Polls give Obama the edge in Pennsylvania
September 24th, 2012
02:45 PM ET
2 years ago

Polls give Obama the edge in Pennsylvania

(CNN) – A new CNN Poll of Polls of likely voters in Pennsylvania indicates President Barack Obama with a 49%-40% lead over Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

The poll is an average of the three most recent non-partisan live operator surveys in the Keystone state. All three polls were conducted in the past two weeks, entirely after the end of the Republican and Democratic conventions.

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The CNN Poll of Polls was compiled Monday. The surveys averaged in the poll are the Philadelphia Inquirer (Sept. 9-12); Muhlenberg College (Sept. 10-16) and Mercyhurst University (Sept. 12-20). The Poll of Polls does not have a sampling error. Recent partisan polls in Pennsylvania indicate a closer contest in the race for the state's 20 electoral votes.

George H.W. Bush's 1988 victory in the state was the last time a Republican carried Pennsylvania in a presidential election. But the state remained competitive in the resulting cycles, until four years ago, when then Sen. Obama eventually ended up carrying Pennsylvania by 10-points over Sen. John McCain. But two years ago, the GOP enjoyed a strong showing in the midterm elections, winning back the governor's office, a Senate seat and five House seats from the Democrats.

But this cycle, the state has seen little candidate traffic. The president's last visit to Pennsylvania was on July 6, with Vice President Joe Biden last campaigning in the state of his birth on September 2. Romney's last visit to the state was on July 17, with Romney's running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, last stumping in the state on August 21. Romney's son Josh spent two days last week greeting voters in western Pennsylvania.

"Political junkies will keep an eye on the northeastern part of the state. President George W. Bush won that region in 2004, but with Scranton native Joe Biden on the Democratic ticket in 2008, Obama won northeastern Pennsylvania by nine points in 2008," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. Romney must win in the central and western parts of the state and do better than Sen. John McCain did in the northeast if he wants to offset the big Democratic advantages in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh."

Pennsylvania is rated as "Lean Obama" in CNN's Electoral Map.

"Ninety-six percent of Pennsylvania votes on election day," Romney campaign political director Rich Beeson told CNN. "It is going to be in play up until the end."

Ad spending in the race for the White House has been relatively modest in Pennsylvania this cycle. Since the unofficial start of the general election in early April, just over $16 million has been spent to run commercials on broadcast TV, according to data provided to its clients by Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG), which tracks campaign advertising.

While the Obama campaign has outspent the Romney campaign $4.1 million to $366,000, pro-Romney super PACs and other independent groups have picked up the slack. The Republican groups have shelled out around $9.4 million to run spots, compared to around $1.8 million by the Democratic groups.


Filed under: 2012 • CNN Poll of polls • Pennsylvania • Polls
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. demwit

    But.., but.., we won Pennsylvania by 9 last time.!? CNN clearly needs to run more attack Romney articles.

    September 24, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  2. Wake up People!

    Ok as much as I love seeing President Obama up in the polls, I am getting sick to death of them. You can't get true results by calling a couple hundred people.

    The only poll that matters is on Nov 6th.

    OBAMA 2012!

    September 24, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "President Barack Obama with a 49%-40% lead over Republican nominee Mitt Romney."

    For Obama: +9% = an "edge" on CNN. Don't worry CNN...you can call it a large lead...the GOPers/Teatrolls aren't going to believe any polling like that anyway, and even if they did, they're still 100% convinced that voter ID laws, anti-voter registration laws and registration purges will make up the difference to hand Mittens the win.

    September 24, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  4. jinx88

    Wasnt this the state where the Repugs said they will win now because of the changed voting laws requiring photo ID?

    September 24, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "CNN clearly needs to run more attack Romney articles."

    You mean like the one that's been at the very top of the Ticker all day and has been left open for all the whack-job Teatrolls to make snarky comments about Obama taking responsibility? Grow up, pantwetter.

    September 24, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  6. Nick

    As an Independent I think Obama is one of the smartest Presidents we have ever had. He handled the calamity the country faced when he took office pretty well even though we are no where close to where we want to be.

    I will vote for whoever is the best for my country. I care less about Democrat or Republican. Even though I like many Republican visions but I have to say current Republican party is hijacked by the Team party who are nothing but bunch of racist in disguise of fiscal conservative-ness. Where was Tea Part when debt went up to almost 12 Trillion during Bush era? A real patriot will always for the candidate who is best for the country – not based on their color or gender.

    September 24, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  7. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    It may be early to report on Arizona but one newspaper in Arizona says it appears to be leaning blue and like many other States, Republicans are loosing congressional seats to Democrats. I'm not going to hold my breath on Texas, but Democrats are making huge gains.

    September 24, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "I'm not going to hold my breath on Texas"

    Don't worry. It's gettnig to the point where you'll be able to start. TX's redistricting and Voter ID attempts to suppress Hispanic votes and prevent them from having political power in TX were both thrown out by the courts. Pretty soon, the MSM and TX itself will have have to admit that TX is, in fact, purple. Might be a couple elections until it really starts showing up though....so don't start holding your breath quite yet lest you turn purple too.....but it's only a matter of time (and they know it...hence the GOP freakout).

    September 24, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  9. Justin

    It's only going to get worse when Mitt has to debate Obama. I almost feel bad for the GOP.. This was a sad pick.

    September 24, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  10. cnnife

    GOP doesn't believe in polls, numbers, facts, honest analysis that their candidate idea about balancing budget, cutting more taxes and increasing war spending do not add up. To them, arithmetic is a foreign word.

    September 24, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  11. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Claudia, Houston – If the report is true, that is the best news in weeks. By 2016, it will take Rove $1 billion in negative ads alone in Texas, just to keep the state from going democratic.

    September 24, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    But, don't the people know that Romney is a god-in-training? How can an embryonic deity be losing?

    September 24, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  13. jinx88

    As an independent, out of Obama or Mitt given the last several weeks Mittens would be worse for the entire country.

    September 24, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  14. Jan

    I really hope all of these LEADS IN THE POLLS President Obama is said to have pan-out in the end. I REALLY HOPE THAT WHILE MUCH ATTENTION IS BEING GIVEN TO CERTAIN BATTLEGROUND STATES we don't miss any voter suppression efforts that may be going on in NON-SWING STATES...MAY THERE BE NO SUPRISE CHAOS ON ELECTION DAY.

    September 24, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  15. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens has a new bumper sticker, "If you like wars, but hate the troops, vote Romney 2012."

    September 24, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  16. bob

    This article does not discuss Republican efforts to steal the election in PA. Democrats need to get out and vote and get the proper identification because the Republican thugs are going to be out to deny your vote. Start looking into it now or you will be a victim of Republican voter fraud.

    September 24, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  17. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Pennsylvania is rated as "Lean Obama" in CNN's Electoral Map."

    And Mitt Romney says "it'll be in play" until the end. Of course, Romney says he's going to "campaign more" until the end too.

    September 24, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  18. Boo

    Wake me when the election is over....I AM SICK OF ALL OF IT...

    September 24, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  19. Oh My, what will we do if.....

    oh my! What will republicans do if Obama wins a 2nd term? Are they going to hold America Hostage, again?

    September 24, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  20. NEVER to VOTE REPUBLICAN again

    Go P.A.! Vote all the Repub/Tea Party out!

    September 24, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  21. Mila93

    Obama 2012!! The other self-destructive fool makes me want to VO-Mitt!!

    September 24, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  22. Core republican Values

    President Obama has my trust and confidence.

    September 24, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  23. Republican Proud

    The Catholic Church is holding voter registrations after every Mass this coming weekend. This is the 1st time in my lifetime that I remember this happening. Normally the Church took a passive stance at election time but the Church sees the threat that Obama brings to religious freedom and the Catholic masses will speak loudly in November. These polls do not take this grass roots initiative into account.

    September 24, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  24. SugarKube

    If Pennsylvania is even close, Obama is in trouble Nationwide.

    September 24, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  25. Larry

    Romney is doing a complete flip/flop on where he stands on the issues. No longer looking to cut taxes on the rich, not going to hurt medicare, loves 100% of the people, and on and on. Strategy from here on out and especially in the debates – Lie like a rug. The tough part here is if he can do it and keep a straight face in the debates so he is probably practicing as we speak in front of a mirror. Lie and smile, Lie and frown, Lie and show no expression. Obama – just call him on it – remind him he signed a party platform and what that platform contains.

    September 24, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
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