Monday, October 27, 2008

Pennsylvania: By the Numbers

I believe this election will come down to Pennsylvania, and though Barack Obama is very unlikely to lose it, I still think there's reason to put more time and money into it. If he somehow comes up short in the Keystone state, I can envision an Election Night scenario where McCain also squeaks by in Nevada, Florida, and North Carolina--- in which case he'd win, if just barely.

So it's the one thing that's keeping me up at night: is Obama really so far up in Pennsylvania? According to this must-read article by Michael Barone, yes. And it'll probably stay that way:
High-income, high-education voters in the suburbs of big metro areas, my hypothesis goes, are preoccupied with long-term wealth accumulation—and react sharply against the Republican Party when their wealth is suddenly sharply diminished when there is a Republican president. Modest-income, modest-education voters in less affluent surroundings, it seems judging from McCain's relatively good showing in Pennsylvania outside the heavily populated southeast, react much less sharply, because they have never expected to accumulate all that much in the way of wealth anyhow, consider themselves reasonably well protected by the existing safety net and feel free to vote (as more affluent Philly suburbanites have done in better times) on the basis of their opinions (conservative in their case) on cultural issues. The affluent are less afraid of the tax increases that Obama promises them than they are shocked by the negative effect on their wealth from the collapse of the housing bubble and the sharp decline in stock prices.
That just sounds really true. So I'm gonna go with it, and find something else to lose sleep over.

1 comment:

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