Inside Obama’s Double Digit Poll Lead in Pennsylvania

ImageEveryone is talking about the new Quinnipiac University poll that shows Obama leading McCain in swing states Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania. While his leads in Ohio and Florida are close to the poll’s margin of error, his 12 point lead in the Keystone State leaves little doubt that this former Clinton state is moving towards Obama. The question is what is fueling this movement?

In Pennsylvania, Obama leads McCain 52%-40%. Obama’s lead is being built on the support of Independents and women. Among women, Obama leads McCain 57%-34%. Obama leads with Independents 50%-39%. It is no coincidence that Obama’s lead with this critical group almost exactly mirrors his statewide margin. At first it might appear to be a surprise that Obama leads McCain with white men 47%-44%, but when you consider that the issue that is most important to these voters is jobs then the numbers make sense.

It also looks like McCain can forget about getting the support of Clinton voters in the state. 66% of Clinton supporters in the state say that they now support Obama. Only 24% of the former Clinton supporters say that they will support McCain. Obama also leads McCain with two core Clinton constituencies, white voters without college degrees, and older voters. Obama leads McCain 47%-44% among voters who don’t have college degrees. He also leads McCain 48%-43% with voters over age 55.

Obama now leads or tied with McCain in every part of the state. Obama leads McCain on the top issues of the economy (56%-37%) and the war (59%-30%), and seventy five percent of the state’s voters said that they have made up their minds about which candidate they are going to support.

In simple terms, Obama has built his lead in the state because the Hillary Clinton supporters that powered her to victory in the primary have moved to him. He was helped in the state by Clinton’s strong endorsement, and his campaign’s shift to talking about the economy and jobs.

As long as Obama keeps his focus on the economy, McCain has no chance in this state. I do believe that the 12 point lead is a little high for Obama right now, but there is no reason why he can’t win in November by the same nine point margin that Hillary Clinton won the primary by.

Full poll results can be found here.

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