A new Franklin and Marshall College poll of the state of Pennsylvania released today found that Hillary Clinton has extended her lead over Barack Obama to sixteen points. Clinton now leads 51%-35%. She has gained nine points since the February poll, when she led, 44%-37%. Clinton leads among every demographic group except non-whites. She also leads in every area of the state except Philadelphia.
The three most important issues to Pennsylvanians are the economy, the Iraq war, and healthcare. Clinton leads Obama on all three issues. She leads on the economy, 53%-25%. Her lead on healthcare is even more commanding, 61%-19%. Her weakest issue is the Iraq war, where she only leads Obama by seven, 42%-35%. Obama’s favorable ratings have taken a nosedive in the state. In a month he went from 57% to 47%. The fifty seven was his highest favorable since the beginning of this poll, while Clinton has stayed in the low to mid 60s. She is currently at 65%.
Clinton leads among every age, income, and education demographic in the state. She looks poised for nothing less than a solid victory in the state. It appears that the comments of Obama’s former pastor, and all the negative media coverage that has come with the story, have hurt Obama in the state. Pennsylvania is 85% white, so Rev. Wrights comments could not have gone over well in the state.
While cable news is focused on a meaningless national Gallup poll matching Clinton and Obama, the real measure of the impact of the Wright comments is in state polls. Here is a newsflash for the cable news networks, most of the nation has already voted. If they were serious about measuring the negative impact of Wright on Obama, they should be examining polls in states that have yet to vote.
Because of the time lag on these polls, we won’t be able to measure whether or not Obama’s speech on race helped him until April. It drives me up the wall that cable news never mentions that these polls aren’t current. Clinton will win Pennsylvania; the only thing left to question is her margin of victory.
Full Results from the Franklin &Marshall College poll: