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Obama Clings to Modest Lead in Pennsylvania

Barack Obama leads John McCain by five percentage points in Pennsylvania for the second month in a row. Both candidates have lost some support from a month ago, with the Democrat now favored by 45% while his Republican opponent earns the vote from 40%.

When “leaners” are included, Obama’s lead is down to just three points, 48% to 45%. A month ago, Obama led by six when leaners were included.

The data in Pennsylvania reflects patterns seen elsewhere in recent polling. McCain has more support from Republicans than Obama does from Democrats, and McCain also wins more crossover votes from the other party. The two candidates are even among unaffiliated voters.

Obama wins among younger voters and those who don’t attend church while McCain has a solid lead among senior citizens and regular churchgoers.

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McCain is viewed favorably by 58% of voters in Pennsylvania, Obama by 55%. For both men, that’s a three-point decline over the past month.

Rasmussen Markets shows that Democrats are currently given a % chance of winning Pennsylvania’s 21 Electoral College Votes this fall.John Kerry won the state for the Democrats in 2004 by a 51% to 48% margin over President Bush. Four years earlier, Al Gore carried the state by four percentage points. Immediately prior to release of this poll, Pennsylvania was rated as “Leans Democrat” in the Rasmussen Reports Balance of Power Calculator. NOTE: Factors other than the latest Rasmussen Reports poll impact the Balance of Power ratings. The current status is indicated on the table in the upper righthand corner of this article.

Like voters throughout the nation, Pennsylvania voters overwhelmingly say it’s more important to find new sources of energy than to reduce the amount of energy we consume. Sixty-five percent (65%) say finding more energy is the top priority while just 27% favor reducing consumption. Nationally, voters believe that McCain is more interested in finding new energy sources while Obama wants to reduce consumption. Sixty-one percent (61%) of voters nationwide want Congress to return to Washington and vote on offshore drilling right away.

In another finding that mirrors the national mood 51% of Pennsylvania voters say media bias is a bigger problem than large campaign contributions.

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell earns good or excellent ratings from 40% of voters, while 24% say he is doing a poor job.

President Bush earns good or excellent ratings from just 30% of voters in Pennsylvania, while 54% rate his performance as poor.

The survey was conducted in partnership with Fox Television Stations, Inc.

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Pennsylvania Likely Democratic

Latest RR Poll

RR Poll Avg.

"538" Avg.

RR Mkts.

In Trade

McCain (R)

46%

46%

42%

Obama (D)

52%

52%

51%

This telephone survey of 700 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports August 19, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

See Methodology.


Pennsylvania Trends: McCain vs. Obama

Date

McCain

Obama

11/01/2008

46%

52%

10/30/2008

47%

51%

10/27/2008

46%

53%

10/06/2008

41%

54%

09/28/2008

42%

50%

09/24/2008

45%

49%

09/21/2008

45%

48%

09/14/2008

47%

47%

09/07/2008

45%

47%

08/19/2008

40%

45%

07/23/2008

42%

47%

06/22/2008

42%

46%

05/21/2008

43%

45%

04/24/2008

44%

43%

04/09/2008

39%

47%

03/10/2008

44%

43%

02/14/2008

39%

49%

01/08/2008

46%

38%


Favorable Ratings for Presidential Candidates in Pennsylvania

 

McCain

Obama

Very Favorable

32%

40%

Somewhat Favorable

22%

16%

Somewhat Unfavorable

22%

11%

Very Unfavorable

23%

31%

Not Sure

1%

1%


Rasmussen Reports - Electoral College Balance of Power Summary

Republicans

160

Democrats

173

Toss-Ups & Leaners

205


About Rasmussen Reports

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

The Rasmussen Reports ElectionEdge™ Premium Service for Election 2008 offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a Presidential election.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.