Rasmussen: Hillary Leads in PA, 51% to 38%

Yesterday's Rasmussen poll shows Hillary Clinton leading Barack Obama 51% to 38%.

Clinton now leads by twenty-five percentage points among women and is essentially even among men. She attracts votes from 69% of white women while also leading among voters over 40 and those with incomes under $75,000 a year. Obama leads 79% to 13% among African-American voters.

Also yesterday, Rasmussen did a PA poll that showed McCain ahead by a statistically insignificant margin against both Obama and Hillary. But,

In Pennsylvania, McCain leads both Democrats by double digits among men and trails both by double digits among women. The gap is wider if Clinton is the Democratic nominee.

McCain is viewed favorably by 55% of voters in the state, Obama by 53%, and Clinton by 45%. For Obama, that figure reflects a ten-point decline from last month. In that previous poll, conducted at the height of Obamamania, the Senator from Illinois had a ten-point lead over McCain.


In 2004, John Kerry won the general election with 51% of the vote, almost 3 million out of 6 million votes.

In the 2004 PA primary, 789,000 voted.

Question for number crunchers out there: How much does Hillary have to win Pennsylvania by to beat Obama in the national popular vote total? Does it even matter, so long as she wins PA? With PA, if she wins CA, NY, Ohio, MA, NJ and FL, won't the superdelegates say she has a better chance of winning in November?

On a related note, a TalkLeft reader says, as of 3/12/08:

When you re-tally the votes of only self identified Dems (from CNN exit polling), and using Rear Clear Politic’s reported votes by state, the following is the breakdown of votes by Democrats for Obama and Hillary.

The reader's calculations:

Popular Vote Total:
* Total Dems 19,067,662
* Clinton Dems 9,508,926
* Obama Dems 9,027,622
* Hillary Over Obama 481,307

Popular Vote Total (w/FL)
* Total Dems 20,210,950
* Clinton Dems 10,103,436
* Obama Dems 9,427,773
* Hillary Over Obama 713,010

Total Popular Vote (w/FL & MI)
* Total Dems 20,680,081
* Clinton Dems 10,384,915
* Obama Dems 9,596,660
* Hillary Over Obama 825,601


< Report: Agreement Imminent on Michigan | Why Clinton Should Fight For Revotes >
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    Neener, neener, neeeeeeennnnnnerrr (4.66 / 3) (#2)
    by goldberry on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 12:55:44 PM EST
    I'm thinking that this gap will close a bit but not enough to give him the win, especially after the details of how he tried to screw Florida and Michigan start seeping into the collective subconscious. I intend to be in PA to make sure everyone I know has all of the dirty details about how it all went down.  

    How would that seep into anyone's (none / 0) (#7)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 12:59:54 PM EST

    Isn't Keith preparing another special comment about how Clinton's trying to steal the election?


    Is Anyone Still Listening? (none / 0) (#26)
    by flashman on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:10:42 PM EST
    keith is so yesterday! (none / 0) (#59)
    by hellothere on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 02:10:16 PM EST
    Well (4.50 / 2) (#3)
    by Steve M on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 12:57:44 PM EST
    What should we take more seriously in terms of November - the fact that Hillary soundly thumps Obama in PA, or the fact that Obama's favorables are significantly higher in spite of that?  This is a key question.

    The real question (none / 0) (#10)
    by AF on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:00:20 PM EST
    is which is more significant for November: the fact that Hillary beats Obama among Democrats, or that they do equally well against McCain.

    You're making... (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by DudeE on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:14:51 PM EST
    ...the argument for superdelegate discretion.  I don't really disagree.  Imagine a scenario where a candidate comes out strong and builds a big delegate lead only to become bogged down in the latter stage of the race and get trounced by the opposing candidate.

    The mistake - particularly by the Obama camp - is in viewing the nomination as the endgame.  I think they've just had a long-held belief that their big challenge was beating Clinton and they'll figure out the rest when they get there.

    Unfortunately being the Dem nominee isn't in and of itself worth anything unless you convert it to the Presidency.


    I disagree. (none / 0) (#35)
    by Arbitrarity on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:18:06 PM EST
    But then again, I think 50-state is stronger than 50%+1.

    I'd say you have it backward.

    Obama's campaign planned for a long, heated battle while Clinton was expecting the game to be over by 2/5.  


    Obama's campaign... (none / 0) (#53)
    by DudeE on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:41:03 PM EST
    ...planned to run a primary and not a general election.  Sure maybe you can run a 50-state campaign among Democrats, but it's ridiculous in a general.  But they're sticking by their story that they'll flip those perennially red states through some Obama-magic...

    So... (none / 0) (#55)
    by Arbitrarity on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:47:59 PM EST
    They're going to close their offices in small states and destroy the names of voters and volunteers that they've found?

    I honestly do not understand your argument here.  What evidence do you have to show that Obama is running a primary-only campaign?


    that won't happen! (none / 0) (#60)
    by hellothere on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 02:11:04 PM EST
    Super delegates have discretion (none / 0) (#41)
    by AF on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:22:07 PM EST
    Whether I argue for it or not.

    They should not exercise it based on the fallacious argument that Hillary's lead in PA means she is a better general election candidate there.


    I understand (none / 0) (#72)
    by sas on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 03:41:55 PM EST
    what you are saying.

    Remember, PA is the second oldest state in the nation, after Florida.  Voters here have heard the "change" schlock all their lives.  (spoken to me by a fellow PA Dem).

    As a Dem in PA, I will tell you that there are a bunch of Hillary voters here who do not believe Obama is ready, and who will either sit out or vote for McCain in Nov.

    Watch the PA polls closely if Obama gets the nomination.  I believe the state will go to McCain.  

    I believe the state will go Democratic if Hillary is the nominee.

    But it'll be close either way - within a few percent.


    The only sensible question IMO (none / 0) (#14)
    by Molly Bloom on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:03:20 PM EST
    The Rev. Wright problem... (none / 0) (#73)
    by K Lynne on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 03:46:50 PM EST
    Based on the number of reports I've seen in the last couple of days about Obama's connection to Rev. Wright, I wouldn't be surprised to see a downward trend in Obama's numbers.  I'm curious to see how Obama counters these videos that are surfacing.  

    So, if Obama is winning the delegate count, Hillary wins or is very close in the popular vote, and Obama's popularity is falling off a cliff / negatives rising quickly, what is a Superdelegate to do??


    I have a feeling that (none / 0) (#76)
    by 0 politico on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:03:37 PM EST
    not only Obama, but Dean, the DNC and many of the super delegates are hoping this will blow over soon.  It might within Democrat circles, but I think that is short sighted wishfulness.

    It will be back in force for the general election in the fall.  The Obama blogs and many supporters will try to blame this on Hillary (like they do most everything else.  But, that won't fly.  The Republican 527s will have many field days with this (20 years of association, spiritual guide, large contributions to a church whose leader spreads hate speech, etc.).  Those who think Obama's "positives" will be enough and better put on their flame retardant suits come the Fall.


    The Polls Should Be Interesting In The Next (4.50 / 2) (#8)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:00:02 PM EST
    couple of weeks now that Obama has lost some of his media darling status on some of the TV channels and in some papers.

    keyword - "some" (none / 0) (#23)
    by Josey on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:09:38 PM EST

    Agreed not sounding pretty out here (none / 0) (#25)
    by Salt on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:10:32 PM EST
    in Voter land, we have a turn that I also believe will show up in a couple of weeks.  

    as many others have said (4.75 / 4) (#30)
    by Kathy on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:13:49 PM EST
    I think Obama's positives have plateaued.  He can only go down from here.  Clinton's can only go up (though, let's be honest, they're pretty good as is).

    She has deep, deep roots in PA and I think that works to her advantage.  States love to claim hometown status in these things.  Look at how well AR and IL did for the respective candidates.


    Park Ridge, IL. (none / 0) (#36)
    by Arbitrarity on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:19:12 PM EST
    Hillary's home.

    I don't know why she never made more of an effort to fight for it as her home state.


    Agree, did you see the Ark poll on the GE she (none / 0) (#57)
    by Salt on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 02:05:04 PM EST
    wins the State and beats Obama by 27 points, and I'm sure they have heard all about her negatives or any additional action from the Arkansas Project. Not sure I agree that revote are now needed in Fla and Mich she can count the popular votes in both States, that's what Gov Rendell believes also, then once she the nominee she can seat Fla and Mich with the honor they deserve as Dems.

    It's been obvious since the beginning that (4.50 / 2) (#9)
    by Angel on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:00:04 PM EST
    Hillary has the core of the Democratic party.  

    Except. (1.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Arbitrarity on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:03:39 PM EST



    It is BAD (none / 0) (#62)
    by PlayInPeoria on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 02:16:27 PM EST
    enough that we have to put up with the media splitting the Dem core into race.... why do YOU DO THAT?

    That is not true (none / 0) (#66)
    by sonya on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 02:45:50 PM EST
    Please stop talking about African Americans as if we're stupid and naive to the political process.  Although the majority of black people are voting for Obama, they're not necessarily voting against Hillary.  

    Why is that so hard for some people to understand?    


    My thought is... (none / 0) (#1)
    by zzyzx on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 12:55:12 PM EST
    ...that I don't trust exit polling nearly enough to make something out of that.  Then again, I don't see why getting independent votes is a bad thing...

    I think this demonstrates just how (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by ahazydelirium on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:01:37 PM EST
    vague and complex the "will of the people" argument is. In a Democratic nomination process, should "will of the people" include crossover Republicans and Independents? I think valid arguments may be made for both yes and no.

    Grabbing Independents isn't a bad thing, by any means. However, should they (and Republicans) be shaping a Democratic candidate?

    Personally, I think Democrats should be choosing the Democratic candidate.

    Just as a general observation, though: I find it amusing that the anti-Hillary group continues to claim she won TX and OH because of Rush Limbaugh, but are willing to point to Obama's "across the aisle" appeal as a major consideration in why he'd be the best candidate.


    Obviously, Repubs and Indys (none / 0) (#22)
    by Josey on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:07:46 PM EST
    knew they could "be a Dem for a day" then switch back to Repub for the general - without Obama encouraging it.
    Getting the Indy vote is a good thing but who knows if Obama will get it in Nov.?

    Even though they both lose to McCain now (none / 0) (#4)
    by cannondaddy on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 12:58:12 PM EST
    I think they would both beat him in the fall. A percentage of bitter supporters on both sides is skewing this; most (not all) should be over it by November.

    Pew Research (none / 0) (#28)
    by flashman on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:12:11 PM EST
    Has both of 'em slightly over McCain.

    Could a math major please explain? (none / 0) (#5)
    by cmugirl on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 12:59:41 PM EST
    I don't understand when I look at these polls that show HRC beating Obama by huge margins, but then he actually polls better against McCain. Are they polling two different sets of people?  I'm assuming if they add Republicans, most of them are not going to vote for Obama or Clinton over McCain (at least, not enough to make a big difference in the numbers)

    Yes, two different sets of people (none / 0) (#12)
    by AF on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:01:47 PM EST
    One is likely voters in the Democratic primary, the other is likely voters in the general election.

    Apparently Obama is getting more of the non-Democratic-primary voters than Hillary.


    Also (none / 0) (#19)
    by cannondaddy on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:05:07 PM EST
    not everyone is a Democrat or Republican.  Last breakdown I saw was around 30%R-40%D-30%I.  Big swing toward Democrats since 2004.

    Falling behind on news... (none / 0) (#6)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 12:59:41 PM EST
    Is it trending upwards?  Sorry...been out of the loop.

    fuzzy math will not get it done. (none / 0) (#13)
    by cy street on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:02:35 PM EST
    moreover, if every vote counts, then what happens to the indy/rep voters moving over?  are you suggesting they have no voice in this process?

    super's are in enthralled with the expanded dem rolls.  there is no way the super's are going to say welcome to the party, now go home.  quite the opposite and for obvious reasons.

    They have no voice in closed primaries (none / 0) (#40)
    by JJE on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:21:32 PM EST
    Which puts the lie to the "disenfranchisement" meme.

    How can you complain about caucuses (none / 0) (#17)
    by fuzzyone on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:04:22 PM EST
    being undemocratic and then argue for basing the nominee on exit polls, especially given how lousy those polls have been.  I mean you can't be serious.  (And do those numbers include the caucus states or do those not count).

    Why hold elections at all.  We can just pick the nominee based on a national poll.  Shall we have Zogby do it?

    I think we should have a system where every state has a closed primary.  But we don't so we are stuck with what we have.

    Who cares? (none / 0) (#20)
    by RollaMO on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:05:08 PM EST
    Rasmussen also has Obama up by 8% nationally, 50-42 over Clinton.

    My Thought Is (none / 0) (#24)
    by RNinNC on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:09:58 PM EST
    that I cannot WAIT for this Primary to finally end! There's a delicate balance between drumming up new Democratic voters and shredding the coalition that will give us a win in November. I feel we are teetering in the wrong direction at this point.

    i agree and when one candidate (3.66 / 3) (#31)
    by cy street on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:14:22 PM EST
    is making flimsy cases for their candidacy like this one, then there should be more pressure applied to concede.

    if this is how clinton intends to argue the case, i say penn the concession speech now.

    let's move on to bigger majorities and the white house.


    I'm Less Concerned with Concession (none / 0) (#48)
    by RNinNC on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:27:08 PM EST
    than I am with reconciliation. Five more weeks of civil debate might help us Democrats in the end, but five more weeks of downwardly spiraling attacks most certainly won't.

    From EITHER side!


    i voted for bill twice and (none / 0) (#49)
    by cy street on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:33:53 PM EST
    i voted for hillary in this primary, but i cannot support anything but a clear and compelling path the nomination.  i do see it here and i have not seen it anywhere else.

    it makes me wonder what is more important, you or the party.

    reminds of nader's meglomania.


    As far (none / 0) (#75)
    by sas on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 03:50:53 PM EST
    as I'm concerned the Democratic coalition is probably shredded already.

    I go back and forth in my mind as to whether it can ever be out back together.  There is alot of bitterness out there.

    Just go to HuffPo some time, and you'll know what I mean.

    At least here on TalkLeft you get reasonable discussion.  Over there the vitriol is unbearable.


    This is getting absurd (none / 0) (#29)
    by faux facsimile on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:13:21 PM EST
    Is it seriously being suggested that the superdelegates are going to be choosing the nominee based on a popular vote estimated from exit polls ignoring independents/Rs, including a major state where on candidate wasn't on the ballot and excluding half the caucus states?

    I admit the process is often opaque, but this goes above and beyond...

    It is being suggested quite seriously (none / 0) (#43)
    by JJE on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:22:18 PM EST
    As it is the only realistic shot Clinton has.

    Maybe not ... (none / 0) (#44)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:22:51 PM EST
    but we have to get out of our head this notion that Supers are like a school of fish that can only turn in one direction.

    They're not all going to vote the same way.  And they're not all going to vote for the same reason.


    Don't forget we should take out (none / 0) (#46)
    by cannondaddy on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:24:48 PM EST
    caucus numbers from the popular vote.  And small state primaries... except Rhode Island.

    You are being snarky (none / 0) (#51)
    by JJE on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:38:01 PM EST
    Which I like.  But there is actually a problem with caucuses for us mindless Obamabots if the popular vote is an issue.  Assuming the percentages would have been closer but Obama would still have won primaries in that state, he would probably have a bigger PV lead if there had been primaries.  If caucus votes are treated the same as primary votes then our guy is getting shafted.

    Why not compare caucus states to those states (none / 0) (#54)
    by MMW on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:47:44 PM EST
    with both primaries and caucuses? You have a few of those. Then use a weighted comparison. That should give a simple comparison unless both had vastly different outcomes, then it becomes problematic.

    That is a good way to do an analysis (none / 0) (#56)
    by JJE on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:55:58 PM EST
    for sure, but I don't think a relatively sophisticated statistical argument is going to be very persuasive to either the super delegates or the rank and file.

    They should be able to make the (none / 0) (#64)
    by MMW on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 02:27:52 PM EST
    argument so the Super Delegates and the rank and file can understand it. That's called leadership.

    In fact (none / 0) (#42)
    by Steve M on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:22:14 PM EST
    you have the sequence backwards.

    It is potentially sketchy but not as clearly bad as you make it out to be.

    Statistics can be twisted (none / 0) (#61)
    by BlueMainer on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 02:11:20 PM EST
    to show just about anything you want. When you start excluding people who voted in caucuses or primaries, but didn't vote for your candidate, the whole exercise becomes not much more than wishful thinking. I think there has been way too much discounting of voters and states who didn't support HRC. And, performance in primaries has very little relationship with GE performance.

    Turnout (none / 0) (#63)
    by DaveOinSF on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 02:17:36 PM EST
    Ohio saw a turnout of about 80% of the 2004 Kerry vote (Texas and Mississippi were higher).

    If a similar turnout occurs in Pennsylvania (and with all the focus in the next few weeks, I bet it will be higher), you can expect to see 2.4 million voters.  A ten-point Hillary win would be 240,000 voters; a 15-point win would be 360,000 voters.

    2.4 million voters in PA? (none / 0) (#65)
    by sar75 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 02:35:56 PM EST
    That would truly be remarkable.  I don't discount it, but because PA has a closed primary, I find it unlikely.  I think 1.8-2 million would be more reasonable, and if that's the case, a 14 point win (which I think generous to Clinton) would bring under 300,000 votes.  Indiana, North Carolina, and Oregon will largely offset that.

    So, while it could happen, the chances of Clinton going to Denver with more popular votes in highly unlikely.  And without that argument, she will never be the nominee.


    yeah right! 51 to 38! (none / 0) (#68)
    by hellothere on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 02:56:23 PM EST
    Not as cut and dry (none / 0) (#74)
    by DaveOinSF on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 03:47:07 PM EST
    It's a bit hard to say.  On the one hand, you have Oklahoma, which had a closed primary, a participation rate of 83% of the 2004 Kerry vote.  On the other hand, you have Virginia, with an open primary, with a participation rate of only 68%.

    fallacious (none / 0) (#69)
    by chemoelectric on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 03:11:10 PM EST
    With PA, if she wins CA, NY, Ohio, MA, NJ and FL, won't the superdelegates say she has a better chance of winning in November?

    They may say that, but they would be reasoning fallaciously in several different ways. For example, and this is just a tiny example: Obama will win NY, even if Hillary beats him in NY; and Hillary winning NY in the primary has no influence on how Obama will do here in Minnesota.

    It's just fallacious reasoning, including when BT has done it. Just try to justify it on any terms other than "It shows she can win", which is just a restatement of the fallacy. There is no logic to it.

    I do have a question: are we ready for our candidate to lose? All of my early choices have lost. I've only come to sort of like Obama since settling on him after my choices had already lost.

    And if I only count voters under 30 (none / 0) (#70)
    by rafaelh on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 03:15:14 PM EST
    Then Obama probably beats Hillary by a few million. I don't understand the validity of an argument that cherry picks votes out of the total in the process to show that Hillary beats Obama.

    Count all the votes, including primaries and caucuses, Michigan and Florida, and whoever has the popular vote adanateg then can make an argument to the superdelegates. But all this parsing out of polls to find the appropriate answer is just as silly as Obama's 50-50 Michigan solution.

    vote adanateg = vote advantage (none / 0) (#71)
    by rafaelh on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 03:22:03 PM EST
    I swear I mispelled that word, tried to fix it and made it worse. Can too much time in the computer damage one's reading skills?

    Polls are useful for watching trends---maybe. (none / 0) (#77)
    by downtownted on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 10:16:11 PM EST
    Suspect and unreliable to believe the Polls snapshot is anywhere close to being correct

    Democrats have carried the last 4 presidential elections in Pennsylvania. The lowest margin was 145,000 (out of 5,770,000 total according to uselectionatlas.org) or 2.5% in 2004. Polls probably not asking correct question(s) or identifying respondents who correspond to actual voters