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Return of the Son of the Pennsylvania Myth

It’s not that Pennsylvania will necessarily be the decisive state in the upcoming presidential election. It’s not that the major test for VP candidate Joe Biden will be in PA (the debate with Palin suddenly seems much more important). So my only reason for going back to this topic–Biden’s roots in Pennsylvania and his assumed ability to deliver the state–is my annoyance with media generalities and with expert assertions with no data to back them up (for more details see previous posts: The PA Myth and More on the Pennsylvania Myth).

I’m still waiting for that promised Pennsylvania Democratic bounce following Obama’s selection of Biden as running mate. Biden, as expected, spent some time in the state. He made speeches and even got some positive coverage. The numbers, though, have refused to change for the better.

Remember, Obama already had the lead in Pennsylvania back in July, before Biden was elevated to VP nominee, and maintained his lead all through summer. He is still leading, according to the latest poll (yesterday), but his lead keeps shrinking–Biden or no Biden. It is now just a 2-point lead.

Of course, it’s hard to know if Biden had any impact in Pennsylvania–for good or bad–since he was nominated. McCain is gaining everywhere, and Obama’s troubles in this state are just one more example of the general trend.

However, it was supposed to be different. That is, if you believe the experts. And it’s not. Born in Scranton? Yes. Lives in neighboring Delaware? Yes. Pennsylvania’s third Senator? Maybe in November we’ll have the answer.



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