Our latest Pennsylvania poll conducted 10/11-10/13 and released by the Washington Examiner October 18th shows Mitt Romney has taken the lead over President Obama by a 49-45 margin. This automated poll, conducted with 1,376 likely voters, was conducted on behalf of the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania, and released publicly by the Pa GOP shortly thereafter. This poll validates our last three publicly released polls showing the Keystone State as a tossup – including a pair of polls taken before the first televised presidential debate in Denver both showing the Keystone State was already in play even when other firms continued to suggest Obama would win by huge margins.
The fact of the matter is that Mitt Romney is winning Pennsylvania because he is winning the “jobs” argument. Every statewide poll we have done the past three years shows Pennsylvanians want the economy fixed. According to our latest polls, the economy continues to be cited as the most important problem facing the Commonwealth– mentioned by nearly fifty percent and far ahead of any other issue. And the PA Labor Department released its revised unemployment report showing the state’s unemployment rate (8.2%) now officially higher than the nation’s 7.8%. So Pennsylvanians are still suffering from a bleak economy, more so perhaps than neighboring states like Ohio that can attribute their recent job gains to the auto industry. This explains why some need to warm up to the argument that Pa’s electoral votes could be up for grabs.