While the selection of Sarah Palin has helped John McCain expand his lead in Florida, and narrow the gap in Pennsylvania, Obama has actually increased his lead in Ohio according to a new Quinnipiac University swing state poll. Overall, Obama still leads in two of the three swing states.
Voters in all three states agree that Palin was a good choice for McCain and she has helped the Republican with white female voters in each state. Among white women, McCain has gained four points in Ohio and five points in Pennsylvania. The problem is in her favorability ratings, in the states where they are lower, Obama leads.
In Florida, both men and women support McCain. He leads with men, 54%-41%, and women 47%-45%. The economy was selected as the top issue in the state (49%) by a large margin over the Iraq war (12%). By demographics, McCain leads with white voters, 59%-35%. Obama leads with voters age 18-34, 55%-37%, but McCain leads with both middle aged and older voters.
In the state of Ohio, Obama still leads with female voters by 10 points, 52%-42%. Men are tied at 47% between the two candidates, and Obama once again dominates with young voters, 64%-33%. In a reversal of Florida the other two voting demographics are a virtual tie in Ohio. McCain and Obama have identical 53% favorable ratings in the state, but the Palin effect is much less her. Her favorability rating is only 41% in Ohio. A great sign for Obama in the state is that the economy and healthcare were listed as the top two voter concerns.
In Pennsylvania, Obama leads 51%-41% with women, and McCain maintained a small lead with men, 51%-45%. Obama leads 58%-38% with young voters and 49%-47% with middle aged voters. The economy was listed as the most important issue by 51% of those surveyed followed by the war in Iraq (12%) and healthcare (10%). The Palin selection has cost McCain support with Clinton voters in the state. He lost three points with this group, and now has the support of 22% of Clinton supporters. Another omen of the strong loyalty to Hillary Clinton in the state is that Palin only got a 39% favorability rating in PA.
What this poll reveals is that in places where the economy dominates the issues, Palin is having little impact. She was a shrewd selection to motivate the GOP base, but in blue collar states that tilt Democratic due to the economy, she is having little impact. The fact that McCain has lost ground in Ohio is a very bad omen for him.
Obama currently leads in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Nevada. The math is very simple. If Obama holds the blue state base and takes Ohio, he wins the election. It looks like the Republicans have a lot more work to do before Sarah Palin can be anointed as the savior of the GOP.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association