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Obama Clings to Modest Lead in Pennsylvania

The Presidential race in Pennsylvania has tightened since the conclusion of the party conventions last week. The latest Fox News/Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the state finds Barack Obama leading John McCain 47% to 45% in the Keystone state (demographic crosstabs available for Premium Members).

Prior to the latest poll, Obama held five percentage-point leads in August and July.

The latest poll finds the Republican candidate is viewed more favorably among voters. McCain is viewed favorably by 57% of voters and unfavorably by 40%. Obama’s ratings are 55% favorable, 44% unfavorable.

Similarly, Sarah Palin is viewed slightly better than Joe Biden. The Republican Vice Presidential nominee is viewed favorably by 59% and unfavorably by 37%. Biden’s numbers are 54% favorable, 42% unfavorable.

Rasmussen Reports and Fox News Channel will jointly release a series battleground state polls every Monday night at 6:00 p.m. Eastern. See overview of all polling released this week.

Rasmussen Reports will release other state polling on the Presidential race weeknights at 5:00 p.m. Eastern. The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll, follows the race on a national basis and is updated every morning at 9:30 a.m. Eastern.

This month, Obama leads 56% to 37% among unaffiliated voters. He also leads 55% to 36% among women, but McCain leads 55% to 38% among men. McCain dominates among Evangelical Christians in Pennsylvania, but the races among other Protestants and Catholics are much closer. The Republican leads 48% to 45% among Protestant voters and 45% to 42% among Catholics.

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.

Overall, 48% of voters in Pennsylvania trust McCain more than Obama. That number includes 18% of Democrats. Forty-one percent (41%) say they trust Obama more, which includes just 11% of Republicans.

Thirty-nine percent (39%) of voters in Pennsylvania say they would not be comfortable at all with Obama in the White House, while 33% say that of McCain. While 71% say they would not be comfortable with an Obama presidency, 57% of Democrats say that of McCain.

If faced with the toughest decision of their lives, 47% of voters in the Keystone State say they would turn to McCain for advice over Obama. Forty-one percent (41%) say they would choose the Democrat.

Governor Ed Rendell (D) earns good or excellent ratings from 34% of voters, while 26% say he is doing a poor job.

Just 32% of voters give President George W. Bush good or excellent ratings, while 55% say the president is performing poorly.

See survey questions and toplines. Crosstabs available for Premium Members only.

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 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports September 7, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 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.