A new Magellan Strategies poll of Pennsylvania finds Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney, 50%-40%, and Rick Perry, 51%-37%, but the state’s Republicans are trying to rig the election so that Obama can’t win.
While the poll finds that PA voters are split on Obama approval wise, 48%-49%, Obama has managed to keep his approval high with the coalition of voters that won him the state in 2008.
President Obama’s approval with women is 53%-42%. His approval rating with young voters age 18-34 is 56%-40%. His favorability rating with Democrats is 75%-21%, and he has a very high favorability rating with moderates in the state, 59%-37%. The president continues to struggle with the same voters that he could not sway in 2008. Obama’s favorable/unfavorable l with men is 41%-56%, and like in the state’s 2008 Democratic primary he is struggling with white voters, 43%-53%.
Pennsylvania is split on Obama’s job approval rating 44%-47%. (This is within the poll’s 3.7% margin of error). Keystone State residents are also split on whether or not Obama deserves reelection, 46%-48%, but when he is matched up against the top two GOP contenders Obama comfortably leads them both. Obama leads Mitt Romney, 50%-40%, and Rick Perry, 51%-37%. Much of this margin is due to the fact that Pennsylvanians really don’t like Romney or Perry. Mitt Romney has a 30% favorable and 44% disapproval rating in the state. Rick Perry has a 25% favorable and a 44% unfavorable rating.
PA men support Romney over Obama 47%-43%, but women support the president 55%-34%. Independents support Romney 55%-42%, but Democrats support Obama 80%-11%, and young voters support Obama 58%-30%. Moderates support Obama over Romney 62%-28%, and Obama and Romney are tied with white voters, 44%-44%.
Rick Perry does not lead Obama with a single group of voters in the state. Male voters support Obama over Perry, 46%-43%. Female voters support Obama over Perry 56%-31%. Independents support Obama over Perry, 40%-39%, and white voters support Obama over Perry, 47%-40%.
Obama’s overwhelming advantage is why state Republicans are proposing legislation to rig the state by awarding Electoral College votes by congressional district instead of winner take all. This change would likely net the Republican nominee 12 of the state’s Electoral College votes instead of the zero they are likely to win in 2012. The scheme would be a disaster for Pennsylvania’s status as an important election state, and would serve to effectively disenfranchise the state’s large Democratic majority.
Obama could win the popular vote by millions in PA, yet still lose the state. If Pennsylvania Republicans adopt this plan look for other Republican controlled states that Obama does well in like Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin to follow suit. Under the GOP scheme the will of the people could be ignored, and Obama denied a second term. As 2000 demonstrated, Republicans have no qualms about defying the will of the people in order to install their president.
Pennsylvania may want Obama, but under the GOP plan they won’t get the chance to reelect him.