Concerning that PPP poll that came out today showing Barack Obama with a two-point lead in PA (45%-43% over Hillary Clinton):

It doesn’t exist.

This might be counter-intuitive, but hear me out. The same thing happened in Ohio and Texas (and California, and New Jersey…):

  1.  Clinton leads by a lot — 15 to 20 percentage points.
  2. Obama starts campaigning.
  3. Clinton’s lead shrinks.
  4. Obama takes the lead, then increases it.
  5. People go nuts, assume he’s going to win, which then leads to
  6. People getting cold feet, which then leads to
  7. Obama’s lead shrinking, then vanishing, which then leads to
  8. Clinton winning said primary, claiming a “miracle” and other silliness

You’d think that after all this time, we’d figure out the pattern. So here’s my prediction for the next three weeks: 

  1. Obama will take the lead in more than one Pennsylvania poll.
  2. Everyone will assume that Obama will close this out.
  3. Hillary will battle with her back seemingly against the wall.
  4. As the primary draws closer, his lead will shrink, then disappear.
  5. Hillary will end up winning Pennsylvania fairly comfortably (56%-44%?)
  6. Questions will then be raised about his ability to close out the race.

Folks? Pennsylvania is just like Ohio, only more so. It’s a closed primary, and Hillary Clinton’s got Gov. Ed Rendell’s machine behind her. Obama’s chances of winning in Pennsylvania — no matter what the polls say — are vanishingly small.   

Please, let’s just concentrate on holding the margin down in Pennsylvania, and winning in Indiana and North Carolina, two states where he does have a solid shot at winning. Buying into the latest poll-of-the-week just leads to angst down the road.   

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