With only surveys tied to Susquehanna Polling/the state GOP saying otherwise, Barack Obama seems to have solidified his lead against Mitt Romney in Pa. (See Friday's Rasmussen results, giving the incumbent a 12-point lead.) The NYT ran a campaign piece by Columbia journalism prof Thomas Edsall yesterday saying it's due to the corporate Romney's disconnection with working class whites ("It’s just that they just don’t like him," one consultant says)
But Pennsylvania is notoriously behind the times when it comes to best-practices for voting expansion (being the largest state in the nation not to allow early voting, online registration, election-day registration or no-excuse absentee balloting), which may factor into the lack of presidential action in the state. Republican leaders tell Colby Itkowitz at the Morning Call that the Romney camapaign is focusing on early voting states and their attention will go to Pennsylvania later in the game. Early and absentee voting is going on in 30 states, including battlegrounds like Virginia, N.C., and Wisconsin.
(PS, there are 43 days left to Election Day.)
Two of Pennsylvania's most outspoken politicians on the new voter ID law -- Republican House Majority Leader Mike Turzai and Democratic Sen. Daylin Leach -- represented their respective viewpoints in a seven-minute Fox News segment this afternoon.
We'll link to the video when it becomes available, but there were few surprises for those who have been following the lawsuit over the statute. After a state appellate court declined to grant an injunction, Pennsylvania's top court last week sent the issue back for further consideration.
The anchor introduced the law as requiring a "state-issued" ID card -- an inaccuracy that Sen. Leach partly corrected before offering a familiar rebuke of the law.
"The reason this law was passed is because there are a number of people -- easily identified demographic groups -- that don't tend to have IDs," Leach said. "... There is no voter fraud of the type that this sort of ID would address. This is about stopping people from voting."
After bringing in Turzai -- with the incorrect title of House Speaker listed in the chyron -- the Bradford Woods representative replied by calling the legislation "bipartisan," noting support for the statute shown in public opinion polls. (While no Democrats in the state House or Senate voted for the bill, a recent Philadelphia Inquirer survey showed nearly two-thirds of likely state voters back the law.)
"It's a common sense provision that has been upheld by the United State Supreme Court," Turzai said. "... Justice Stevens specifically said we had a right to safeguard voter confidence."
A hearing focused on whether the state has made it easy enough to access ID cards is scheduled for Commonwealth Court on Tuesday morning. A supplemental opinion is due back to the Supreme Court by October 2.
UPDATE: No video on Fox News yet, but PoliticsPA has posted the clip on their YouTube account.
The latest Pa presidential survey from the right-leaning Rasmussen Reports is more in line with other major polls -- showing a big lead for Barack Obama -- than the GOP/Susquehanna poll showing the race is a dead heat with Mitt Romney.
President Obama has jumped to a double-digit lead over Mitt Romney in the battleground state of Pennsylvania.
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Pennsylvania shows Obama with 51% of the vote to Romney’s 39%. Three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate in the race, and seven percent (7%) remain undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Mark Critz's second ad is out in the PA12 race, and like many of the others we've seen this one talks about jobs, China and outsourcing. "I’m against tax breaks for outsourcing and it’s time to stop China from cheating," the incumbent says. Republican opponent "Keith Rothfus supports the trade deals costing us jobs and supports tax breaks for outsourcing."
The Democrat's script/backup info is after the jump:
- 9/21 voter ID update
- New GOP group hits Critz
- Voter ID gets Simpsons treatment
- Sabato moves PA12 to Dem lean
- Fitzgerald to issue county voter IDs
- PA GOP: Prez race a tie
- Metcalfe: Only "lazy" don't have ID
- Philly protesters shout down Corbett
- Corbett to NH for gov. candidate
- Hasen: ID decision "quite odd"