Philly Inquirer Poll Has Obama Dropping To Under 50%

The latest Philadelphia Inquirer poll only polled 600 people, and we don’t know the D/R/I split. For all we know it could have a D+10 sample. But it’s still notable that President Obama has dropped to under 50% in this poll. He now leads Romney 49 to 43. The Real Clear Politics average shows Obama with a 4.8 point lead in the state, but there are a few polls showing the race there is much closer. It could get even closer when pro-Romney ads start airing.

On Friday, one Republican group signaled it might launch an ad blitz in an effort to push Pennsylvania into Romney’s column. The group Americans for Job Security reserved at least $454,150 worth of airtime on Philadelphia broadcast stations and more than $200,000 worth of time on cable channels in the market, according to Federal Communications Commission reports and political sources that track ad spending. That time could be used for spots aimed at attacking Obama or boosting Romney. Americans for Job Security had mostly supported GOP congressional candidates around the country, until it threw itself into the presidential race in late September with an initial swing-state buy of $8.7 million.

Republicans may start spending money there, too, according to RNC Chairman Reince Preibus. (H/T Charles B)

But Republicans insist they see glimmers of hope both here and in Michigan — Romney’s birth state and another potentially inviting late target, where he trails by an even smaller margin of 4 percent in the latest RCP Average.

In a phone interview on Friday, Priebus noted that public polls showed both states trending in the challenger’s direction.

“The one thing to keep in mind in Michigan and Pennsylvania is we have spent boatloads of money on the ground here,” Priebus said. “I mean, we’ve got victory centers everywhere here, we’ve spent millions on mail, volunteers. So the amount of money we’re spending in Pennsylvania and Michigan is probably more money than we’ve spent in ’08 and ’04, so we’re already committed here. The question is how much more do you go on the air, and I think that’s a question we’re going to answer in the next few days, obviously.”

Priebus said there was still “plenty of time” to decide on an ad blitz in Pennsylvania and Michigan — especially the former, where over 90 percent of voters are expected to cast their ballots on Election Day.

I was talking to a friend who lives in the Philly suburbs and she told me that she sees Romney signs everywhere and almost no Obama signs. She said it’s a big change from four years ago when there were Obama signs all over the place. She has a Romney sign on her lawn and a neighbor asked her where she could get one for herself and a friend. When the neighbor went to the local campaign office she was told they were all out of signs. This is just anecdotal evidence, but it still sounds promising for Romney. I wouldn’t count Pennsylvania out. Real Clear Politics is now showing PA as a toss up, especially with Obama’s nasty war on coal.

Romney is still winning in the national polls, too. Stacy McCain has a pretty good rundown of where the race stands.

As for me, I’m more traditional in thinking that an incumbent president who is persistently polling below 50% in October is on his way to becoming an ex-president. Romney’s margin in the Real Clear Politics average is a slender 0.9%, but . . . we’ll see. Gallup’s topline number involves pushing of “leaners,” and we don’t know whether Romney will maintain or extend this advantage.

Look at the Investors Business Daily poll for something interesting: Obama leads by 2.3 points in the topline, but the sample is D+7 and Romney leads by 10 points among independents.

We’ve seen this pattern so often in so many polls this year that I think it’s time to ask, “Is this what brand damage’ looks like?”

Did the post-2004 unpopularity of President Bush and his party so damage the GOP’s reputation that voters who might have once identified themselves to pollsters as Republicans are, instead, now thinking of themselves “indepedendents”? Other than persistent sample bias (or “weighting” of the samples by pollsters) it’s hard to think of any other explanation of this trend. This has shown up in poll after poll — a remarkably high advantage for Democrats in terms of partisan identification (e.g., 38% D vs. 31% R in the IDB poll) and a double-digit advantage for Romney among independents.

Read the whole thing. I have a feeling that the tossup states are going to swing to Romney in the end. This is the scenario I think could happen, from the website 270 to Win.

One other thing, there’s a movement afoot to do away with the Electoral College. I haven’t had time to get into that, but it’s a really bad idea. Rick Moran has a good piece up explaining why it’s such a bad idea, be sure to check it out.

Update: Check this out.