Politico: Pennsylvania is closer than you think

posted at 6:40 pm on October 22, 2008 by Allahpundit

It’s a longshot, but any shot is a shot worth taking now. Reassuring burst of sunlight through the clouds? Or heartbreaking psy op by the demon media aimed at lifting conservatives’ spirits, the better to crush them later? You make the call!

Nearly everyone in a position to know thinks the race for Pennsylvania’s 21 electoral votes is considerably tighter than what recent polls reveal.

“There’s a tendency in Pennsylvania for the polls to change dramatically in the final days,” says John Brabender, a top Republican political consultant based in Pittsburgh. “In the governor’s race in 2002, there were polls just a few days out showing [Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell] with a 25-point lead and he ended up losing 50 of 67 counties and won by nine points.”…

The McCain campaign’s formula for winning the state begins with the notion that, despite voter registration gains and strong support for Obama in Philadelphia, it would be difficult to wring more votes out of the state’s largest city than the Kerry campaign did.

They even believe they can carry a few of the heavily Democratic city’s 66 wards, a feat George W. Bush was unable to accomplish in 2004.

“We’re not convinced they can blow it out again,” said a McCain campaign source.

And in the four populous and historically Republican collar counties surrounding Philadelphia, the campaign believes McCain is a far better fit for the socially moderate suburbs than President Bush.

Normally I’d chalk up Rendell’s “nervousness” to GOTV bluster, but actually calling upon The One to come back to the state and stump seems like a long way to go for that. Expect Hillary to be dispatched forthwith. Exit question: Does McCain have any Clinton-caliber surrogates out on the trail aside from Palin? I look at battleground polls like this and wonder who’s available to rally the troops in North Carolina and Virginia while he and the ‘Cuda are in Ohio and Pennsylvania, but I’m drawing a blank. Newt? Rudy? Zombie Reagan? Bueller?

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I expect Penn to go to McCain. I could see Hillary going out there and making a flub to help, though. Remember, the only chance Hillary has at president is if Obama loses.

Vashta.Nerada on October 22, 2008 at 10:31 PM

Newt? Rudy? Zombie Reagan? Bueller?

I was thinking zombie Reagan right off the bat. We’re on the same page. That or Mechanizing the Lincoln statue in the memorial and someone speaking through him from inside the head.

If it worked on Pinky and the Brain, it can work for us!

Grafted on October 22, 2008 at 10:39 PM

NC will not flip. The county I live in is a great example.

Drunken Angry Clown on October 22, 2008 at 9:46 PM

I hope you are right. I believe most NC counties will stay red, but I don’t think that’s the case with Wake and Mecklenburg were a big chunk of the population lives.
The 29% black is very likely almost all Obama, if the rest is anything close to 50/50 you have the 2-1 ratio I have been hearing banded about. I am very much hoping you are right, but I don’t know how these numbers translate into a McCain victory here.

neuquenguy on October 22, 2008 at 10:42 PM

Definitely zombie Reagan.

Good Lt on October 22, 2008 at 10:44 PM

Virginia and NC? Clearly this is a task for my 2008 Halloween costume, Sexy Calvin Coolidge.

Rbastid on October 23, 2008 at 12:00 AM

VA and NC….a combined tour. An opening by Zell Miller, followed by Rudy and Ted Nugent should do the trick.

Limerick on October 23, 2008 at 12:42 AM

Steve Forbes might be a pretty good surrogate in PA and parts of Virginia. I’d like to see him considered for GOP chairman as well.

BuzzCrutcher on October 23, 2008 at 12:44 AM

There are a lot of redneck racist hilly billy gun toting Jesus freak bitter dirt poor white trash folks in Pennsylvannia, they might just put up a fight and take it back from the urbane and sophisticated denizens of the big city.

I heard that something like 70% of the kids in Pittsburg schools drop out before graduating. Sounds like Obama country to me.

Terrye on October 23, 2008 at 7:24 AM

It’s a longshot, but any shot is a shot worth taking now. Reassuring burst of sunlight through the clouds? Or heartbreaking psy op by the demon media aimed at lifting conservatives’ spirits, the better to crush them later?

Actually, I find myself really surprised by the fact that the media isn’t trying to claim that the race is tighter than it is. Usually, the media likes having a real dog fight all the way to election day because it drives viewership and readership. If you start saying it’s a blowout, people stop watching. This time, I think they’re so dead-set in favor of an Obama victory that they’re just going to hook it up.

Outlander on October 23, 2008 at 8:57 AM

A large part of Hillary’s base isn’t boomer feminuts in birkenstocks, but conservative, blue collar, gun owning Jacksonians, and Pennsylvania is full of them (that’s why Hillary won the primary here). If McCain can pick off one or two of the Philly bedroom counties that went Hillary, and Westmoreland or Washington county (Pittsburgh bedroom counties), and he very well may, he can win Pennsylvania. Happy Valley is a college town, but to find the Obama signs, you have to drive all the way in to State College Borough; everywhere else is covered with McCain signs. Neither candidate is acting like his internal polls tell him Pennsylvania is in the bag (or a lost cause). And Murtha’s idiotic statements may very well have helped not only Bill Russell, but McCain.

rightwingprof on October 23, 2008 at 11:39 AM

rightwingprof on October 23, 2008 at 11:39 AM

Are you at Penn State? Former Boilermaker here in SoCal, but we’re rooting for Joe Pa and the Lions all the way this year!

Y-not on October 23, 2008 at 1:20 PM