Saturday, September 15, 2012

Pennsylvania Close?

A new poll from the Philadelphia Inquirer shows Obama leading Romney in Pennsylvania by about 11 points (50-39); a poll by the Inquirer a few weeks ago had Obama's lead at 9.  Still, Obama is not above 50%.

Also, there's still room for Romney to make some gains in Pennsylvania.  He currently lags 11 points behind Obama among independents (36-47), and he only gets 71% of Republican votes.  Hopefully for Romney, more Pennsylvania Republicans will come home as election day nears.  And certainly many independents are open to persuasion.  By reversing the trend among independents, Romney can eat into Obama's lead.

Romney's current attacks on the administration's trade policy may be a way of gaining some ground in Pennsylvania.  Nearly 50% of Pennsylvania voters say that the economy/jobs is the single most important issue.  By highlighting the administration's policy failures while pointing in a new direction, Romney can use these economic concerns to leverage more support.

Pennsylvania can definitely be a state that is in play.  In 2010, it elected Tom Corbett as governor with the biggest margin for a non-incumbent Republican the state had seen in nearly 50 years (since 1962).  It also elected Pat Toomey to the Senate in 2010, and Toomey is considered a pretty strong conservative.  Over the past few years, Pennsylvania has been trending Republican; the right economic case can solidify this trend and bring Mitt Romney closer to the Oval Office.

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