Friday, October 3, 2008
posted by Spencerblog at
Gil - You go to a Paula Brown debate party, and you dont invite the token lefty? Thanks alot buddy!"Dog gone it"! Good column today. I think most of us were expecting a train wreck, and she pulled it off, but I dont agree with Noonans opening statement that "she killed". Matter of fact, I thought she was mediocre, but given my expectations, she did OK. Her answer to the VP question was a strange ramble
GIL--THIS WAS POSTED ON POLITICKERPA.COM:October 5, 2008 - 9:08pmRepublicans worry that Pa. could be slipping away from McCainBy Dan Hirschhorn Category: President, LocalTags: John McCain, Barack ObamaPHILADELPHIA-With John McCain largely ceding Michigan to the Democrats, the stakes in Pennsylvania and other battleground states are becoming higher by the day. But a month before the election, Republicans across the state sound increasingly worried that McCain's chances of winning Pennsylvania's 21 electoral votes are growing increasingly slim, and there is little time to turn around the GOP nominee's sagging poll numbers in the Keystone State."There's a window of opportunity, but it's closing," said Jeff Coleman, a Republican political and media consultant in Harrisburg.Since the start of the general election, McCain viewed Pennsylvania as a major prize, consistently voicing confidence that he could capture a state no Republican nominee has won since 1988. Since June McCain has been to the state 10 times to Democratic nominee Barack Obama's 5 trips, and has significantly outspent Obama on the air.But like in other battleground states, polls in Pennsylvania have gradually been moving against him in the past two weeks. The financial crisis refocused the election on economic issues. Democrats have continued to build a registration edge that now exceeds one million voters. A Rasmussen poll last Monday showed McCain trailing Obama by 8 points, two weeks after the same poll saw the race tied. And a Muhlenberg College tracking poll Friday had Obama leading 51 percent to 39 percent, the first time the Democrat's edge in that survey had exceeded 10 points (the lead was back to 10 the next day).Campaign, state and party officials are still confident the state can be won by McCain, saying the coordination between campaign workers and local party organizers will make for an effective ground-game in turning out Republican voters.But several Republican consultants interviewed by PolitickerPA.com late last week saw McCain's chances here dwindling. While still considered more of a must-win for Obama than it is for McCain, the Republican's road to 270 electoral votes will become increasingly narrow without Pennsylvania.Winning the state, Republican consultant Charlie Gerow said, is "going to depend really on the activity at the grass-roots level over the next four weeks, and that remains to be seen."It's going to be the old-fashioned, identify and turnout voters model that's going to work here," Gerow said.Elliott Curson, a longtime Republican consultant in Philadelphia, went so far as to say that McCain had likely already lost the critical Philadelphia suburbs, without which it is exceedingly difficult to win a state-wide race. The only way for McCain to win, Curson said, would be a "full-court-press" to identify and turn-out Reagan Democrats in central and southwestern Pennsylvania."That's what it's going to take to overcome the insurmountable numbers coming out of the southeast for Obama," Curson said. "They're in a very defensive position now."Ted Christian, the McCain campaign's state director for Pennsylvania, played down Republican concerns in an interview, saying the campaign would have enough money and boots on the ground to win on Election Day. Though he couldn't say whether extra resources would be diverted from the campaign's Michigan staff, Christian did say more help would be pouring in over the coming weeks. About 50 field offices and 50 paid staff members are spread throughout the state, he said."We continue to see resources flood in, both in volunteers and in paid staff," Christian said. "That's been going on for a couple of weeks and we expect it to continue."He said he hadn't heard such concerns from local Republicans, nor would he specify where additional resources would be deployed, only that every area of the state would be covered."Obviously I would disagree with that assessment," Christian said. "Pennsylvania has been of the utmost importance from day one, and as you've seen in recent weeks, that has not changed at all."The Obama campaign, for its part, has no immediate plans to adjust its game plan here following McCain's withdrawal from Michigan, Obama spokesman Sean Smith said."Unless we start seeing evidence of increased activity, we will continue to run our campaign," he said. "They've already been outspending us 2-1 in this state and they haven't been able to really increase Sen. McCain's standing in the polls since the summer."Republican consultants differ in their prescriptions for the McCain campaign. Most agree that any extra resources should go to the Philadelphia suburbs, where denser populations can run up the kind of margins that propelled Gov. Ed Rendell to victory in 2006 despite losing an overwhelming majority of the state's counties."All of us would be very happy if John McCain reminded the people in the southeast how uncomfortable he made [the conservative base] at times," Coleman said.Coleman also expressed concern that the Pennsylvania-specific message had not been refined enough."I think the evidence is that Pennsylvania is not a goner, but it cannot simply be a fear-based message about Barack Obama," he said. "He's already crossed that hurdle, and the horns are off. There's no way to really effectively demonize Barack Obama."Others recommended a more concerted effort to court conservative Democrats in rural areas, and even in urban areas like Scranton and Wilkes-Barre."There are enough [Reagan Democrats] to do it," Curson said, "even in northeast Philadelphia and parts of Montgomery County. They know how to do it. It's a question of if they will do it."Chris Borick, a pollster and political science professor at Muhlenberg College, said McCain was not seeing the kind of return that would be expected from the huge investment of time and money his campaign has made in Pennsylvania."I think he's got only a couple weeks to move in Pennsylvania, or I wouldn't be surprised if, in a couple weeks if he doesn't have that traction, he might have to consider pulling out of Pennsylvania," Borick said.Such a move would no doubt be shocking to local Republicans. But, Borick said, "if he's losing other red states that are in more jeopardy, Republicans can win without Pennsylvania at the end of the day. They have. Because it's so costly to play here, there's going to come a point where he might have to make a call on keeping everything here."There's one belief in which Republicans are unified."If the Republicans win here, John McCain wins the election," Gerow said.
Why Not Us- Did you see new results from Real Clear Politics? http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/pa/pennsylvania_mccain_vs_obama-244.html PA switched from lean Obama to solid Obama. And the InTrade market has Obama winning chance at 83%.
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