Opinion: Is Pennsylvania in play after all, based on Barack Obama polling?

This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.

Perhaps the Pennsylvania strategy embraced by the John McCain campaign makes sense after all.

The strategy has prompted skepticism. But much buzz today surrounds the apparently inadvertent leak of an internal poll by Barack Obama’s campaign in Pennsylvania that supposedly showed the Democrat leading there by only 2 percentage points -- a much-slimmer margin than independent surveys have recorded for him and one that would make the race for the state a tossup.

An e-mail from a local Obama aide expressing concern about the internal poll’s findings ended up in the queue of a radio talk show host in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. He, in turn, interviewed Sean Smith, the Obama communications director for Pennsylvania.

Their chat can be heard here; as the host notes after it’s over, Smith doesn’t dispute that the campaign’s own polling gauged Pennsylvania a tossup.

And that may explain a related story making the rounds -- a report that Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor, the politically savvy Ed Rendell, described himself in a memo as ‘a little nervous’ about Obama’s standing in his state as he requested that the candidate return there soon for some more on-the-ground campaigning.

-- Don Frederick