Quinnipiac University put out a pair of polls this week I thought were interesting to note. Now, I have and still do think that it’s too soon to test general election Presidential matchups, so don’t think I’m reading a lot into these. But apart from that, I find it odd that Mitt Romney is doing better in Pennsylvania than he is in Ohio.
Ohio and Pennsylvania may border each other, but their electoral histories differ. Ohio has gone for the winner of every Presidential election starting with the 1964 wipeout. Ohio picks winners. The state’s rarely been wrong. It favored Nixon over Kennedy, Dewey over Roosevelt, and didn’t like Cleveland (favoring Harrison and Blaine over him), but backed every other winner since Abraham Lincoln and the establishment of the Republican Party as one of the two leading parties in the country. That’s 34 winners and 4 losers.
Pennsylvania in recent years has been more loyal to one side, backing the Democrat every time since 1992. Pennsylvania has taken on a partisan leaning, different from the swing state status of its neighbor to the west.
That is why I find it odd that Quinnipiac put out a pair of polls showing Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney by 3, 45-42 in Pennsylvania (1232 registered voters, MoE 2.8), even as a companion poll shows Obama ahead of Romney by 7, 47-40 in Ohio (1246 registered voters, MoE 2.8).
Sure, with an MoE of 2.8, There’s about a 1/3 chance Obama’s yet doing better in PA than he is in OH despite this poll. Likewise that figure holds for Romney actually doing better in OH than he is in PA. So it could be nothing.
But even so, if we believe these polls, the two states are close. If the two states are following history, and Pennsylvania is close to Ohio, then this election has the possibility of being a Romney landslide.
But that’s if we believe general election horserace polling during a contested primary.