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.

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