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The Key For Obama In Pa

Mark Blumenthal scans the crosstabs from the latest Quinnipiac poll in Pennsylvania and notices they reinforce a point he made a few weeks back:

How [Obama] ultimately fares among Pennsylvania's college-educated Democrats could well determine whether he loses Pennsylvania narrowly (as his campaign forecast in early February) or by a double-digit margin. If, hypothetically, Obama wins his usual overwhelming majority among Pennsylvania's black Democrats, and Clinton racks up the same 40-point margin among non-college whites that she did in Ohio, Obama can still run within 10 points overall if he can best Clinton by at least 4 points among college-educated white voters.

"As it turns out," he writes today, "that seems to be what has happened." He continues:

The latest Quinnipiac poll ... shows the biggest net shift occurring among college educated white voters. Although the change appears to be just shy of statistical significance, Obama now holds a 5-point advantage (49% to 44%) over Hillary Clinton among college educated white voters, an improvement since March but roughly the same margin on their two February surveys. That shift was just large enough to reduce Clinton's overall lead to nine points.

Here are the relevant numbers (care of Blumenthal):


A lot of us have been saying Obama needs to make inroads among working class whites to have a shot in Pennsylvania--and that, as a result, his big race speech may have mis-fired. That's still true if the hope is to win the state (and to win similar places in the general). But, as Blumenthal shows, Obama can more or less do what he needs to do (i.e., hold Hillary to single digits) on the backs of college-educated whites, among whom the speech probably played pretty well.

--Noam Scheiber