Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Obama Continues To Close The Gap, Making It Rain In PA

Barack Obama is continuing to dwindle Hillary Clinton's lead in Pennsylvania as we get closer and closer to the primary on April 22nd. Some new polls released in the past few days show Obama down to single digits behind Hillary and many people will point to Obama's spending in the keystone state as the key to this surge. Obama has surpassed the spending record on TV ads by miles this campaign season, he's spent $60 Million dollars on 100,000 ads, and by comparison John Kerry ran 19,000 ads on his way to the Democratic nomination. Now Kerry's campaign was wrapped up by early March but nevertheless Obama's spending is far and away greater than Kerry's and we see no end in sight to the primary race so I would expect to see his spending increase even more. Hillary Clinton has run about 60,000 ads so far.

Two polls have Obama behind Hillary by 3 and 5 points and he has started to pull away from Clinton in some national polls, I just heard on MSNBC (The Place for Politics!) that Obama has maintained a lead in the Gallup Daily Tracking poll for 17 days now, pretty impressive considering that’s about when the Rev. Wright stuff started to die down. Obama has been playing the expectations low in PA, very well I might add, because now as long as Obama doesn't get blown out (read: more than 10 points) he has won PA, Hillary of course will say that a win is a win but if her margin of victory is only single digits Obama's delegate lead will not close.

In other primary news Obama maintains a nice lead in North Carolina, the last "big" state left in the primary calendar (it is the only one left with more than 100 delegates) and Hillary is holding in Indiana of about 9 points. Both states go to the polls on May 6th.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Obama Gaining Ground In Pennsylvania, Not A Sure Thing Though

Senator Barack Obama has been campaigning hard in the keystone state over the last couple of weeks and it appears it’s starting to pay off. In the last two polls released from Pennsylvania Obama is down 5% in the Rasmussen poll and UP 2% in the Public Policy Polling poll. (say that 5 times fast) This is after he was down 26% in a poll just 10 days ago or so.

There are several things that are leading to this Obama mini-surge in PA:

1) The Bosnia Trip, Clinton's initial gaffe was followed by subsequent ones where she continued not to tell the entire truth, this has hurt Clinton on 2 fronts. The first is it damages her credibility and perpetuates the stereotype that the Clintons play dirty and will do anything to win. The 2nd way it hurts Hillary is that it took all the news off the Rev. Wright controversy that had been hurting Obama a bit.

2) Grassroots campaigning by the Obama camp. Obama's Iowa organizer has come over to help him in PA and it looks like he is treating this state just like Iowa. By that I mean he is running the campaign like Iowa, small townhall meetings and greeting people in their environment, Obama hasn't had too many of those huge 20,000 people rallies (aside from the one this Sunday here) The way to win over the people of Pennsylvania is to show them you are down to earth and because there is so much time between the PA primary and the previous ones that Obama will have the time to basically go door to door and market himself as the best candidate for Pennsylvanians.

With all that said however it should be pointed out that Pennsylvania is Hillary Country and it would be VERY unlikely if Obama actually wins. I expect Hillary to win by 10-15 points, but Obama doesn't have to win in order to WIN. If he can close the gap to under 10 many people would see that as a win for Obama and his delegate lead would basically be unchanged. If Obama came out of no where and won in Pennsylvania I believe that will be when Hillary actually drops out, if she cant win a state where she was favored by 20% 4 weeks before the primary where she had the full support of the democratic governor and his political machine then she won't be able to win ANYWHERE.