Poll: Single digit race for Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes
October 31st, 2012
09:39 AM ET
2 years ago

Poll: Single digit race for Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes

(CNN) – Need more evidence that Pennsylvania won't be a cakewalk this time around for President Barack Obama?

Then here you go: A Franklin and Marshall College poll of likely Keystone State voters released Wednesday indicates Obama with a 49%-45% edge over Republican nominee Mitt Romney. The president's four point advantage is within the survey's sampling error and is down from a nine point lead he had last month.

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The new Franklin and Marshall poll is the fifth non-partisan, live operator survey released this month in Pennsylvania to indicate a close contest for the state's 20 electoral votes.

The Franklin and Marshall poll indicates the president with a 56%-37% lead over Romney on handling foreign policy, a 54%-39% lead on being better able to understand the concerns of ordinary Americans and a 51%-42% lead on handling the job of military chief. But according to the poll, Romney has a 47%-42% advantage on fixing the economy.

Then-Vice President 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.

Most of this cycle, the state has seen little candidate traffic. But with the polls tightening, the Romney campaign is now planning on running TV ads in the state just before Election Day.

Talking to reporters Monday, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said "we are going to win Pennsylvania," but added that "we're not going to take anything for granted and we're going to make sure we're doing what we need to do on the ground."

Messina also mentioned that the Obama campaign will go up with ads in the state.

In the state's U.S. Senate contest, the survey indicates incumbent Democratic Sen. Bob Casey leads Republican challenger Tom Smith 46%-36%, with 13% undecided.

The Franklin and Marshall College poll was conducted October 23-28, entirely after the final presidential debate, with 849 Pennsylvania voters, including 537 likely voters, questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error for likely voters is plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Pennsylvania • President Obama
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Texas Bob

    We all know politicians are never the most honest people. What I find funny is Mr. Romney and his speeches are all over the map. He will say anything and deny everything. He is in Ohio today Obama is with the disaster victims. What a difference in character. Who knows what Romney stands for even he does not know!!

    October 31, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  2. Worm Turns Around

    Go Romney! Win Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

    October 31, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  3. pcalif

    So much hype. Quinnipiac just said the lead for Pres O was 5.

    October 31, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  4. pkrbkr

    Pennsylvania, PLEASE wake up and support our President! Just think what a Romney presidency would be like......the multi-millionaire who sends HIS money to other countries.....will defund FEMA, Planned Parenthood, was a failure in his overseas trip.....thinks 47% of us aren't worthy of his concern....has NO idea what it's like for the middle class....I could go on and on! Obama/Biden 2012

    October 31, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  5. jkane sfl a vote for lady parts romney the tax cheat and lyin lady parts ryan willcut your moms medicare and soc sec . .can you afford to pay for them???

    Vote early so the gop can't rig the election and to you voters with storm damage ,if romney the lyin tax cheat gets elected you won't get any fema help from an incompetent romney administration , your on your own you 47% leaches ,just call your momma for help or borrow money from your patents ,but after romney Ryan cut soc sec and Medicare ,they won't have any , if you vote for romney and the gop ,consider yourself stupid !!!!!

    October 31, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  6. Beth

    PA will stay blue. Count on it!

    October 31, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  7. jinx88

    So. Obama is either tie or up in Florida so if Obama takes Florida, Mittens can have PA. Leave it up to CNN to make something out of nothing.

    October 31, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  8. babak

    It is economy!

    October 31, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  9. heather

    obama will win
    penn state....

    October 31, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  10. McShannon

    Citizens of Pennsylvania: who earnestly speaks for the plight of the poor, the homeless, the sick and hungry? President Obama stands out not Mitt Romney. Define who a Christian should be the characteristics of caring for others and realize that a president of the USA represents all races, faiths and lifestyles. He is correct in not wanting to impose every Christian ruling according to the conservative interpretation of the bible because he represents all Americans and yet in his own walk can and does represent an image to be emulated. The people of Pennsylvania do see the charlatan in Mitt Romney as he is none of the above.

    October 31, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  11. Canuck

    It says a lot about Americans that the formless, shape-shifting charlatan Romney is even in with a chance in this race.
    Voting blindly for a party because that's how you always vote is not so intelligent.

    October 31, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  12. Romney Wants To Get Rid Of FEMA

    How do you storm victims feel about that?

    October 31, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  13. n

    What a bunch of crap these polls are turning out to be . . . They are design to hold the used car salesman Romney up no matter how incompetence he is and the perpetual lie. We witness every day how much more superior President Obama is to Romney the great white hope. The loom, doom and gloom obstructionist party of No Negros in the white house setting in the oval office behind the prize desk of leadership, will be the boss of me, bigots. The unseen thumb of oppression just refuses to allow the truth to shine without putting up a fight to save the delusional right wing-nuts fear of extinction while clinging, scratching and fighting tooth and nails to hold on to the antiquated lie of superiority.

    October 31, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  14. Marie MD

    The storm kept lots od folks from voting. This will change now that they can't keep,lying to voters about IDs that are NOT needed.
    The billboards in poor neighborhoods scaring people tomvote have been taken down. It turns out that it's a rich family that has given the twit's campaign (both the man and wife) over $60K through $5K hihc is allowed then through the end fund.

    October 31, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  15. Me IN HOUSTON

    There is NO WAY Pennsylvania should be this close!!!
    THE FIX IS IN THERE AND IN FLORIDA!!!
    If it's close they will try and steal it, just like they did with George W. Bush

    October 31, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  16. spud

    as long as rthe president stays ahead. Forward 2012. Romney should use his own money to help with relief. Such a news hound. Anything for a photo op.

    October 31, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  17. rigs

    Oh CNN, stop spinning this Romney is surging myth, the election is tied myth. I know it's good for ratings and advertising cash, but have some journalistic integrity to report on the true nature of the race.

    October 31, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  18. Karl Jonas

    What a misleading headline. Saying "single digit" implies 1 point. Way to slant the news CNN. I'm rapidly losing confidence in CNN's objectivity.

    October 31, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  19. Joyce

    There is no way Pennsylvania is going to Mitt Romney. People worked to hard to get that voter id requirement drop so that all who wanted to vote could. Come on people this is not a Red state. Mitt Romney is not for the people he is for big corporations and they are making billions of dollars. Don't be fooled, Mitt Romney is a liar. He will say anything to get elected. If he wins, he will not be answering to us, he will be answering to the Koch Brothers & any other corporation that put him there. Remember what Grover Norquist said. "They only need someone with enought digits to sign what ever they put in front of him.

    October 31, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  20. TheoristKEH

    Indeed, many in Pennsylvania are frustrated with the state of their economy, and through Romney are expressing their frustration. In the end, however, I believe Pennsylvania’s gut will remind them that Obama has gone to bat for their economy in the midst of unsupportive and partisan opposition. Hopefully, Pennsylvania will remember that President Obama chose not to adopt a quick-fix remedy, and that his commitment and effort to encourage “responsible” recovery is showing fruition. Brighter days are approaching—hang in there with President Obama, Pennsylvania…hang in there.

    October 31, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  21. carriejo

    I pray that Pa people are not fooled by Mitt and his super rich friends. Right now he has most of George W people beside him. Do we really want another W era? These people want to be in control and they can control Romney because all he cares about is becoming President. Remember Mormans do not care for Gays, Blacks and women should be baby makers and nothing more. I have noticed how the wife od Mitt can snap at people and looks down on us less rich guys.Is this the type of people you want in the Pres. office.

    October 31, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  22. Wake up People!

    Why do we never see a poll conducted in MA? There was NEVER a choice in who I am voting for, as I support the man that fought the GOP for extensions of unemployment when the economy crashed and I was one of the millions that lost their good jobs. I wouldn't even have had a roof over my head had it not been for President Obama. I am working again and things are looking up. But there are those that weren't affected the way I have been. I think a MA poll might help. How do MA residents really feel about Willard??

    OBAMA 2012!

    October 31, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |