“Poll” Shows Romney Leading Pennsylvania
As PW wrote earlier this campaign season for our September election app guide: “Call us old-fashioned, but we love misleading, often blatantly racist headlines that link us to right-wing websites peddling Beltway-bubble batshit with a xenophobic hatred of President Obama. It helps us get through the day. Which is why we love the Drudge Report. In the lead-up to the election, there are going to be a lot of polls out there—and sometimes we only want to be linked to the ones showing Mitt Romney in the lead.”
And if you haven’t been following, Jesus, it’s been playing out worse than anyone probably could have imagined. Last night, Drudge began peddling a new, “Red” headline: “PA SHOCK POLL: R 49% O 45.”
It sounded like one of those things liberals should worry about. After all, not a single poll, done by anyone, ever, had shown Romney leading Pennsylvania. A little examination into the link (the poll was apparently provided exclusively to the right-wing Washington Examiner) sort of proves that point we made in early September.
According to the Examiner—and kudos to them for admitting this up front—said poll was done by right-wing pollster Susquehanna Polling and Research between the first and second debates. The kicker: It was “conducted for state party officials.” Which Susquehanna often does.
Throughout the campaign season, Susquehanna has shown similar Republican-leaning results in polls conducted independently and in those done for the state Republican party.
On September 21st, we noted a Susquehanna poll showing Romney down by one point to Obama—while similar polls showed the Republican losing by double digits.
Susquehanna conducted another poll earlier this month showing Romney down only two points, 47-45. This particular one got some great attention because it was released after the first debate, where the media generally said Romney came out on top. Other polls showed Romney down about six at the time.
The pollster only spoke to voters who said there was an “excellent” or “good” chance they’ll vote in November—and 96 percent of those were in the “excellent” category. The poll included third party candidates (and that’s good), but found that only two percent of voters in Pennsylvania—two!—are what you may call “undecided.” The poll also showed Senate candidate Tom Smith leading Bob Casey. This is the first time that has ever been the case, too.
Only 20 percent of respondents were from Philadelphia or Allegheny Counties. It’s unclear whether the pollster called cell phones in addition to land lines.
Even as Susquenanna’s polls have shown Romney within striking distance throughout campaign season, the candidate and his money have been moving away from the commonwealth, with a hard shift of resources toward Ohio. Romney hasn’t run an ad here in months.
Which means the campaign’s own internals, often not released by the campaign, are probably telling a different story.
The state Republican party is rumored to have been upset with the Romney campaign for writing off Pennsylvania.
Pollster James Lee told the Examiner, “the race is certainly up for grabs and Republicans have a tendency to never believe it … Romney has made some major inroads.”