It's no secret that Democrats are hurting in Pennsylvania. Just five weeks away from the general election Republicans are barreling towards a double header in a key state for Democrats. In the governors race Republican Tom Corbett leads Democrat Dan Onorato by 7 percentage points (47% vs. 40%) and in the race for senate Republican Pat Toomey clings to a five-point lead over Democrat Joe Sestak (45% vs. 40%).
Though Barack Obama won Pennsylvania in 2008 with 55% of the vote, given the his low approval ratings and lackluster results of his campaign cameos over the past two years (see 2009 New Jersey Governor race and 2010 Massachusetts special election for U.S. Senate) it's unlikely his support would do much to energize soured Democrats. However, the secret to jumpstarting the Democratic base could be Hillary Clinton.
Among voters still undecided for governor, Clinton's popularity is 66% favorable to just 24% unfavorable, suggesting that she could make an impact in the Governor's race. Further, a majority of undecided voters for U.S. Senate have a favorable opinion of Clinton (52%), while just 34% have an unfavorable of Clinton.
Hillary easily defeated Barack Obama in the Pennsylvania Democratic Primary in April 2008 and was the most popular political figure on the poll as 56% gave her a favorable rating while just 34% indicated unfavorable. She is popular among women (61%) and middle age voters age 46-55 years old (60%), both demographics with high undecided in both races.
The biggest problem for Democrats in November will be getting their supporters out to the polls. Compared to voters who say they are "almost certain" to vote this November, those who say they will "probably" vote lean Democratic by 16 points. With high favorability among Democrats (81%), Clinton's gas might be able to move the needle on Election Day.
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