"McCain will win Pennsylvania", so say the PUMA ground people

I’ve been spending a lot of time reading the HillBuzz site the last few weeks. If McCain pulls this off, I would recommend that RedState and HillBuzz try to sponsor a joint forum to see what common legislative goals we could agree to for helping the country.

In any case, these guys have their hooks into the Democrats for McCain folks, especially the former Hillary staffers. They know PUMAs better than we know PUMAs. A post went up this morning about a frank conversation they had with a former colleague that worked with them on the Hillary campaign.

Tonight we spoke with a friend from Hillary Clinton’s campaign who is now working for McCain/Palin — and is specifically working with Democrats for McCain in Pennsylvania. We worked with her in Texas, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania for Hillary and have spent many LONG hours with her in the trenches in all of those states. She’s smart, doesn’t BS, and never lies. She says the same thing we do: John McCain will win Pennsylvania.

The post is very long, and covers a lot of details about the ground game in PA. Hearing how the McCain campaign is staffed in Pennsylvania is fascinating:

DEMOCRATS are staffing McCain offices across the state. DEMOCRATS are phone banking and canvassing for McCain. DEMOCRATS are raising large sums to fund this last week of campaigning.

I was also interested in their take on the regional expectations:

We do not believe Obama will carry Pittsburgh or Harrisburg in PA. He’ll win Philly, but not by the large margin he needs to take the state. You’ve heard Governor Ed Rendell is “worried” about Obama’s chances in Pennsylvania. That is an understatement. Obama will lose a state that hasn’t gone red in generations.

Now this I find interesting, since it tracks well to the regional analysis I did over the weekend, when looking at the most recent SUSA poll. In that poll I noted that while the Philly area is polling for Obama by a 30 point margin, the rest of the state is either a very small Obama lead or a 15 point McCain lead. To reach the result that SUSA pubished, they had to over sample Democrats and THEN over sample Philly with a 41% share of the poll to Pittsburgh’s 23%. However, in 2004 Philly and Pittsburgh both contributed 29% of the overall vote. There is no basis for giving the Philly samples an 18 point margin in the SUSA poll.

My usual warning to take everything with a grain of salt. The Democrat machine in Philly has a long history of being able to produce votes as needed. But they are going to need to overcome a strong trend toward McCain in the Pittsburgh area, which voted for Kerry 57% to 42% in 2004.

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