Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Obama: Pennsylvania's Biggest Loser?

Hillary Clinton giving advice to her door-to-door campaign workers in Philadelphia, April 19: "Well, I think, just knock on the door and say 'She's really nice,' or you could say it another way, 'She's not as bad as you think.'"

"Seventeen percent of Pennsylvania voters said they will either not vote if Mrs. Clinton gets the nomination or will vote for Mr. McCain; 25% said they will do likewise if Mr. Obama wins the nomination." (The Economist, April 26 - May 2, 2008)

If Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee, he absolutely must prevail in Pennsylvania -- the nation's sixth largest state -- if he hopes to win the election.

But the exit polls in the recent primary show that the Illinois Senator is unlikely to win the Keystone State.Consider the views of Catholic voters -- about one-third of registered Democrats -- in Pennsylvania. Of the ones who voted in the primary, six-out-of-10 say they'd vote for Obama in the general election. However, more than two-out-of-10 (21%) say they'll vote for John McCain.

Among white voters, almost one-in-six (16%) said that race had an influence on their vote. And of those, nearly one-in-twelve (8%-plus) said they would not vote for Obama in November.

When Gov. Ed Rendell make a similar observation months ago, he was condemned as uttering racially insensitive comments. Insensitive? Perhaps. Correct? Absolutely.

In the Pennsylvania exit polls, many Democrats made sarcastic references to Obama's "bitter" comments (about people clinging to religion, guns, racism, and xenophobia). Some of those voters joked that they were much too "bitter" ever to vote for Obama. Others, according to The Economist, accused Obama of "clinging" to a religious figure (Rev. Jeremiah Wright) notable for hating America and white people.

Especially in Rust Belt States (including Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, and Michigan), Obama has a real problem attracting white voters. According to the Senator's campaign managers, that's because the the voters don't "know" him. But whose fault is that? Many Caucasians are evaluating Obama on the principle that you know a man by the company he keeps. As long as that company includes Rev. Wright, terrorist William Ayers, and influence-buyer Tony Rezko, the electorate doesn't like what it sees.

Obama's problems run deep. For example, four weeks ago -- as the Wright controversy -- approached white heat, Obama delivered what his minders called "a major speech on race." I saw the entire speech and paid careful attention, but now -- less than a month later -- I can't recall a single phrase. Can you?

Important Message from Pennsylvania Republican Leader Rob Gleason: (Note: You can get on Rob Gleason's mailing list for information about PA politics by e-mailing him at: info@pagop.org

Chairman's Blog: Putting Together Winning Tickets

Primary Day was a great day for the Republican Party of Pennsylvania. While much of the media’s attention was focused on the contested Democrat Presidential race, our Party was busy watching the final pieces of our roster come together. The Republican Party of Pennsylvania had a great night, and is heading into the November election with a strong slate of candidates for every office from the White House to the State House.

Before Tuesday, we already had a strong statewide ticket in place led by our Party’s Presidential candidate Senator John McCain. John McCain has laid out realistic plans that address many of the problems our nation is currently facing, and is by far the best choice for Americans on November 4th. In addition, we have Attorney General Tom Corbett, State Treasurer candidate Tom Ellis, and State Auditor General candidate Chet Beiler rounding out our strong statewide Republican ticket. Our Party has endorsed these candidates and remains confident that they each have the experience and qualifications to best serve the people of Pennsylvania.

On Primary Day, we found out who will be running for some key Congressional seats here in the Commonwealth. First of all, G.T. Thompson, our former Centre County Republican Committee Chairm
an, won a highly contested Republican primary in the 5th Congressional District. G.T. is a incredible candidate and will provide the 5th Congressional District a strong voice in Washington, D.C. We also learned that Chris Hackett will be the candidate who will take on Congressman Chris Carney in the 10th Congressional District this November. Chris is a successful businessman and will hold Congressman Carney responsible for his rubberstamping of Nancy Pelosi’s liberal agenda. In the 12th Congressional District, it appears that Bill Russell was successful in garnering enough write-in votes to appear on the ballot against Congressman John Murtha. Russell is a veteran and is committed to running a hard campaign against Murtha.

The rest of our Congressional line-up consists of a strong slate of Republicans all across the Commonwealth.

Our candidates for Congress include: Mike Muhammad (1st CD), Mike Livingston (2nd CD), Congressman Phil English (3rd CD), Former Congresswoman Melissa Hart (4th CD), Congressman Jim Gerlach (6th CD), Craig Williams (7th CD), Tom Manion (8th CD), Congressman Bill Shuster (9th CD), Hazelton Mayor Lou Barletta (11th CD), Marina Kats (13th CD), Congressman Charlie Dent (15th CD), Congressman Joe Pitts (16th CD), Toni Gilhooley (17th CD), Congressman Tim Murphy (18th CD), and Congressman Todd Platts (19th CD). Our candidates for the State Senate and the State House are in place and we are confident that we can expand our majority in the State Senate and win back the State House.

In many ways, this election will be like a chess match between us and the Democrats. There is 189 days till Election Day, and our Party has its roster of experienced, qualified and principled candidates on the board and we are already hard at work developing the best strategies to ensure our candidates are successful this November. Meanwhile, the Democrat Party and their candidates can’t even begin putting together a strategy until they know who exactly will be leading their ticket. While the Democrats are stuck in a never-ending Primary election and squabbling over which candidate is more liberal than the other, our Party is focused on November.


No comments: