Hard to ignore the trend now...
Following another weekend of mostly bad news that revolved around two more incidents of people questioning her stories and the resignation of her chief strategist Mark Penn, Monday kicks off with...well, more bad news.
ARG has their new poll of Pennsylvania out, conducted on April 5th and 6th and making it the latest poll done of the state, and the news is stunning. Barack Obama 45%, Hillary Clinton 45. Last week, Clinton led 51% to 39%. That means that ARG has her falling six points and Obama moving up six points in ONE WEEK. The poll is also right in line with three other polls from last week that have the race as a virtual tie. Clinton led by 20+ points in PA just a few weeks ago and it now appears that lead is all but gone.
As I stated last week, her collapse in the state is happening due to a few reasons, I suspect. One, the media is now reporting that Clinton has virtually no chance of winning, and that results in many of her supporters becoming demoralized and thus they begin to tell pollsters that they no longer plan to go and vote (and thus they are not factored in polls). Two, her credibility is being destroyed by all the stories of her being caught exaggerating or making up stories, first with Bosnia, then with the healthcare story that was exposed a few days ago, then with her claim that she opposed the War in Iraq before Obama did in the Senate, only to have that proven wrong. Third, she is running out of money as I wrote about a few days ago and therefore can't do much to counter all the ads Obama is running in the state.
And the most troubling news for her is that two weeks remain until voting day. If Obama is going to maintain a 5-to-1 spending advantage over her for those two weeks, it's hard to see her stop this trend and regain a big lead. Because remember, she doesn't just need to win, she needs to win by 10+ points. Obama has already stated that he will view any loss of less than 10 points in PA as a victory. We saw Obama get to this point, a virtual tie after being down 20+ points, in both Texas and Ohio, but he didn't have the time to close the deal. Now, he has caught up to Clinton and still has plenty of time left to campaign in the state, run his ads, etc. The big question is whether he goes for the kill in PA, a state that very few still expect him to win, or continue to share his time between PA, NC, and IN. I suspect he'll wait to see how his numbers look next week before deciding whether to spend all his time the week before PA voting in the state or to shift focus to NC and IN.
But the main point to take away from this poll is the race in PA is very close now, and that by itself makes the entire state a loss for Clinton already unless she turns things around. She has to win big, and what looked like a likely 10+ point win for her a few weeks ago now doesn't seem so likely.