Pennsylvania minus four weeks

As Barack Obama weathers the Reverend Jeremiah Wright controversy, Hillary Clinton misspeaks. Compare and contrast …

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

1,114 comments on “Pennsylvania minus four weeks”

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  1. Hey Finns – If even one of the numbers quoted in that article is correct I’ll eat my hat and yours.

    Btw – no electoral-vote page quotes today? Why is that?

  2. This is the problem as I see it for Hillary.

    RCP has Pennsylvania at around 52-38 to Clinton. Now, so far in almost every primary, the polls have tightened in Obama’s favour in the last few weeks. This one is a bit different, because we now have the Wright controversy to factor in (and of course is race speech, although this is less of a factor there.)

    However. What the average doesn’t factor in is the fact the two polls released in the past day or two have had her lead at 5 and 12 pts respectively. As a result, the RCP average has dropped her lead from, as I said, 16-14, given it still includes a landslide 26pt lead from two weeks ago. We need to wait another week or so to see if anything massive has shifted, of course, but there is relatively strong evidence now to suggest Obama is clawing back.

    If he gets the margin down to 10 points (preferably 9 for the sake of symbolism) his campaign will be delighted with that.

    In contrast, compare North Carolina. Obama’s lead is 12 points on RCP. That’s doubled from what it was last month. Now, again we need to wait a little longer before seeing whether this will drop again post-race speech, but the two polls released in the last 24 hours have him at a 13 and 15 point lead respectively. It is looking statistically solid. If he gets that in a months time, then he will come relatively close to negating the advantage Clinton took from PA, if not negating it completely.

    Either way, as electoral vote said the other day, the delegate advantage in PA will be around 20, give or take. I’m betting that Obama will net at least 10 from NC, depending on where the polls end up. Delegates are unimportant right now though – Obama’s pledged lead is going to stay in the triple digits for at least a few primaries yet. My point is, the next two states (three if you want to include Indiana, which nobody seems to have a clue as to how it is going) are vital simply because of their popular vote size. If his lead is 400,000+ after that, we would near the point of statistical impossibility for the popular vote to be overtaken. After this date, Kentucky with it’s 60 delegates is the biggest state left to go.

    Of course, as will no doubt be pointed out by some, this means little given the Florida/Michign situation etc etc. But the evidence suggests that PA is closing ever so slightly, and NC is at worst holding steady.

    Now if the shoe went to the other foot… a swing back to HRC in PA and from BHO in NC could suddenly see his popular vote all but wiped out. Then the game becomes interesting. But time is running out for her to bring this about. Three weeks to go now. Good fun.

  3. “Obamabots”
    I did blog yesterday that I propose to continue to use ‘Obamabots’
    (with the one exception who was entitled to receive & did receive my regret as this site should not be used to cause personal hurt)

    I did believe most bloggers here who support Obama , prior to doing so
    put considerable thought into their position & did not do so blindly.

    However I also think Obama supporters now blindly ignore current criticism of him or his electability for POTUS , (although some have acknowledged mild flaws).

    I think the appeal in Obama’s broad message to discard the current cynical politicians, rorting , pork barrelling as well as their inequitable & inhumane World policys & to ‘change’ to better is admirable & his brilliant oratory presents this message inspiringly.

    But this ‘change’ message & the orarory has overpowered serious faults in his past policy stances , ‘character’ , history and previous public comments & which make Obama as ‘risky’ for POTUS as Hillary (but in different disciplines), even though some but not all that have been canvassed here.

    This non acceptance reminds me of the millions of core Liberals were blinded & could never accept any criticism of Howard even though some issues raised should have caused at least some alarm bells. I believe Obama supporters are acting similary to those Howard Liberal supporters & are Obamabots. This blog will be dismissed for the same reasons.

    These 4 serious faults areas as I’ve learned of them over the past month (of which Pastorgate is but only one of many) has caused me to change from an Obama supporter to believing both Hillary & Obama are very ‘risky’ candidates but different reasons & in different disciplines both in electability & suitability for POTUS.
    Due to the 4 serious faults areas , I think Hillary is more electable than Obama.

  4. Ron

    With Billary, I know we’ll be getting a crap President who will lie, cheat, dissemble and do anything for her own personal gain. With Obama, I just suspect it that will be the case. Obama’s advantage is that he still might turn out OK, Billary definitely won’t.

  5. Max ,
    I agree with the basis of your blog but against McCain the reverse will apply.

    IF we had non compulsory voting here in 2004 & 2007 elections:
    In 2004: only the rusted-on come out to vote for Latham. But the swingers still vote for Howard
    In 2007: Kevin07 also pulls out the apathetic Labor supporters as well and wins the swingers.
    What Obama is doing is mainly pulling out the apathetic Democrat supporters but will not win the swingers aainst McCain (& the swingers vote will be decisive)

  6. js at 990.
    Sure it’s only one poll but they are all trending in the right direction for The Kid. Way I read the Dem Penn primary with less than three weeks to go is if Team Obi can keep Bodicea Brutusina Clinton to a single digit win after the monster leads she’s held in polls to date, then he’ll be doing peachy. Anything better for BHO and the Banshees will wail like ten thousand harpies on heat for Brutusina’s blood, weasels will rip her flesh (settle, codger), and thwarted MSM hounds will drain her of every last dollop of her marrow bone jelly.

    In Feb 2009, Hill and Bill will launch Chelsea’s representative career with Junior performing the dummy-spit of the millennium about the harsh and unfair treatment Momsy got at the hands of an upstart who burst prematurely from the political woodpile to POTUSville before it was “His Turn”. Da noive o’ da guy! Then Brutusina will join her secret soul buddy, Karl Rove, for a regular spot on Fox and make special guest appearances on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show, as well as ghost-blogging a heavily hyped weekly gig on Drudge.
    Everybody in a position to buy her knows how desperately she’ll need the dough.

  7. Ron

    I thought (though i cannot prove) that conventional wisdom was not Obama polled remarkably well with independents, and it was Hillary that garnered her base from ‘rusted ons’. Given that it seems that Hillary is a very polarising character (as in, people outside dem voters don’t really like her) wouldn’t it seem that Obama would get more swingers?

  8. Yo ho ho- Both Macca and Bami poll well amongst independents, better than Billary. But Billary has a stronger rusted on “blue collar” Democrat base than Obama.

  9. 1003 – Ron

    I disagree with your analysis.

    Its more of a Howard (Clinton) v Rudd (Obama) situation.

    The media is deriding the Obama honeymoon which doesn’t seem to end.
    They are trying to find scandals to discredit Obama’s experience and judgment.
    Just like Scores and Brian Burke, these issues are having little traction.

    Similarly, Clinton is suffering from a lack of credibility due to her Bosnia account, as John Howard was suffering from breaking his promise of low interest rates.

    At the end of the day, this didn’t have much effect on the polls either.

    No one is saying Obama is perfect nor flawless, however it would seem each and every flaw by Obama is magnified by Hillary and he is the least worse of the two options.

    Rezko v Norman Hsu
    Wright v Bosnia

    The problem with this continued infighting is that McCain is having a free run at pushing his case the longer this goes on.

    Even if Hillary wins, she will be irreparably damaged by winning against the popular vote and pledged delegates, will alienate black voters, and will make the November elections a far closer contest then an undamaged Obama.

  10. Probably a load of garbage, but from TPM:

    “BREAKING: Clinton to Concede Today
    By DF – April 1, 2008, 4:49AM
    According to some contacts that I have within the Washington press corps, sources within the Clinton campaign have leaked that she will announce the end of her 2008 Presidential run later this morning. Citing an inability to overcome her trailing numbers in delegates and the popular vote, as well as her inability to consistently best either Obama or McCain in recent polls and her growing financial troubles, she will make her concession speech in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She is expected to congratulate and endorse Barack Obama. Though there is an indication that he may in fact appear with her in order to get an immediate jump-start on unifying the party, this has not yet been confirmed with anyone from the Obama campaign.

    Keep your eyes on the AP wire. Today is going to be big.”

  11. Good analysis Ron @ 1003.

    There is no doubt that Obama has been running the visionary Mark Latham “ladder of opportunity” type campaign. Speak in generalities, but don’t be too specific. No one knows much about him so he has that veneer of being new and relatively clean. Obama has had a dream run with the imbedded media supporters in the US.

    Strangely, his campaign is also very small target in the So, in many ways Obama is undefined and clearly his supporters have transposed their dreams of what they hope will happen on to a candidate who is an undefined blob. Lots of luck.

    It is really quite surprising that Hillary has any support at all if you read some of the anaysis propagated in the fawning US media and dutifully taken up by the Obama parrots here.

    If the positions were reversed and Obama was a point or so behind in terms of the vote and had as many delegates as Hillary, you could imagine any calls for Obama to abandon his campaign would be labelled as racist. However, Hillary is abused as being selfish and a party crasher because she has chosen to exercise her rights and stay in the campaign.

    This Wright Pastorsaucegate matter will return as an issue and next time Obama will not get off as lightly in the media.

    No doubt all candidates have faults, but I agree with you Ron that Hillary is the least worst.

  12. GG –

    “Strangely, his campaign is also very small target in the So, in many ways Obama is undefined and clearly his supporters have transposed their dreams of what they hope will happen on to a candidate who is an undefined blob.”

    A year and three months as a nominee so far, 4 in the Senate, 8 in the State Senate, a decade in a University, two published monographs, editor of the Harvard Law Review…there are a few bits and pieces to judge him by

    “If the positions were reversed and Obama was a point or so behind in terms of the vote and had as many delegates as Hillary, you could imagine any calls for Obama to abandon his campaign would be labelled as racist.”

    Nope, realist.

    “However, Hillary is abused as being selfish and a party crasher because she has chosen to exercise her rights and stay in the campaign.”

    Again, it is the tactics rather than her presence which is objectionable.

    It’s simple really – if Hillary is the better candidate, all she has to do is win the nomination race and she’ll be nominee. To date she has picked about 47% of the delegates and popular vote (giver her another % if you want to include Florida), and about 1/3 of the States. It’s been a pretty long process, and she’s well behind.

  13. Thanks for the confirmation, jen. Which reminds me, none of the puditocracy have tried to smear The Kid as a “girly-man” yet. They, including CA Governor Uh-nuld Roider, did it to Kerry after someone photographed Kerry on a wind-surfer in 2004. The Kid’s gonna have to give Pony Clubs and power-walking outfits a wide berth lest paparazzi snap him on a quarter-horse wearing a dorky ribboned helmut or in a light green luminous Borat cossie.

    Tues. April 1: Contra Deal Anyone?;_ylt=Aup21vs7x69iNU0AXgajBUxX_b4F

    Tues April1: I complained because I had no shoes, until I met a GOPephant who had no torso.;_ylt=AvBOQNXRD6ZLB.ckTIrf1E5R_b4F

    Tues April 1: Porklinkton’s Complaint;_ylt=AvFEZNqoSh1fFJ6G32ZETt8l6ysC

  14. KR,

    You should get down and smell the aroma wafting from Ron’s colourfully floral arrangement of well constructed argument.

    You seem like the monkey scaling the tree with his nose the air. The problem for you is everyone can see you’ve got a red arse.


  15. 1019
    Greensborough Growler

    Hahaha, you’re a treasure Growler, but invective is not your forte. Pity, because you should be good at something.

    Caddy for Ron? Yes, that probably suits you, not too strenuous, and you can at least correct his grammar.

  16. KR,

    I sense you would be quite happy to bury me.

    You correct Ron’s grandma, ………………….. and live!


  17. Ron

    [But this ‘change’ message & the orarory has overpowered serious faults in his past policy stances , ‘character’ , history and previous public comments & which make Obama as ‘risky’ for POTUS as Hillary (but in different disciplines), even though some but not all that have been canvassed here.]

    You outline the 4 perceived weakness of Obama.

    1. Character
    2. History
    3. Past policy stances
    4. Previous public comments.

    I find that you deem these Obama’s weaknesses strange. To be honest, these seem to actually be the strengths. Do you think you could elaborate on this at all?

  18. 1022 Yo ho ho

    I believe the last blogger who asked Ron to elaborate on a post was taken out into the Pollbludger back room and beaten to death. I’m not saying I agree with it though, especially as I’ve done it myself. 🙄

  19. Comparing Obama to Latham has`one tiny flaw- Latham was a prat.
    comparing him to Rudd makes more sense, particularly as he is going to win.
    An Obama / Rudd team promises something new in the west and God knows we need it.
    As for asking Ron to extrapolate on his arguments…in the immortal words of my 9 year old – Enough Already. I Get It OK??

  20. Growler-
    i think commenting on the colour of Kirri’s bottom is crossing the line of PB etiqette. No wonder dyspneia won’t play anymore.
    I do think however the candidates’ bottoms are fair game.

  21. Apologies all.

    I was merely trying to get the reason Ron has labelled what i see as Obama’s strengths relative to Hillary in this campaign – character, past policy positions etc -as weaknesses. It seems to me that the rhetoric of Hillary’s campaign indicates that Obama’s weakensses are political inexperience and naivety.

  22. so it would seem Kirri. Spookily enough in one of the 26 epsiodes of West wing I watched last night (oh, for a life) there was exactly that scenario. And btw apparently there is no Red Phone in the Whitehouse – another Hillary fib.

  23. As her campaign deteriorates, she dodges incoming, while remaining outgoing. She slags Obi as a John “Pervert” Turturro-type, the gutter scupper from The Big Lebowski.
    Haw, haw,haw,haw.
    Obi is crap at 10-pin bowling so he ‘s not a “Real American”; a direct pitch to white trailer park Penn trash and beyond. “He’s goddamned Un-American and he thinks he can be Your President. Hey, America, check me out, I can bowl like a homecoming queen.”

    But SHE plays at Graumann’s Chinese and Broadway, NOT in those High Darktown flea pits.

    One week she’s Rambo, then Rocky the next.
    American voters should demand a dud movie refund.

  24. #1001 – [Btw – no electoral-vote page quotes today? Why is that?] – was out being a good capitalist. Someone has to keep the effing system going. Is not looking good for both. So should we packup and go home?.

    Electoral Votes, total 538, To win: 270.

    Apr. 01 – Electoral Votes: Clinton 203 McCain 304 Ties 31
    Mar. 30 – Electoral Votes: Clinton 239 McCain 268 Ties 31
    Mar. 28/29 – Electoral Votes: Clinton 239 McCain 255 Ties 44
    Mar. 26/27 – Electoral Votes: Clinton 246 McCain 248 Ties 44
    Mar. 25 – Electoral Votes: Clinton 273 McCain 221 Ties 44
    Mar. 24 – Electoral Votes: Clinton 268 McCain 246 Ties 24

    Apr. 01 – Electoral Votes: Obama 205 McCain 324 Ties 9
    Mar. 31 – Electoral Votes: Obama 205 McCain 324 Ties 9
    Mar. 30 – Electoral Votes: Obama 215 McCain 314 Ties 9
    Mar. 28/29 – Electoral Votes: Obama 228 McCain 301 Ties 9
    Mar. 26/27 – Electoral Votes: Obama 228 McCain 301 Ties 9
    Mar. 25 – Electoral Votes: Obama 218 McCain 296 Ties 24
    Mar. 24 – Electoral Votes: Obama 231 McCain 292 Ties 15

    From the Votemaster –

    #1010 – sorry to disappoint you. it was 1/4/08 yesterday.

    #1019 – Lament of the red arse monkey

  25. Hilarious (and well reasoned) article here:

    Highlights include

    ‘Whether or not she wins, Hillary has already given noble service as a sophisticated political tutor for Obama, providing her younger colleague with much-needed seasoning. Who else was going to toughen him up? Howard Dean? John Edwards? Dennis Kucinich?

    …When pressed about whether he’s ready for Swift-boating, Obama has seemed a bit cavalier. But the Hillary camp will garrote him with his mistakes until he fully appreciates what garroting feels like. Ickes told a Web site Tuesday that he has been pursuing superdelegates by pressing the Rev. Wright issue.

    …Hillary’s work is done only when she is done, because the best way for Obama to prove he’s ready to stare down Ahmadinejad is by putting away someone even tougher.’

  26. Fter a series of Republican strategists have PUBLICLY announced they would prefer Obama to win – why would they do that, I hear you ask – we have:

    ‘New polling conducted by Gallup reveals that the majority of Democratic and Republican voters believe that Obama is the far stronger candidate against McCain.

    Fifty-nine percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents said Obama had the better chance of beating McCain in the fall, while just 30 percent picked Clinton.

    Among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, 64 percent said Clinton would be the easier general election nominee to defeat, while 22 percent named Obama.’

    The mud ain’t sticking.

  27. Come-in spinner. another Obama’s lie, no: 9

    Obama wants to avoid dialogue with the deaf,
    Michael Gawenda, SMH.

    So Obama has called for a national conversation on race, but in reality this is the last thing he really wants right now. In all probability, what he really wants is for the question of race to go away, at least until after the first Tuesday in November. If it does not go away, Obama will not be the next president. Americans may be ready to elect a black man. They are not ready to elect a black politician who wants to have a national conversation on race.

  28. Finns – so , in fact you were lying.

    Shame on you. You are no better than the Clintons.
    And i’m giving your nose clamps to the Salvos.

  29. “New numbers from the North Carolina Board of Elections show that, since the first of the year, more than 165,000 new voters have registered to participate in advance of the state’s May 6 primary.

    …Forty-five percent of the new voters since January are registered as Democrats, with about 30% unaffiliated and 25% Republican. About a third are under 24 years old.”

    North Carolina is looking like a 60/40.

  30. Stop Press!!!!

    #1045 – jen, am i still lying? i seem to remember you Obamaphiles are the ones that have always told us that the SDs CANNOT override the Candidate who has more PDs and popular votes. The SDs cannot override the will of the people, blah blah blah blah.

    It appears that either you guys are the ones that have been lying all along or dont know the rules.

    Just love this line: “That’s what the rules say, and I enforce the rules”. Obama lies no: 10.

    April 1, 2008, 11:58PM. Los Angeles Times

    Dean spells out superdelegate rules
    Stance seems to reject Obama camp’s position

    WASHINGTON — Citing Democratic rules, national committee Chairman Howard Dean on Tuesday said the superdelegates who are poised to select the party’s presidential nominee are free to back whomever they wish at the end of the primaries, regardless of who leads in the popular vote or pledged delegates. “They should use whatever yardstick they want,” Dean said in an interview at party headquarters. “That’s what the rules provide for.”

    Asked about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s suggestion that superdelegates should exercise independent judgment and not feel bound by the standings after June 3 — the day the nominating season ends — Dean replied: “That’s what the rules say, and I enforce the rules.”

    He also said superdelegates are free to weigh the disputed primary results in Florida and Michigan, two states Clinton carried in the absence of campaigning by rival Sen. Barack Obama. The two campaigns have spent weeks wrangling over a plan that would seat delegates from the states, which violated party guidelines by voting earlier than allowed.

  31. Finns- I may have been on a different planet to you but my understanding has always been that the SD’s can vote for whomever they like- including against the popular vote and the pledged delegates. The issue has been that if they did so the fall out politically within their party could cause such anger that they would lose their own voter base. And I suspect that hasn’t changed in the last 24hours.

  32. #1048 – jen – just love Nancy with smiling face, from the same article in #1047. PLEASE NOTE, PLEASE NOTE, she said: “who can win”. This is from Nancy Pelosi.

    Earlier Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., appeared to back away from that view. “These superdelegates have the right to vote their conscience and who they think would be the better president, or who can win,” Pelosi said on ABC’s Good Morning America.

  33. You really don’t wanna dance do you, Finns? A Gawenda opinion piece and a blzck and white reading of the rules? These are Obama lies?

    If you can show me where anyone said that the rules dictated that SDs vote unanimously with the popular vote I’ll eat another hat. If the rules had stated as much they would be being flagrantly violated right now – Hills, well behind in the vote, is ahead on supers (although that lead is shrinking almost daily).

    But if you honestly think that the general SD position, as espoused by ‘the Pelosi Club’ is fundamentally changed by Dean’s peacekeeping line (delivered with the aim of calming Clinton down), your political antennae have had quite a trashing in the post-November 07 partying.

    But I guess we’ve all gotta cling to what we can…

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