Pennsylvania minus one week

A merciful mid-campaign lull precluded the need for a “minus two weeks” thread, but things are well and truly picking up again now. Real Clear Politics’ Pennsylvania Democratic poll average has Hillary Clinton leading Barack Obama 47.4 per cent to 40.4 per cent, which is not as much as she would like. However, the most very recent poll from SurveyUSA puts it at 56-38 (UPDATE: Whoops, that’s not the most recent poll after all. There have been quite a few others since that have been around the RCP average). Statistical anomaly, or Obama’s elitist chickens coming home to roost? I report – you decide.

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.

1,655 comments on “Pennsylvania minus one week”

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  1. I just so do love a New Thread… thanks William.
    However, can’t believe someone as credible as you would quote SurveyUSA.
    Bit like quoting Dennis Shanahanahanahan as an objective political commentator.

  2. i’d be surprised if the elitist thing bites as so-called other scandals such as wright and michelle’s comments havent

  3. The Pennsylvanian result was always known, a Hillary victory but we all know she needs to win by 20+ to make any in roads in the delegate count…though Obama has put his foot in it of late.

  4. Apparently Obama’s comments are all over US talk back radio. Seems to be running and running and running. I saw a Rassmussen survey on Fox that said 58% disapprove of comments and 26% approve. Seems to be a polarising issue.

  5. Ah yes….Rasmussen…Fox commentator and Republican pollster of choice.

    Big news in talkback radio land huh….well blow me down with a feather.

    Meanwhile…Gallup has Obama up 10 over Billary nationally….and Temple Uni pollsters have Obama And Billary comfortably leading McCain in Penn.

  6. Although the elite tag by itself is unlikely to hurt Obama there does seem to be an obvious move against Obama by some powerful players. I think that now Hillary is close to being out of the race McCain supporters feel more comfortable laying into Obama. It is not sticking yet but there is a long time to go.

  7. The way the rest of the primaries go is simple (relatively):

    Clinton will win (or should win, at least) the following states:

    Pennsylvania
    West Virginia
    Kentucky
    Puerto Rico

    Obama will win (or should win):

    North Carolina
    Oregon
    South Dakota
    Montana

    The only really contested state left to come is Indiana (voting May 6th with 85 delegates at stake). Clinton is currently up in the polls there but by less than 5%. She needs to win Indiana (in addition to the ones I’ve listed above) for her to be credible at the Convention.

    If Obama wins Indiana, it’s over (figuratively, at least). However, if Clinton wins Indiana and runs closer than expected in either North Carolina or Oregon, then she can credibly make a case to the superdelegates that she is the only candidate capable of beating John McCain. The general election polls support her – she’s beating McCain in both PA and OH and running close in FL (based on Real Clear Politics Average) – whilst Obama is losing to McCain in all three of those vital states (including by a large margin in FL).

    For the record, my money (literally) is on Clinton to be the nominee – but that’s more of a speculator (she was @3.30 at that time).

  8. OK – my comment about Indiana being close atm is incorrect.

    New poll just came out from Survey USA – Clinton 55/Obama 39.

    Don’t know if it’s a rogue (gee, haven’t used that term since last November ๐Ÿ™‚ ), but it’s an increase in Clinton’s lead from 9% two weeks ago.

  9. Hillary will win Indiana, she has the backing of popular Senator Evan Bayh.

    If Obama continues to give the Republicans free kicks like calling small town Americans bitter for wanting guns and religion cos they dont have their jobs then the Supers may give it to Billary. If Obama is smart he’ll shut up and stop giving ammo to Billary. But if he continues to make a fool of himself and opening himself up to attack then Obama doesn’t deserve the nomination.

  10. Daryl @ 8,

    Good link. However, I would prefer to see polls later in the week once the full impact of all the publicity hits.

    HarryH,

    You give no dates or sources so hard to tell how reliable your figures are given the obvious change in momentum from even a few days ago.

    Don’t need a feather to blow you over sunshine.

  11. Darryl @ 12,

    Yep – that’s my bad.

    But I must point out that Obama is up 3.5% in PA against McCain, whilst Clinton is up 8.5%.

  12. Diogenes #1138

    A change of tack. I will genuinely accept as 100% intended.
    Agree , simplcity is dificult complex phenomena but will try.

    My first reaction to Friscogate was compassion and not political.
    The comments were not confined to a few ‘redknecks’ but to hardship “working class” peoples throughout the mid west. Alot of battlers few of whom are ‘redknecks’. Peoples who have a harder life than ours who did not need public exposure & denigration of their & their childrens hardship lives. The embarassment to them & their kids will linger long after all Pollies have moved on.

    Obama I thought made a massive ethical/moral mistake for the above reason and he should have appologised.so yes I’m passionate in this context

    My second reaction was political re POTUS , a politically foolish attack against not a few redknecks but many ordinary working class in the mid west.
    The political errors were
    1/ to insult the mid west which he needs to win POTUS and
    2/ to demonstrate he is not only a northeast Liberal but that he is an “Elitist”. His political antennae filter must have been switched off because an elitist unlike an ‘Intellectual’ , is ‘not of them the masses ‘ at all.
    Whether an elitist is understanding of their lifes & whether or not they have empathy apart from getting votes is questionable at best.
    What an elitist certainly is is the belief they are in a superior class or elite to the normal person. To contrast , I think of rich , well now educated & successful people like late Dr Victor Chang , Dick Smith & numerous ‘social’ Judges & the like who are the antithisis of an ‘elitist’
    A normal pollies stand is rightly questioned. an elitist pollies more so.
    3/ Kevin07 the man would never have said 5 such insults.Its a question of decency.For mine Obama is therefore not in Kevin07 class. (neither is Hillary)
    4/ On compassionate & political grounds , I thought Obama should have appologised in full for all 5 insults , and could have added they were all ill chosen words in the heat of the campaign. Probably would have won more respect.
    5/ Which lead me to think about the unfair (sometimes) gift of the power of brilliant speakers to avoid apologising on compassionate grounds to the innocent mid west working class and politically avoiding taking responsibility for a bad error of judgement by simply saying I got it wrong….if only once

    I DO have reservations about Obama on other grounds and I have frankly expressed them before , but the above was the sole reason for the brilliant speaker comment and my belief the Pollie Obama , and I might add the Media , in time will ‘move on’ to another story but the human damage of public Nationwide ridicule remains behind

  13. well, here’s a surprise.
    The Howard lovers of old are out in force at PB, hating Obama.
    I was actually getting quite comfortable with Grinch, Finns and even r/Ron, but now here’s Glen and the gang. (at least we haven’t had to deal with Tabitha- yet.)
    The countdown is on, and this feels very similar to pre-November 24,:
    when the majority was right, despite the best efforts of a vocal and extreme minority.

  14. Calling someone elite is the same ridiculousness as calling someone an intellectual. Has it occurred to people that the guy you relate to probably isn’t the guy who should be President, unless you yourself can relate to the Presidents job? I would consider our own 07 an intellectual, an elitist and even a prissy fop, and I would also say so far he’s made a damn good leader. I don’t think this sort of fawning over salt of the earth types promotes good leaders.

  15. seems like the elitist thing is definately been blown out of proportion, but, seriously, what the hell was Obama thinking. What a stupid thing to say, he must know anything is fair game

  16. Erytnicam-
    the point is that unless you can personally relate to the POTUS, (and her/him to you) then they are not worthy.
    Hence, Ronald McDonald for POTUS.
    Or, for the “intellectuals” – Kerry O’Brien.
    And for the sexually obsessed – Paris Hilton.
    Andf for the concerned conservationsits – David Suzuki
    And for the lesbians-kd lang
    and for the Catholics -the Pope

    In other words, unless the candidate is part of your group then you cannot support them , nor can they represent you.
    What a lot of bunkum.

  17. Erytnicam @ 19

    I agree, it if for this very reason I think a powerful minority at the top are out to get Obama. There is no way a story like this plays in the general press unless there is motive behind it.

  18. Jen,

    Fair suck of the sav.

    This is a political blog and there are bound to be differing opinions. Personally. I welcome all contributions. Even the ones I disagree with. I might learn something. I might alter my perspective. I might change my opinion.

    However, I never want to get between you and a corflute of John Howard.

  19. William

    1. What does “the most very recent poll” mean as opposed to “the most recent poll”?
    2. The Survey USA poll you linked is from 5/4 to 7/4. There have been seven polls on RCP since then. It was done before the Elitegate fiasco.

  20. Hillary is a fake, a fraud and the worst actor I have ever seen.

    How people can bring themselves to support what is clearly a conjob of magnificant proportions astounds me.

    Hillary will do and say anything to win the primary. For someone so gungho about going into Iraq it’s a laugh and a half to see her now telling us what a bad job GW Bush is doing in Iraq and how she’s the candidate for bringing the troops home.

    Give us a break Billary

  21. Grinch-
    that is f#cking hillarious.
    You so do not welcome differing opinions. You go all out to silence dissent, although some of us with snorkels have survived.
    And what I could do to Johnny on a coreflute is only limited by your own imagination. Mine is boundless.

  22. Jen,

    “You so do not welcome differing opinions. You go all out to silence dissent, although some of us with snorkels have survived”.

    Room of mirrors time for you, my friend.

  23. Jen, in a way Andrew is right, because Obama is clever enough to know that he shouldn’t come across as being so damn clever. For 8 years we had someone who pretended to be a fool, then turned out to be a fool, for once it might be nice to have someone play the fool and then turn out to be a leader.

    But you must take care jen, hasn’t the society for women expelled you for taking up arms against your fellow sisters?!

  24. Listening to PBS News Hour tonight, one thing is clear in Pennsylvania. The struggle between Obama and Clinton has raised the level of interest in Presidential politics there considerably. Registration of Democrat voters has skyrocketed in many areas of the US. If these new Democrats across the States can get behind the eventual nominee then McCain could be left standing.

    On a related matter, Voices Without Votes are interested in Australian bloggers who post regularly about US politics. If you have suggested sites, please let me know through my blog: Labor View from Broome or contact them direct.

  25. There are women to whom that notion would be seriously, fundamentally baffling. The “I don’t chose Hillary because she is a woman, but because I am” category. The one that assume opposition to Hillary amounts to misogeny. The it’s her turn group.

    The catwomen.

  26. The problem with Obama is he is looking more and more like a phoney. The latest is of course Bittergate. Obama likes to pride himself as the new voice that understands and unites America. What “Bittergate” has shown is that he does not understand America at all, especially the so called “middle america”. People and the media now are starting to see through this via Michellegate, Pastorgate and now Bittergate. The Obama Holy Trinity.

    Monday, April 14, 2008
    Obama Wasn’t Just Insulting Pennsylvanians
    Posted by: Hugh Hewitt at 8:20 AM
    Obama doesn’t understand a great deal of America. He has no experience with it other than as a politician looking for votes, and even that experience outside of Chicago has been accumulated only since he began his run for the U.S. Senate in 2003. His life has made him keenly aware of urban dysfunction and of African-American issues even as it has exposed him to the Third World in a way that very few American officials have been.

    But he is blind to what makes most American communities work. His family experiences and his work experiences have never immersed him in the majority of America that not only functions but indeed thrives. His projection on to that America of his own beliefs — that odd mix of the beliefs assembled during his very unusual childhood, in Hawaii’s most privileged school, on Chicago’s south side, and at Columbia and Harvard Law School and Trinity’s congregation– has opened a lot of eyes to just how different Obama’s vision of America is.

    http://hughhewitt.townhall.com/blog/g/476297ad-3801-43d7-a670-bb68b3f58741

  27. Go Finns,

    “The problem with Obama is he is looking more and more like a phoney.”

    This is the question the SDs must address. Who is the best chance to win in November?

    Is Obama really the best choice for the Democrats?

  28. 18
    Jen

    Jen, take pity, I mean, imagine having to hitch your hopes to Horatio Hornet, and watching the likes of Lord Downer of the Long Lunch and Pete Costello (the world’s greatest treasurer), reclining on the back bench.

    And all the while, the PM strides the international stage and then comes home to appoint a capable and republican woman as Governor General.

    Take pity Jen, look what’s left of them!

  29. 17 Ron

    As often happens when the dust settles, I agree with almost all of your points. However, if you look at your arguments, they are all good reasons why Obama should not have said what he did. They are not arguments that what he said was incorrect.

    I agree that it was stupid politically and that the rednecks don’t need to be further denigraded than they already are, especially by their probable next POTUS. But that doesn’t affect the veracity of the comments which I still agree with.

    Were the comments true? Yes
    Should he have said them (as a politician)? No

    As someone who is continually in conflict with others due to my self-destructive compulsion to tell the truth, I am on Obama’s side for actually being intellectually honest. It’s a sad day when we attack our politicians for telling the truth and applaud them for being hypocritical, which is what I consider Hillary’s criticism to be.

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