Hat-tip to reader Zang for the heads -up.
I’ll cut the small town paper some slack for running a registered voter poll since the survey area was so limited. Between the major parties, only 68k people voted in Monroe County in 2008. It’s neighbor slightly South, Bucks County, cast 329k votes in 2008. But this type of poll result speaks volumes to the change in sentiment and the golden opportunity for Mitt Romney in Pennsylvania. As John Ekdahl of the Breitbart team regularly points out George Bush barely lost Pennsylvania in 2004 while losing Independents by 17-points (58 to 41). Mitt Romney is leading with Independents in Pennsylvania today so there are plenty voter shifts in preference to be hopeful. Maybe that’s why 20,000 people are expected to rally for Romney in Bucks County later today? We shall see.
Among Monroe County voters, the race for president is statistically a dead heat, an exclusive East Stroudsburg University/Pocono Record poll reveals. In a poll of 490 registered voters, 42.2 percent said they support President Barack Obama and 42 percent said they support Republican challenger Mitt Romney. The poll’s margin of error was +/-4.4 points.
- Economy: Respondents overwhelmingly cited the economy as the biggest issue in the race. Presented with a list of eight topics and asked to rank the most important, the economy was No. 1 for 83 percent of respondents. Pocono voters who cited the economy as most important supported Romney by about 5 points over Obama.
- Independents and Undecided: Among independents, Romney led Obama 41 to 34 percent. However, nearly 21 percent of independents polled in Monroe County said they were undecided “again showing how close the race is and how easily it could turn either way,” McGlynn noted. Young people had the highest rate of being undecided. Among those in the 18-to-24 bracket, 34.4 percent were undecided. And among those in this age group who made a selection, Romney was favored 42.3 percent to 17.9 percent for Obama. [note the youth sample was rather small so inferences lack some weight]
- Gender Gap: Romney led among men by 7.5 percent, Obama’s lead among women was 4.3 percent. Analysts said the Romney lead among men is offset by a slightly larger population of women in the county.
- Seniors: Middle-aged and senior voters were the most set in their candidate choices. Overall, those 65 and older slightly favored Romney, while those 25 to 64 slightly favored Obama.
- Base support: Almost 80 percent of those identifying themselves as Democrats and 75 percent of Republicans said they were voting for their respective party candidates.
- Poll shortcomings: Respondents skewed heavily older, female and white. Also, pollsters relied on calling land lines randomly selected from published telephone numbers. [when you’re polling a rural county, this is what you deal with]
- Chris Christie Effect: “Since this poll was conducted, President Obama has received high marks for his response to Hurricane Sandy and demonstrated some bipartisanship with his collaboration with Gov. Chris Christie on recovery efforts in New Jersey. This could sway some undecideds in the president’s favor,” wrote ESU political science professor Adam McGlynn.