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Friday, October 08, 2004

Into the Final Stretch in Pennsylvania

Posted by Seamus

I'm heading down to Pittsburgh tonight to watch the debate and do some canvassing tomorrow. This will be my second time out knocking on doors with the Sierra Club. This is kind of an issue for me as knocking on doors doesn't suit my personality. But its work that needs done. In any case, this is a good time to take into account the status of the election here in Pennsylvania.

Kerry has re-shifted into a slight lead in virtually all of the state polls:

ARG (Oct. 4-6): Kerry 48, Bush 46, MOE=4%
Survey USA (Oct. 3-5): Kerry 49, Bush 47, MOE=3.6%
WHYY (Oct. 1-4): Kerry 50, Bush 43, MOE=4%
Keystone (Sept. 30-Oct. 4): Kerry 49, Bush 43, MOE=4%
Rasmussen (Sept. 25 - Oct. 1): Kerry 47, Bush 47, MOE=4%

This is all good stuff. And there is also the voter registration news that Fester posted about a week back. There was another article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporting 100,000 new registations in Pennsylvania. And now of course is the key - getting these people out to vote. This may in fact be the hardest part. As the Post-Gazette noted in a subsequent editorial:

"In any case, all of this registration is pointless if new voters don't go to the polls on Nov. 2 or vote absentee in advance. It is one thing to sign up to vote, but the job's not done -- the sacred democratic transaction is not completed -- until a person makes a choice on Election Day."

Gameday is fast approaching. The best playbook in the world doesn't matter if we don't execute. This is where everyone's efforts will truly be graded.

Posted at 02:07 PM in Pennsylvania | Technorati


Please check out the page by clicking on my name below and respond here with editorial comments to sharpen, shorten, or otherwise improve the argument.
I'll make any good edits you suggest. Once it's good enough for you, print out ten copies and stick one copy in each mailbox in your neighborhood with a Bush/Cheney sign in their yard. Change a few minds by contributing a few sheets of paper and some ink from your printer!!!

Posted by: Anti Cliche at October 8, 2004 03:32 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

You should put under the don't change horses midstream- change horses or drown.

Posted by: David Trinh at October 8, 2004 04:46 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I canvassed today in PA's heavily Republican Chester County, near Philly.

The neighborhood I was in was a development, probably around ten years old. Very little movement potential for anyone -- not a few immediate, "We're for Kerry" responses, but a lot of "I'm voting for Bush."

Many of the Bush supporters were very succinct, as though they didn't want to be questioned about why they would do such a thing as support Bush (some of that may be my bias speaking). A few were pretty enthusiastically pro-Bush. A lot of Republicns for Kerry, one offering the opinion that Howard Stern was having a big effect in the area.

A couple of my canvassing partners -- both fairly high-powered DC lawyers, and probably more aggressive about pressing the case than me -- reported some positive responses to explaining that they were people who benefited quite a bit from Bush's tax cuts, but that they thought the reversal of the surpluses (I think a lot of this neighborhood was economically Republican), which was completely unaccompanied by spending reductions, was wrong to pass onto their kids, and that they were dismayed that the world's goodwill, which we had in the palm of our hands after 9/11, had been thoroughly squandered, and that we could not win the war on terror alone. And they felt strongly enough about these things to volunteer their weekend time to work to get rid of Bush.

Posted by: Marsden at October 9, 2004 08:15 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Kerry wins PA. The momentum is on his side now to take PA. It should have been his anyway, now he wins! Now, if he could only win neighboring OH, he might just win the whole election.

Posted by: Rock_nj at October 10, 2004 10:34 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I'm a Pennsylvania native that lives in the aforementioned Chester Country. Marsden's observations echo what I have been hearing. Bush will carry Chester County easily like he did last time, but I feel he will lose some votes over 2000 because the Republicans in Chester Country are primarily fiscal conservatives and more socially liberal. The huge deficit doesn't sit well with people.

I go to Penn State at State College where a grand total of 400 students voted in the last election. Needless to say, their has been a huge get out the vote drive and I expect a much higher turnout. This will have a net benefit for the Dems. Barring a major disaster, Kerry will get PA.

Posted by: Brett at October 10, 2004 06:28 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Only 400 students at Penn St. voted in the last election? Wow, that is truly shocking. Hopefully, those numbers will go way, way up this election.

Any predictions for what percentage of voters will go to the polls on Election Day this year? And what was the percentage in 2000?

Posted by: pepe at October 10, 2004 07:39 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Actually Gore carried all the metro Philly counties; Mont, Bucks, Chester and Delaware.

Posted by: pc at October 10, 2004 09:07 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Does anyone know of any figures about new registered voters' leanings? Personally, I'm convinced that most of the new voters, which are a lot, lean more to Kerry than Bush. And I'm convinced that these new voters are not being reflected in the national polls. We'll have to see the exit polls after Nov. 2, but right now I keep thinking that the final numbers will show a larger margin win for Kerry than originally thought. What do people think?

Posted by: vivaPR at October 10, 2004 11:57 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Good question, vivaPR, and it could vary from one state to another. Both sides claim to have registered tens of thousands of new voters, and we could witness a record turn out. We'll see how it plays out on Election Day. Again, I'm curious to know what the percentage of voters might be. Anyone hear any estimates?

Posted by: pepe at October 11, 2004 12:23 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Sorry PC, but that's just not true. Chester county went for Bush. On the Presidential Election Atlas it says Bush got 53.3%(100,080) of the vote and Gore recieved 43.7%(82,047). I don't mean to call you out or anything, I just wanted to validate my claim.

Posted by: Brett at October 11, 2004 01:48 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Pepe, I just looked at the Presidential Election Atlas for turnout data in 2000. It just shows a graph which looks to be 55% turnout. I guess that's pretty high nationally. I only have anecdotal data but I cannot see how turnout would be lower than in 2000. I wonder about Kerry's sway with black voters in Philly though. Gore beat Bush in Philadelphia county by nearly 350,000 votes! Gore won PA overall by only 200,000 votes. So, obviously turnout in Philly is critical, but I think Kerry will get enough.

Posted by: Brett at October 11, 2004 02:00 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Brett, Thanks for the information. I thought the turnout in the 2000 election was a little over 50%, and it turns out it was slightly higher than I thought. I would be very surprised if we didn't have a turnout somewhere in the 60% range. Record numbers of voters have registered. Now it's just a question of how many of them will actually go to the polls. My gut says the higher the turnout, the better for Kerry. It will be especially interesting to see how high the turnout is in the individual states, especially the swing states.

Posted by: pepe at October 11, 2004 06:53 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment