Sunday, June 15, 2008

More Evidence That PA is a Key Battleground State

Chris Palko at gives an excellent run down of keys to Senator McCain winning PA. He lays out the unique opportunity that Senator McCain has in that state, specifically being Senator Obama's extrodinary weak showing in the southwestern section of the state...

"For McCain, the real opportunity could be in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Consider how close a series of counties in Southwestern Pennsylvania were in 2004 and how poory Obama fared in them in the primary:

Mercer County: Bush 51.0% Kerry 48.2%, Clinton 69% Obama 31%

Beaver County: Kerry 51.1% Bush 48.4%, Clinton 70% Obama 30%

Washington County: Kerry 50.1% Bush 49.6%, Clinton 71% Obama 29%

Cambria County: Bush 50.8% Kerry 48.7%, Clinton 72% Obama 28%

Lawrence County: Bush 50.5% Kerry 49.2%, Clinton 74% Obama 26%

Greene County: Bush 50.0% Kerry 49.3%, Clinton 75% Obama 25%

Fayette County: Kerry 53.2% Bush 45.8%, Clinton 79% Obama 21%

When voters select a candidate by a three to one margin, when the two candidates have no real policy disagreements, this has to be interpreted as a rejection of the loser. I believe that all seven of the above counties would vote against Obama. These seven counties casted a total of 409,000 votes in 2004. Even a five point swing in these counties, which would still have Obama winning Fayette County, would represent a swing of 20,000 votes. A ten point swing, which for example would have McCain winning Washington County 55% to 45%, would represent 40,000 votes. By themselves, these counties cannot overturn Democratic control of Pennsylvania. But ripping off nearly a third of what would need to be made up in such a small space would allow McCain to really have a shot in Pennsylvania."
The entire article The Big Ten Strategy: Pennsylvania

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