There was some good news and some bad news for Barack Obama in the latest Quinnipiac University poll of swing states Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. The good news is that Obama is beating McCain in Pennsylvania. The bad news is that he is losing to McCain in Ohio and Florida, and working class white voters are the difference. Could Barack Obama have no choice, but to pick Hillary Clinton as his running mate?
Before we draw any conclusions, let’s look at the numbers. In Florida, Clinton leads McCain 48%-41%, while Obama trails McCain 45%-41%. In Ohio, Clinton leads McCain by the same 48%-41% margin, but Obama trails him 44%-40%. In Pennsylvania, the margin between the two Democrats is much smaller. Clinton leads McCain 50%-37%. Obama leads McCain 46%-40%. In Ohio and Florida there is a twelve point swing between Clinton’s results against McCain and Obama’s. This isn’t something that should be ignored or brushed aside.
In Florida, voters split 46%-44% on who they trusted to handle the economy. By a margin of 52%-42% voters said that trust McCain more than Obama to handle the Iraq war, and 58% said that they trust McCain more to handle terrorism. Forty three percent of Florida voters said that they would not vote for Obama because of his association with Rev. Wright, and equal number said that they would not support McCain due to his association with George W. Bush.
Most troubling for Obama is the fact that he is losing with white voters in Florida and Ohio by 14% and 18% each. However, 59% of Democratic voters in each state were in favor of Obama picking Clinton as his running mate. The difference in Florida and Ohio between the two Democrats against McCain is with working class whites. Clinton and McCain split them, but McCain wins this group by 20% against Obama. In Ohio, Clinton beats McCain 45%-44% with working class whites, but Obama loses this group by 16% in the state.
Obama’s problem with working class whites is real, and it seems that the only way to solve it might be a forced political marriage between him and Hillary Clinton. Obama supporters have been strongly against adding Clinton to the ticket, but they may have to realize, that the only way Obama will be acceptable to working class white voters is if Hillary Clinton is on the ticket too. Obama may not want Clinton on the ticket, but he might have to select her if he wants to win in November.
Poll results can be read here