New Poll Has Obama and Romney in Statistical Dead Heat in Pennsylvania

A new poll in Pennsylvania has President Obama and Mitt Romney in a statistical dead heat in that state. I haven’t heard of this polling outfit before, so I can’t vouch for its reliability, but this is another state that could be in play in this election.

Obama polled 47 percent to Romney’s 45 percent among likely Pennsylvania voters, with 6 percent of voters undecided and 44 days until Election Day, according to the survey by Susquehanna Polling & Research. The survey of 800 voters, conducted Sept. 18-20, has a margin of error of 3.46 percentage points.

The poll showed most voters are disappointed with the country’s direction, evenly split on whether Obama deserves another term and hesitant to back Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts. Fifty-one percent of the state’s voters approve of Obama’s job performance.

Other recent polls showed a larger margin for Obama, leading some to speculate that Pennsylvania — which hasn’t voted for a GOP presidential candidate since 1988 — no longer is a swing state. Two of those last four polls gave Obama a lead larger than his margin of victory in 2008, when he defeated Sen. John McCain of Arizona by 10 percentage points.

“All the evidence points to a much closer margin,” said Jim Lee, Susquehanna president. “Nothing suggests we’re looking at anything like 2008.”

Voters continue to put the economy at the top of their list of concerns. Only one in three believes the country is headed in the right direction.

Yet, a deeper look at the numbers shows a more nuanced picture. Romney leads Obama, 48 percent to 44 percent, on the question of who would create jobs to speed up the recovery. Ask who looks out for the interests of the middle class and Obama leads, 56 percent to 38 percent. (Read More)

The report goes on to note that if Romney does well in the debates he could seal the deal with the undecided voters who will either vote for him or sit it out. Interestingly enough, Team O is conceding that Romney will have the upper hand in the debates, so that bodes well.

I went to the Philadelphia area for the weekend with my family. Other than taking the kids to a Phillies game and running some errands we didn’t really go out. But while we drove around (and my father in law took us through back roads and residential neighborhoods to the game) we did not spot a single campaign sign. We didn’t see any in the suburbs just outside of the city, nor in the city itself which is a pretty blue area. It wasn’t until we were leaving today that we spotted two Obama signs. I asked my mother in law about it and she didn’t know why no signs were out. She said that a few days prior some Romney volunteers had been in her neighborhood dropping off literature.

Anyway, the Romney campaign isn’t ignoring PA. Apparently, they’ve got quite a ground game in that state and have done much more than John McCain’s campaign did in 2008. The PA GOP chairman said that Romney will begin airing ads there shortly. So we can add Pennsylvania (and maybe New Hampshire) to the list of states Obama has to defend in this election.

H/T Charles B.

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Update: Linked by Blue Collar Philosophy – thanks!