The most current (June 10) RCP composite presidential poll for Pennsylvania shows Obama leading Romney by 8. However, when one goes inside the numbers of the April democrat primary, there is a high percentage of “undervote” for Obama. Undervote can be defined as “ the number of blank ballot selections as a proportion of total voters; in this case, the Democrats who voted in the primary but did not make a selection for President”. The above map shows the percentage of the Nobama undervote in PA counties. The undervote phenomenon is even more telling when it occurs in an uncontested election as in the April democrat presidential primary. Large Nobama undervotes have also been noted in Arkansas, Kentucky and West Virginia. The latter actually saw a felon, currently jailed in Texas, take 43% of the democrat primary vote for president. Our fellow blogmocat, Doriangrey, commented on the Nobama undervote in the San Francisco democrat primary several days ago.
Breitbart’s Mike Flynn offers the following analysis:
The Pennsylvania primary was in April, but detailed primary information is only now available. This is significant, though, because the primary was before the recent dismal jobs report, Obama’s campaign missteps or the aggressive tactics of the Romney campaign. Keep in mind, also, that these numbers are based solely on Democrat primary voters. There are no Republican or Independent voters in this. This is Obama’s base. That said, look at the map above, in only about three counties is he winning the support of more than 90% of Democrat voters in an uncontested primary. In over 27 counties, he is winning less than 70%. In a few counties, he is winning 55%.
Our old rule of thumb was that any undervote more than 20% was a reason to go to DefCon 1. It signaled a serious problem with the base and would necessitate our adapting campaign strategy and tactics to shore up our support. I have never seen a situation where a candidate had an undervote of 30-40% and went on to win the general election. In fact, in such situations, we would often pull out of the race entirely.
I realize recent polls in Pennsylvania show the race to be tight, with a decided edge to Obama. But, I also realize that if he is losing 30-40% of the vote in a Democrat primary he is in serious trouble. That this result happened before the recent downturn in the economy is even more telling. Obama is in trouble in PA. And, if he is in trouble there, he is well on his way to being a one-term President.