Indeed 2008 southwestern Pennsylvania voters, with the exception of Pittsburgh’s Allegheny County, split their 2008 tickets by narrowly siding with John McCain while sending Democratic representatives to Washington and Harrisburg.
The Franklin & Marshall poll found similar numbers in northeastern Pennsylvania, where voter registration favors Democrats by a 94,000-voter margin and Barack Obama collected an average of 57 percent of the vote. These same Pennsylvanians, by a 58–40 margin, now say it’s time for a new president.
Madonna told TheDC he knows why. “Obama may be mired in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression,” he explained, “but Obama owns it politically.”
A Pennsylvania AFL-CIO spokesman who discussed the Franklin & Marshall poll with The Daily Caller on condition of anonymity said it would be premature to comment on the poll’s implications for Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes next year, noting that the union coalition has yet to begin its voter-education effort.
Pollster John Zogby told TheDC that Madonna’s numbers mirror his own, both in Pennsylvania and in other states with high blue-collar populations that Obama won in 2008.
“My own polling shows Obama down in Pennsylvania by double digits against a leading Republican candidate,” Zogby said, adding that he found “over 50 percent in Pennsylvania who say he does not deserve re-election.”
“Of course this is not good for him. He won Pennsylvania,” Zogby said.
Zogby noted the importance of a handful of states that Obama won in 2008, but which subsequently elected Republicans in 2010. Just five of those states — Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Minnesota — represented 74 of the 365 electoral votes Obama claimed in 2008.
“Those are big union states,” Zogby said. “The president has got to win those states, and he’s not going to simply do that with his base coalition. He has to get his numbers up.
“A Democrat can’t win with 35 percent support among union members.”