Polls give Obama the edge in Pennsylvania
September 24th, 2012
02:45 PM ET
10 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. scmom

    All the voter ID laws may have a different effect than they think. It is firing up some of the voters and they are working to get what they need. This could backfire because you may get a certain demographic but you will also get some republican voters in that crowd too. I think it would be poetic justice if they knock out a lot of their base and lose big time. Dirty rotten and low-down are just kind words and just blatant stupid liars to even tell you what they are planning.

    September 24, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  2. myviewis

    People connected with Obama in 2008, voted for him because he was likeable and one of them, he understood them and they felt that Obama connected with them and was cool and hip and it lead them to Unemployment.

    Now, the same voters are still using the same argument as to why they will vote for Obama and not Romney and the result for the next 4 years = Unemployment.

    September 24, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  3. tom

    why is there always a reason when the dem's lose ? its always someone's fault or be cause of a law change . maybe the voter id law will actually end any type of fraud on both sides .if there is a reason it will affect dems more is that their are some valid errors occurring here. one thing that bothers me is that obama has done no wrong everything he has done is great and everything he has not done is someone's fault.the democrats are wonderful at pointing out the faults of others. why would i vote for someone who has spent the whole year campaigning to spend four more years destroying our country.

    September 24, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota


    CNN is overpaying you.

    September 24, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  5. tom

    Record Unemployment?
    Record Poverty?
    Record Food Stamp Usage?
    Record Deficits?
    Net Worth Down 40%?
    Stimulus Jobs at $275k Each?
    Upcoming Obamacare TAXES on Middle Class?
    $4 a Gallon Gas – STILL??
    No Budget?
    Middle East in Flames?
    Foreign Policy Failures (Russia, Iran, China)?
    Porous Borders?
    Credit Downgrades?
    Green Energy Bankruptcies?
    Class Warfare?
    Sure, these are the Golden Days…..
    Thanks, Barry.

    September 24, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "What will republicans do if Obama wins a 2nd term? "

    You think the last 4 years were a conservative temper tantrum? You ain't seen nothing yet. I wouldn't be suprised at all to see the entire GOP caucus in the House and Senate just walk out and stop showing up to work. Not that it makes much difference, since they do nothing when they're there anyway, but you get the point. Either that or they'll cook up an impeachment on laughable charges within the first couple months in order to distract all attention away from the business of the country. As far as they're concerned, they're perfectly happy for the gov't to be completely and utterly boken and deadlocked until they are given control back. They figure we'll "learn our lesson" that it's either the GOP/Teatrolls' way or no way.

    September 24, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "maybe the voter id law will actually end any type of fraud on both sides""

    According to the facts, there's no in-person voter fraud (the only kind that Voter IDs would prevent) to end on EITHER SIDE. It's a solution in search of a problem....and it still hasn't found one.

    September 24, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  8. Lilli

    People connected with Pres. Obama in 2008 and are connecting with him this time as well! Why? His challenger has no integrty ! Romney will say or do anything to get the votes of far to many people who never will accept our President! And the 47% really showed how greedy and hearless he is! Some of the same folk making negative comment about the Pres. because they dislike our president are affected by Romney/Ryan's ideas. That team doesn't have their best interest but it is what it is!! Very disappointing to witness the behavior of some in today's republican party! These folk are trying to disenfranchise millions of voters! Sorry...not this time! !!! Folk are going to do whatever they can to make sure they can vote on Nov 6th!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    September 24, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  9. MaryM

    Mitt the twit and lyin Ryan are done. Pack it up guys. You have already lost

    September 24, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  10. Gurgyl

    God bless you, PA.....obama12. Period.

    September 24, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  11. evejohnson

    Don't give him too much of edge. They haven't polled me yet.

    September 24, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
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