?  

Because, he's not. They love him in Red-Meat America...

Why not do a diary about how Palin CONTINUES to duck the press, only show up on Faux, and even there she is a gaffe machine?

AND, there IS polling proof she is a drag on the ticket?

You have a Personal issue with Joe, and everybody here has figured out why.

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-22 08:12AM | 0 recs
Re: SAND?

dude when you proclaim to read my mind you sound as bad as Limbaugh. You know nothing about how I think so stop trying to read the tea-leaves.

by tarheel74 2008-10-22 08:19AM | 0 recs
Re: SAND?

You know nothing about how I think so stop trying to read the tea-leaves.

http://www.mydd.com/story/2008/10/20/102 63/126

http://www.mydd.com/story/2008/9/22/2130 40/272

I'm not making this up TH, I would like you to show me ONE other diarist who rants at much at Joe...

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-22 08:32AM | 0 recs
Gaffe-o-matic?

So, TH, not to belabor the point, but where were your diaries on that HUGE STUPID GAFFE that Murtha made, basically calling his OWN constituants racist?

THAT was actually ABOUT PA?

Two diaries for Joe, none for Murtha?

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-22 08:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Gaffe-o-matic?

Is Jack Murtha running for VP? Is he in any way shape or form implying that Obama is unqualified for the job or that his response to an international crisis might not be apparently right? NO. What astonishes me is that how you cover up for Biden. This is not a gaffe, far from it. We can breathe easy that this a heavily Democratic year and the GOP campaign is borderline incompetent, but in any other year this election would have been over by that one statement alone.

by tarheel74 2008-10-22 08:54AM | 0 recs
Re: SAND?

As a PA resident now, I can vouch for tarheel's feelings. Growing up in DE there was not an urgency to politics like there is now that I live in a swing state. I think it'll go blue, but everytime I go to my boyfriend's hometown, Bensalem, I see more McCain stuff.

Is it just me, or were there a lot more Bush and Kerry stickers in 04? I barely see an Obama sticker in DE (a few in Philly), and can go weeks without seeing a McCain bumper sticker in either state.

by Airb330 2008-10-22 08:26AM | 0 recs
rofl da burgh has kosher signs

and plenty of them! practically can't see one without an Obama sticker on 'em.

And every square block has an Obama sign -- if not five!

I think somebody's making a profit, as none of the signs look alike.

by RisingTide 2008-10-22 08:40AM | 0 recs
Re: If Biden made a gaffe...

Why are you giving Tarheel a hard time about this?  It was stupid of Biden, and little things matter.  Couple that with the fact that bin Laden is apparently going to attempt to swing the election to McCain and it's worth looking out for.

And even if it's not, don't be so snarky.

by Jess81 2008-10-22 09:25AM | 0 recs
Re: If Biden made a gaffe...

thanks for the props I work on the ground, I do the real door-to-door work, so I really do not care much about what a few people have to say in this bubble/echo-chamber. My only worry is complacency. In 2004 the Kerry campaign generated a bubble and got whacked, fortunately in 208 for every bubble-boy there are many realists like you and me and I for one do not want to leave anything to chance.

by tarheel74 2008-10-22 09:32AM | 0 recs
Re: If Biden made a gaffe...

Actually, I think Sarah Palin is overplaying it.

by Jess81 2008-10-22 10:42AM | 0 recs
Re: If Biden made a gaffe...

Just so you know Tarheel, I know for a fact that Obama's offices in Chester county are gearing up for a MASSIVE GOTV for the week before the election.  I don't think there is any complacancy on the part of the offices here.

by Pa Woman 2008-10-22 10:49AM | 0 recs
Re: If Biden made a gaffe...

good to know. I have choice of either getting involved in Dauphin county in PA or Orange county in NC.

by tarheel74 2008-10-22 11:15AM | 0 recs
I'd rather be snarky than patronizing and ...

... chickenlittly.

It's more about his/her collective work (seriously, check out the Biden obsession) than this diary.

I respect your opinion on this. So I won't say much more.

by spacemanspiff 2008-10-22 01:09PM | 0 recs
I would like nothing more than to know...

...that there's $10,000,000 in hundred-dollar bills stashed away somewhere just for PA, for distribution by the Dem's come Election Day.

It would warm my heart, in fact!

I vaguely recall a post-PA primary analysis story going around where it was specifically stated by anonymous Obama campaign staffers that they made a mistake not ponying up cash on Primary Day, and that they wouldn't make that mistake again, come the GE.

So, I'm feeling good about our situation in PA right now...but we're talkin' the all-time, all-start Rethug deviants and psychopaths workin' this one...the type of folks that create the ideas for stereotypes...because, in truth, art imitates these scumbags in real life.

These are the all-star Rethug henchmen at work there now...it is a sort of political guerilla war....and there's nuthin' uglier than an unscrupulous, desperate, psychopathic Republican operative...

by bobswern 2008-10-21 10:32PM | 0 recs
Re: OK Tar, here's some street cred talkin'...

That being said, since my days as a national Carter media operative, it's common knowledge that  "W.A.M." ("walkin' around money") is more effective in PA than just about anywhere else...no ifs, ands or buts.

You could be on to something here.  Apparently Obama's campaign is still refusing to dish out any "street money" because they are morally opposed to paying for votes or paying for turnout.  Gov. Rendell could be making a play for this.

Obama's team is smart as hell though--and obviously willing to do just about anything to win.  It's hard to believe they would shoot themselves in the foot in a state as crucial as Pennsylvania.  I trust that those guys know what they're doing.  They've given me no reason to doubt them so far.

P.S. Slightly OT, but did anyone else see McCain completely mangle his lines in Western PA on Rachel Maddow's show tonight?  God, it was cringe-inducing.  

by Will Graham 2008-10-21 10:28PM | 0 recs
Re: OK Tar, here's some street cred talkin'...

I heard tonight on MSNBC that Obama will not be sending money downballot but will bear down the next 2 weeks to take this to the finish line. There is no complacancy in the Obama campaign as far as I can tell.

by RandyMI 2008-10-21 10:55PM | 0 recs
Re: What's going on in Pennsylvania?

I have noticed one thing.  There are many more McCain/Palin signs up this election, than there ever were in the last election.  Fewer Obama signs up than Kerry ones, too.

by Scotch 2008-10-22 02:40PM | 0 recs
NOT at all what I'm seeing

can't find a street without an Obama sign. Then again, this is the Ward that voted for McGovern.

Liberal Appalachia gonna come down hard for Obama.

by RisingTide 2008-10-23 04:45AM | 0 recs
Have you considered it might be a fake-out?

Rendell might be on board and put out something to give McCain false hope.  Maybe let him soak in a bunch of cash that should be spent in CO and VI on something that's fundamentally hopeless.

Besides, I'm sure Obama's not going to take anything for granted... and he can go in, send Michelle, Joe, Jill, Hillary, Bill... so it's an easy adjustment if needed.  Hell, with Joe, Jill, Hill and Bill all from the neighborhood, I'd be surprised not to see a few more rally's pop up.

Right now, the focus may be on early voting states.  Probably a smart thing to do.  And Johnny Mac's going to Iowa for the weekend again!

by 66bottles 2008-10-21 10:23PM | 0 recs
Ed Rendell is one of the most...

...street-wise Democratic people in the entire U.S.

by bobswern 2008-10-21 10:41PM | 0 recs
Re: What's going on in Pennsylvania?

What I'm curious about is why Obama is polling 10 points better than Kerry did in Michigan and Pennsylvania, and 20 points better in Indiana, but only about 5 points better in Ohio.  What gives?  Ultimately I think he wins all of them but Indiana, but Ohio shouldn't even be close after Kerry came this close to winning the state in 2004.

by Skaje 2008-10-21 11:06PM | 0 recs
Ohio is battle-hardened

What happens in true battleground states is that voters make a point of not flipping around from candidate to candidate. They see TONS of ads every cycle and get desensitized to them. They watch closely and don't move easily. Think of Iowa during the caucuses - same effect.

States like IN and NC never see this activity so the public can be swayed more easily.

by elrod 2008-10-22 05:37AM | 0 recs
Liberal Appalachia goin' strong for the Democrat!

the rest... well, I done seen two Obama signs up in the mountains on 711 the other day. Two. Them's diehard Democrats, and don't you forget it!

(we won't mention how many Murtha-bacon signs we saw...)

by RisingTide 2008-10-22 08:43AM | 0 recs
Re: What's going on in Pennsylvania?

I got banned from this site for saying it during the primaries, so I'll say it differently here:

Ohio is very, umm, culturally conservative.

by Jess81 2008-10-22 09:27AM | 0 recs
Re: What's going on in Pennsylvania?

And Pennsylvania and Indiana aren't?

by Skaje 2008-10-22 11:00AM | 0 recs
PA is home to the KKK

... right around that Hershey Med, too. ;-)

So take it from me, who's from there -- it's the demographics changing that will send Dauphin to the Democrats this year.

And old dogs do learn new tricks...

by RisingTide 2008-10-23 04:47AM | 0 recs
Re: What's going on in Pennsylvania?

It's a whole different senerio now.  Last time, it was all about terror.  This time it is all about the economy.  Indiana has been hit pretty bad by the economy, and PA has a high population of retired people.  If you remember, PA was only up by about 2 points before the stock market and pension funds started to go bad.  Ohio is very different from PA even though we are side by side.  Ohio usually goes Republican no matter what the situation is.

by Scotch 2008-10-22 02:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Philadelphia street money to be paid on 11/4

Don't know where some of you are getting your info.  Press reports I have seen in the Phila Inquirer indicate that the Phila Democratic City Committee WILL be doling out its usual street money to help all the foot-soldiers get out the vote.  Would not be the Obama campaign itself necessarily, but the City Committee - as usual. Ed Rendell, Ed Koch, Mayor Nutter, Reps. Allyson Schwartz and Joe Sestak, state auditor general Wagner, state treasurer candidate McCord were all speakers at Sunday night's Montgomery County Fall Dinner fundraiser.  All of them said to keep working and take nothing for granted.  Montgo Dem Party Chair Marcel Groen - a hero for Dems - said final voter registration numbers will show the Dems with a 25,000+ margin in Montgomery County - highest in history in a county where the Rs have been in the lead since the Civil War. Montgo County now produces the third most Democratic votes of PA counties - after Phila and Allegheny/Pittsburgh.  Gobama!

by pasuburbdem1 2008-10-22 03:22AM | 0 recs
Well Chester County...

seems really mixed.  Especially where I live.  A majority in my office support Obama, but I am in the beginning of the Bible Belt.  I got an incredibly disturbing ad in my local paper.  It said it was a Pa Voter guide, but it was a religious, right wing version of that.  It actually said that Obama supported Homosexual Education!!  What the heck is that??  I was floored as I read through it.  I couldn't figure out what the heck it meant by some of it's "issues".  Don't have it with me, so can't give you more.  I can tell you that kind of ad will have an effect on certain voters in my area.  I was once told by a baseball mom I was friendly with that she wasn't going to send her kids to the high school because there were "girls that liked girls, and boys that liked boys"!  I could only sit there with my mouth open.  She took that as agreement, but I was just too floored to come up with a good response!  YIKES!

So yes, we need Obama back to THESE area's.  I don't think Rendell is wrong.  McCain can and will swing some of these voters.  Will Obama be able to make Chester county blue?  I'm not sure, but I do know we want as many blue votes as possible!!

by Pa Woman 2008-10-22 04:54AM | 0 recs
Ok, I don't get it

First of all, we can lose PA and still crush McCain 343/195.

Second of all, by semi-pulling out of those other states, he weakens his presence. The entire point of a 50-state strategy is to avoid being forced into attacking an opponent's strongholds.

Why let McCain built a fort in PA and bait us to follow him there? I must be missing something.

by Neef 2008-10-22 04:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Ok, I don't get it

again there is point in conceding a blue state, a traditional bankable blue state for something dicey like VA or NC (although I would like Obama to win them too). We have the money and resources so why let PA go?

by tarheel74 2008-10-22 04:59AM | 0 recs
fer a senator from Missisippi or Kentucky?

PA can go lick itself. Give me a supermajority!

by RisingTide 2008-10-22 08:46AM | 0 recs
I'm not saying abandon it

but at the same time, I fail to see how McCain's play for it is a crisis. We could lose it and STILL be 300+ EV's.

I live here, and I believe PA is uniquely vulnerable to the projected McCain strategy. He could very well tie Obama up in an unwinnable fight during these last two weeks, when I'd rather Obama be hitting FL or OH.

by Neef 2008-10-22 09:12AM | 0 recs
Re: I'm not saying abandon it

given a choice between OH and PA, I would go with PA. OH especially southern OH is as conservative as it gets.

by tarheel74 2008-10-22 09:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Dauphin County

every blue state matters, esp big blue states like PA.

by tarheel74 2008-10-22 04:58AM | 0 recs
Re: What's going on in Pennsylvania?
as far as ground game I can testify as far as phila county,Delaware county,montgomery county, Obama has MANY offices but I agree with Rendell
McCain is betting it all on Pennsylvania so we need to beef up our defenses a little
McCain can't compete in the ad war  especially in Philly its a pretty expensive market
by wellinformed 2008-10-22 05:03AM | 0 recs
Re: What's going on in Pennsylvania?

I now there is only one office in Dauphin county in Harrisburg.

by tarheel74 2008-10-22 05:07AM | 0 recs
Re: How many McCain officers are there?

Is Kerry running again?  Actually, Dauphin county is one of only 3 counties Obama won in the primary.  If a Dem is going to win any county it should be Obama.  Besides the fact that Dauphin has Rendell as a resident.  

by Scotch 2008-10-22 02:31PM | 0 recs
Re: What's going on in Pennsylvania?

Let's not forget that Ed Rendell is also a well noted concern troll... I'm sure he is a little skittish... we all are, but he also likes attention, and he's getting it here.  He also wants to cover his but in case something bad happens.

He'll get his large rally, but it's a little too early for that, really...

by LordMike 2008-10-22 05:14AM | 0 recs
Re: What's going on in Pennsylvania?

by tarheel74 2008-10-22 06:28AM | 0 recs
Re: What's going on in Pennsylvania?

sorry for that but calling Ed Rendell a concern troll is doing a great disservice to one of the very competent and street smart Democratic governors in the country.

by tarheel74 2008-10-22 06:30AM | 0 recs
Okay, now you've done it.`

COMPETENT? What part of Fast Eddie screams competent to you? He won based on the Philly machine, and the whole rest of the state hates him. Philly too, truth be told, but they never can get their fucking act together.

You tell me who your favorite PA governor is. I'll take Thornburgh, and he's a Republican!

by RisingTide 2008-10-22 08:49AM | 0 recs
Thornburg fer shure

Didn't he leave us with a 2B surplus?

I will defend Rendell's machine though. I witnessed it during the primary, and it is impressive.

by Neef 2008-10-22 09:14AM | 0 recs
dunno about that.

but he's defending Wecht right now, so that makes him one of the good Republicans.

by RisingTide 2008-10-23 04:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Okay, now you've done it.`

as you see from my name I know little about PA. But times are hard and all governors who have not thought outside the box to develop the economy of their state have taken a hit. In that regard the only guy who has done a pretty great job in my opinion is the NC governor and fellow Tarheel Mike Easley.

by tarheel74 2008-10-22 09:20AM | 0 recs
yeah, times are totally hard

but they been hard for Pittsburgh for a while -- we're 'recession resistant' because all the glass and steel is gone!

Philly's gonna be in trouble though -- they caught some of that rise in property values.

What specifically has Easley done so well?

by RisingTide 2008-10-23 04:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Okay, now you've done it.`

Thornburgh?  Holy crap.  He would be my last choice.  I've worked for all of them for the past 20 years.  I would take Ridge, before I would take Rendell, Thornburgh, or Casey.  That guy who filled in for Ridge when he went to Washington wasn't bad either.

by Scotch 2008-10-22 02:28PM | 0 recs
Explain yourself!

Ridge seemed like too much of a party drone for me to like him -- but you've got a different perspective and I want to hear it.

by RisingTide 2008-10-23 04:52AM | 0 recs
Re: [updated] What's going on in Pennsylvania?

I live in MD but have worked in Franklin County, PA (very red) for the last 15 years. Several of my co-workers say they will vote Democrat for the first time in their lives. Now I know that they would NEVER put up an Obama yard sign but they aren't the type of people who change their minds easily.

by JimR 2008-10-22 07:44AM | 0 recs
Re: [updated] What's going on in Pennsylvania?

I used to love Rendell but lately (past year) he's showing signs of being a bit batshit....

We have his current freakout, we have his begging Obama to pay walking around money, etc...

He needs to relax a bit... obviously Obama and his staff are monitoring Penn.. They've spent like 20 million bucks just on polling.. if anyone knows whats going on there I trust Obama.

by obama4presidente 2008-10-22 08:53AM | 0 recs
Re: [updated] What's going on in Pennsylvania?

No democratic governor wants to see their state turn red in the GE. I don't blame him for sounding the alarm.

by tarheel74 2008-10-22 08:58AM | 0 recs
Re: [updated] What's going on in Pennsylvania?

IN PUBLIC??? He can't call up anyone in the Obama campaign??

He has to yell "PAY WALKING AROUND MONEY" at a public event???

Dude...

by obama4presidente 2008-10-22 09:11AM | 0 recs
Re: [updated] What's going on in Pennsylvania?

it is true some of the public statements were tactless, but as Bobswern suggested in a comment above "walking around money" in PA, esp the Philly area is a way of life there. Everyone does it and it is by no means illegal. I guess what he wants to do is to impress the Obama campaign to visit PA a few more times, although the hyperventilation is not doing much good.

by tarheel74 2008-10-22 09:15AM | 0 recs
Re: [updated] What's going on in Pennsylvania?

I have been saying that the one state I worry about is PA, and was called crazy.

Now that Rendell says something, everyone jumps on the PA bandwagon.

I do not want to see Obama spend the rest of the campaign worrying about PA.   The only way McCain can win is to keep every Bush state except Colorado, Iowa, New Mexico and Virginia,  and then steal PA.    
I do not see how McCain is going to win the above listed states, and he is definitely in trouble in Nevada, Florida and Missouri.

If he runs the campaign he needs to win PA and pours all his money there, he is going to lose Nevada and Florida, so it will not matter.

I would rather see McCain keep focusing on PA, and the Obama team work on other states to get us the Senators we need.

by gavoter 2008-10-22 09:25AM | 0 recs
I agree....

Losing Florida breaks McCain's entire electoral scheme.

Win Florida, and McCain is in a hole he can't climb out of.

And, I think the smears will work less in FL then any other place IMHO.

Just saying...

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-22 09:31AM | 0 recs
Re: [updated] What's going on in Pennsylvania?

we can win PA by turning up our ground game. Rendell has a great ground game but he needs to generate some electricity and that comes from the stars of the Democratic party...Obama and the Clintons.

by tarheel74 2008-10-22 09:34AM | 0 recs
Exactly

Some of these folks may be underestimating how vulnerable PA is. These people still defend Bush. A smear campaign will find fertile ground to fester.

I think Obama getting bogged down in PA is not a good deal for us, and frankly it may be a rope-a-dope.

by Neef 2008-10-22 10:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Exactly

He won't get rope-a-dope'd because he is NOT going to follow McCain there and ONLY fight in PA?

FL and CO are also going to get pounded by Obama.

But, Axelrod WILL NOT slow down in PA, cause IF he shows a microsecond of weakness, Wolfy Blizter will start chanting the Comeback meme and the Obama camp is in trouble...

If they want a fight, FIGHT THEM. Just don't stop and only fight there.

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-22 10:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Exactly

we would have gotten bogged down if our resources were limited. We have $150mil + counting. So a couple of visits over the next week will be huge shot in the arm for the ground people and will energize the base from any sense of complacency. With the resources we have we have a great shot at turning all the swing states.

by tarheel74 2008-10-22 10:39AM | 0 recs
I'm all for a couple of visits

I just don't want to give the impression that PA is in any way crucial for us. It's a great pickup, yes, but we must always maintain the initiative.

I guess my concern is outlined by WSB above. We can't let a negative narrative build, and expecially with a hard slog like PA, we don't want the media obsessing over the grinding horserace PA will be.

by Neef 2008-10-22 09:11PM | 0 recs
Re: [updated] What's going on in Pennsylvania?

Clearly something is going on which isn't showing up in the polls.  Why else would McCain abandon Colorado and New Mexico, where he's ostensibly closer, and focus on Pennsylvania where he has a double-digit lead?  

It's likely that internal polling is showing a closer race.  I wouldn't be surprised - pollsters don't have much experience with black candidates for President, and if it matters anywhere it's in places like Pennsylvania.

by Jess81 2008-10-22 09:30AM | 0 recs
no early voting...

And lots of Reagan Democrats.

White Catholics, (like me...) who will vote their misogny and bigotry.

As far as gaffes go, I think Murtha should have kept his trap shut.

But, he was telling the truth, unfortunately.

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-22 09:36AM | 0 recs
Re: no early voting...

Are you from PA?  People in the areas Rendell mentions aren't famous for their bigotry and racism. Johnstown which Murtha represents is more eastern.  Why not go directly to those smaller areas then instead of Philly or Harrisburg?    

by Scotch 2008-10-22 02:22PM | 0 recs
Re: no early voting...

Nope, I don't know PA at all, but I do know older white Catholics (wink!)

You could be right, Ed is a pretty cagy cat, he could easily want to play the media, get the home base fired up and have Obama spend some critical last days in PA?

He would certainly love the press if Obama wins big in Penn?

But, if I was the McCain campaign (yes, I would have picked Ridge) and I even slightly believed in the Bradley Effect as my magic bullet, I would pick PA over VA or CO to do to the wall with it.

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-22 02:27PM | 0 recs
Johnstown is Appalachia

pure and simple.

Two Obama signs, on 711. Many, many more murtha signs, many more mccain signs.

by RisingTide 2008-10-23 04:55AM | 0 recs
Re: [updated] What's going on in Pennsylvania?

Because he has to win one of the 3 and PA has the most electoral votes that could put him in reach of a win.

by Scotch 2008-10-22 02:20PM | 0 recs
Re: [updated] What's going on in Pennsylvania?

I'm not that worried about losing PA.

But the bottom line is that McCain's only path to victory at this point REQUIRES a win in PA.  

For that reason, every effort should be made to ensure victory there.

by Same As It Ever Was 2008-10-22 09:35AM | 0 recs
Re: [updated] What's going on in Pennsylvania?

Maybe Rendall is just worried that people will become complacent thinking that Obama is so far ahead that they won't show up at the polls.  It is very strange that he wants Obama to go to Harrisburg and Philly, specifically, since those two cities and State College were the only 3 areas that Obama won over Hillary in the entire state in the primaries.  Hillary and Bill visited all the small communities in western pa, and it went heavily for Hillary in the primaries.  It is usually pretty conservative, except for the NorthWestern part, and so I can see his point there.  But Harrisburg and PHilly?

The other thing to consider is that there may be some Democrats down ticket up against incumbant republicans who Obama could help if he revisited PA.  I know that in North Western PA, an incumbant Phil English, is being challenged by a Democratic woman who has a chance to win against him and turn another seat in the House Democratic.  That race is very close, but she is currently a little ahead.  Prior to this he never had a serious challenger.  I would bet that the governors concern is to help down ticket races turn Dem.

by Scotch 2008-10-22 02:18PM | 0 recs
Re: [updated] What's going on in Pennsylvania?


That could be.  Myself, I think Rendell isn't really that concerned about US House seats.  He's a lot better off if Obama campaign workers achieve more Democratic sweep a bit further down, in the state legislature races, though.  The state House has a Democratic margin of +1 (out of 203) and the state Senate is presently still in Republican hands by an undue margin (29R/21D)- his greatest obstacle to governing the way he hoped to.

There are 3 open previously Republican-held state Senate seats, 2 open previously Democratic-held ones.  The two Democratic ones seem safe iirc.  At least one of the Republican ones is a swing district in/off the Lehigh Valley where a lot of votes and a lot of the Presidential campaign effort is.  You can see how there might be 'synergy' in the ticket for Rendell.  Crying wolf to the Obama people to sink more of their riches into PA for his/the Party benefit might be an ugly tactic, but a lot worse things have been done.  At least there's a slim prospect of getting another state legislature chamber tipping D out of it.

It may not be an accident that this Rendell cry for help happens the day after the Obama campaign decided (apparently) not to formally send some of their massive stash downticket.  Consider it a tax, call it blackmail, deem it an involuntary contribution....

by killjoy 2008-10-22 05:44PM | 0 recs
Hey Tarheel!

Todd just stold your thunder with a front page diary with the same name.

Ask him for royalities!

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-22 02:32PM | 0 recs

Diaries

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