October 22, 2008


McCain's path to victory through Pa. (CHARLES MAHTESIAN, 10/22/08, Politico)

Facing seemingly limited options for getting to an Electoral College majority, John McCain’s path to victory likely runs through Pennsylvania, a state that no Republican presidential candidate has won in two decades, a state in which he trails in the polls by a wide margin and a state where in the past year more than a half-million new Democrats have been added to the voter registration rolls.

It’s an unenviable position to be in, except for one thing: Nearly everyone in a position to know thinks the race for Pennsylvania’s 21 electoral votes is considerably tighter than what recent polls reveal. [...]

Even top Democrats concede that McCain’s deficit in the polls — 11 percentage points, according to the latest Real Clear Politics polling average — isn’t a solid indicator of his chances of carrying the state. On Tuesday, CNN reported that an anxious Rendell had sent two recent memos to the Obama campaign requesting that the Democratic nominee spend more time campaigning in Pennsylvania.

“The polls don’t necessarily reflect what will happen on Election Day,” said T.J. Rooney, the state Democratic Party chairman. “We’re not a state that’s accustomed to huge blowouts.”

Indeed, John F. Kerry carried Pennsylvania in 2004 by just 144,000 votes out of nearly 6 million votes cast. His win was powered, to a large degree, by an enormous 412,000-vote margin out of Philadelphia.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at October 22, 2008 7:28 PM
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