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New poll shows Barack Obama tanking in Pennsylvania

The first fresh poll results from Pennsylvania are in since Barack Obama's "bitter" comments about people in small towns exploded as a news story, and the findings could hardly be worse for the Democratic presidential contender.

Intriguingly, the man in charge of the survey said interviews with voters indicate Obama's tumble in the state has more to do with what the candidate himself has said were ill-chosen words than anything else.

The new poll by American Research Group -- conducted Friday, Saturday and Sunday -- gave Clinton 57% and Obama 37% (based on interviews with 600 Democrats, the survey has an error margin of plus-or-minus 4 percentage points). The 20-point margin is all the more dramatic because, just the week before, an ARG poll found the pair in a flat-out tie in Pennsylvania, each with 45%.

The previous findings had put the race closer than any others. And perhaps the new one exaggerates the bounce Clinton has gotten from the storm over Obama's remarks at a San Francisco fund-raiser. Other pollsters are in the field in Pennsylvania, and we eagerly await their results (an L.A. Times/Bloomberg poll of Democrats in the Keystone State -- as well as in North Carolina and Indiana -- will be ready mid-week).

Regardless, the New Hamphire-based ARG poll, may have identified a tactical worry for the Obama camp above and beyond the current controversy. Dick Bennett, head of the poll, told us today that even before the furor erupted, it appeared many Pennsylvania Democrats began to turn against Obama because they are simply sick and tired of seeing and hearing his ads.

Much as campaign consultants would be loath to agree, Bennett opined that a candidate "can spend too much money" on an ad campaign, and the saturation of Obama spots ...

in Pennsylvania appear to be a classic example of "overkill" that ultimately does harm.

Bennett also reported that some of the Pennsylvanians who his company contacted went on to complain about the substance of the ubiquitous Obama ads. They are "about him, not voters or what their concerns are," Bennett said. And Obama's comment on attitudes in small towns served to reinforce that feeling.

-- Don Frederick

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It's interesting that this whole episode is characterized by the press with the tag "bitter comment" when really the problem part is his use of "clinging" to religion, guns, anti-immigration. anti trade etc to describe why a portion of voters don't agree with him on these issues.
He was explaining that voters who don't agree with him on these issues are motivated by bitterness implying an irrational emotional basis for views that he opposes. This kind of attitude on his part demonstrates an unwillingness to think through the issues involved if he is going to dismiss the concerns of a large part of the electorate out of hand.

As someone who finds religion, my second amendment rights, a sensible trade policy and a functioning immigration policy to be important I find his remarks as someone who is simply "clinging" to these beliefs out of 'bitterness'-- implying there is no rational argument behind my beliefs--to be condescending and insulting.

In fact I'm not bitter at all--I'm a cheerful guy--I just think he's wrong and his remarks are indicative of the kind of snobbery I've heard before from Ivy League types when it comes to working class Americans.

When I stated that the LA Times should just come out in their support for Billary I was told they support Obama.

Are you all sure that the LA Times supports Obama because all i've read are negative articles on Obama that favor Billary? How many people are in Pennsylvania; you sampled 600 and as a result you headline that he's tanking in Pennsylvania? Misleading and obviously trying to sway voters..should be ashamed of your constant poll baiting!!

I am so sick of listening to Hillary Clinton. She has been such a negative person. She will say or do anything to get into the whithouse . The american people would make a mistake to vote her in.

Obama is a fraud, and anyone that can't see that this Junior Senator is not ready for the White House is crazy. He should stay in the Senate and actually accomplish something before making a run for the most powerful job in the world. The true Obama is shown in all of these signs: his comments, his actions, his pastor. If yo uwant to be naive and think that the pieces of the puzzle don't come together to show the big picture then go ahead and vote for him. If you are more level headed and intelligent enough to understand how he operates then don't vote for him.

I'm not sure how reliable this survey can be when in fact most/many of us are ticked-off about many aspects of government; we all may be just venting our own personal angst and frustrations. The great people of PA (I'm from the Keystone state) are showing how "bitter" they are by revolting because of the oversaturation of campaign ads. This has a lot to do with semantics and little else.

If this is how Penn voters react to the obvious truth, then this is a SAD society, who lives in FANTASY and LIES. The NEWS media keep filtering the FILTH..for their own gains....Pennsylvania voters are really gullible to the old POLITICAL games, and can be easily fooled by fairy tales, When someone finally spek the truth he is destroyed. So Obama suffers for telling the TRUTH. Truth hurts and LIES and PHONY prevails,,,,,this is PATHETIC,,,

Just a note from PA to say Obama's words ARE what everybody knows to be true. The truth isn't always what we want to hear, but I'm glad there's one candidate who's willing to say what we NEED to hear. Hillary's shameless pandering is far worse than any poorly worded truth. When Hillary "mis-speaks" it's preposterous baloney about gunfire that has been prepared ahead of time. Her latest nonsense that she's a pro-gun church goer is laughable and insulting. If she cared about the Democratic Party at all she'd step down.

And where was this poll before? No one's referenced this poll throughout this entire campaign. #1, there's no previous mark to compare to. #2, almost every other poll around contradicts this finding.

Nice try, but your attempts to keep the establishment alive are futile. It's time to have our country run by those who were supposed to run it....the people.

Powerfully lame. Please stop trying to 'John Kerry/Gary Hart' Obama with these silly attempts to snowball something small into something big. The media can be misleading at times, but I never thought you'd take part in that nonsense. I dont see you emphasizing Hilary's highly ignorant and repetative remarks.

Let's face it....first it was the pastor now these comments. Wake up people the man has an agenda HIS OWN! Lets not make the same mistake as we did with President Useless ( Bush). It's all coming out of the wash. I am sorry but the press only prints what is fact. And that is Mr. Obama is defeating himself. Go Hillary 2008!

Mr. Obama needs to realize that words have meaning. We are seeing a tendency in the words of Mr. Obama and his close friends and associates that is frightening. What he said was what he truly believed. There is no doubt about that. It is disappointing that every time someone points out his character flaws or areas of concern (racist friends and ties with criminals), people blame the old guard, not Mr. Obama. How people view us comes from our words, our actions, our appearance, and the company we keep. The "Old Guard" has no control over these things, but Mr. Obama does. He chooses his words and he chooses his close friends and allies.

Obama is an elitist. Not all religious people are "bitter" as Obama stated. Religion has been a very important factor in the lives of most Americans. It is simply ignorant and foolish to label religious people as poor or bitter. The same can be said of gun owners or other groups that Obama stereotyped. These comments show that Obama's views are similar to that of his wife's and the views of Rev. Wright.

If the American public fail to elect Obama because of his observations about the political climate of small town America, it will just go to prove that Americans are uneducated, uninformed and pick leaders based on shallow-reasoning. I live in Canada (but I'm a dual citizen), and if Americans fail to reverse the damaged caused by the past seven years of the Bush presidency, I'm afraid the damage will be irreversible and the American people will only have themselves to blame.

I find the furor over these comments ridiculous. The problem is that people do not want to really confront the issues today. We rather hide and play victim far too often. We willingly allow others to tell us how we should feel about something. Reading his speech in its entirety it is a pity that the one comment is what everyone is harping on.

I also find Clinton's pouncing of the issue distasteful but I've known for a while now that this is the way the Clintons operate.

Sorry people but Obama is wrong and I do not like all these talking heads and media hounds spinning Obama's words!as not being offensive but instead were right and true. I also am really tired of them telling me how I feel! who I am is one of the "THEY" Obama was sharing to is "WE" buddies about. What they all have wrong is that I am not bitter towards my country or my government for that matter or any other race of people or any other country or any other neighbors! Not city folk, not Hispanic folk, Not black folk! They are all welcome to my small town and my church where you will get and invite for dinner! We do have people in hard times and other who are not and we help each other through such times. We do want more jobs but not anymore or leas then any other part of this country. We count ourselves so very lucky to be able to live in a small town with a solid sense of community and core values of hard work, sharing, caring and God loving abound! Where we have the freedom to work and play. Where we can hunt and fish and live as we please. We are not bitter we are BLESSED!

Its about time - the mask is falling off his face. Now he will be seen for what he really is - a story teller, a snake charmer.

This guy Obama seems to be the new Teflon man..he says outrageous things and yet he is able to talk it away the next day... eg: questionable real estate deals, association with radical people, speaking his real mind in closed company, etc. We should stop blaming the media and let the true personality come out. No one's voices are being drowned out, quite the contrary, his is being amplified. We have not seen the real Obama yet!

For the talking media heads to complain about Obama's elitism because of a poorly worded comment is patently ridiculous. Every Senator is an elite, else they would not be a Senator. The degree of elitism is often a function of the time spent in office, as well as interconnectedness to other elites (hence all Senators are elites). Therefor we should expect Obama's elitism to be much less prevalent than McCain's or Hillary's.

Everything that has happened in the campaigns so far reinforces this, except Obama's recent comments. However, his apology and clarification were sufficient explanation (no doubt the media will not think so, since the other campaigns won't) for his comments. It turns out he was making a true statement, just with poor wording.

With a 15 minutes attention span in the media, we will be on to some other scandal involving who knows who, so this is likely not to effect him much by the time people vote. Especially by November.

"Did you hear what Mccain said?

"Yes, did you hear what Hillary said?"

"Oh my gosh, how scandalous!"

The rest of the story is: Obama said small town people jiust didn't get the message cause it was delivered by somebody not like them...........a 46 year old black man, and that when people tell him they are stressed by racial discord, he tells them to try slavery for awhile..........go read up on it. I guess he listened real well to Rev. Wright after all.

If the American public fail to elect Obama because of his observations about the political climate of small town America, it will just go to prove that Americans are uneducated, uninformed and pick leaders based on shallow-reasoning. I live in Canada (but I'm a dual citizen), and if Americans fail to reverse the damaged caused by the past seven years of the Bush presidency, I'm afraid the damage will be irreversible and the American people will only have themselves to blame.

Now are we to accept this version from Obama as to what he "really" was saying or should we wait for the 4th revision? What he said was what he thought and it wasn't any of this BS. He was talking in private with a group of elite supporters giving them a pat on the ole back. He was sharing insights with them trying to relate with a group of metropolitan rich somebodies. thus the "WE'LL" in the talk. The "They" was who he was talking about. The view he shared was how he saw it in his own words but it is a view held by this group as well. what he was telling them in straight talk is shorter and with less stammering involved. Why we have a hard time getting "THEY" on board with our movement is because Red Necks are lazy bitter people who are fanatical about there religion, gun and anti outsiders. They don't trust "WE" educated city folk or for that matter any outside person or country other then other red necks just like them. You know it is a race thing as to why they won't vote for me or accept our enlighten movement. NOW THAT IS WHAT HE SAID AND HOW HE FEELS AND ALL THE SPIN IN THE WORLD BY HIM OR THE BIAS MEDIA IS NOT GOING TO SUCKER THE AMERICAN RURAL PUBLIC!! SPEAKING AS A FORMER METRO "WE" WHO NOW HAS LIVED AMONG "THEY" FOR 20 YEARS HAVE TO SAY SORRY BARACK THAT IS NOT WHO "THEY" ARE!
THEY are hard working, God loving, kind, open hearted toward all others and who are love of life and country people!

What obama said and what its being made out to be are two different things - if you read his entire quote its not hard to opine that what he meant was not diparaging and his clarification is consistent..

this is a non-issue, much like the "dean scream" which was but a slightly off-pitch moment amplified and repeated ad nauseum towards america's lowest intellectual ranks

the smarter america is, the less effective such dumb ruses will be

Obama is finished.

He was finished at the time of the Rev. Wright freakshow.

If he somehow weasels the Dem nomination, the Democrats can kiss the White House bye-bye. What a squandered golden opportunity to reclaim the White House that would be.

Hilarious - the comments about the media being against Obama. The ONLY reason Obama got this far is because the media was in love with him and gave him a free pass.

It's a shame that several inappropriate sentences can send an election in an entirely different direction.

I find this poll to be out of sorts. The latest Gallup Daily poll of 4/13 shows Obama 50% and Clinton 40%, and the Susquehanna Polling and Research Clinton 40% and Obama 37%.

I don't believe that his numbers could have fallen so significantly. No one considers that poll, so it is not even included in the averages.

The futures markets for predicting election have not budged on this tempest in a teapot!
Hillary needs to win by the amount predicted in this "new terrible poll" for Obama just to have any mathematical chance of staying alive in the delegate count.

This will be a good test for how much the electorate is paying attention to cable news where the story has been played up beyond reason, or the actual underlying facts of the story, which are a far more benign. Obama is right--the Clinton campaign and the media are playing politics with this is in the worst way. Makes you wonder if the MSM wants to do him in like they did Dean in 2004.

I'm starting to think Obama's support is completely illusionary.

If you take out the Caucuses and minority driven primaries in solidly red States....

Hillary is beating him 2 to 1.

Heck if yo just take out the Caucuses, Hillary is beating him handily.

And I'm sorry but NOTHING is more undemocratic than Caucuses. If other countries held Caucuses, we would denounce them as Unfair and undemocratic.

To have people go to places like someone's house, publicly debating where strong arm tactics can be used, and then being force to vote publicly....

There's is NOTHING Democratic about that....and it doesn't gauge the electability of a candidate in any means, just their ability to get the toughest voters to show and force others to support leat temporary.

Again, I'm starting to think Obama's support is completely illusionary.

Bogus poll. People could care less about bittergate. It is the creation of elite NYC and DC media who thinks they know what we think out here in real America. Having been in central PA, I think Obama will lose PA, but not by 20 points. I think the tied survey was BS and I think this survey was BS. My guess is about a 10 point win for Obama. Remember, Hillary started PA with a 23 point lead.Tanking would be down by 40!

I don't think his comments hurt him at all. I don't expect him to win PA, but that isn't all that important, he still has the momentum to win elsewhere. Even if people are weary about Obama, I think many still prefer him over Clinton around here.

But the sad thing is so many of these 'working class' Pennsylvanians (in my eyes) don't even know much about any candidate other than the snippets they see on the news which are primarily bad things.

Obama ftw.

The vetting out continues. GO HILLARY '08!

Whats the big deal? Obama is just regurgitating the communist doctrine he was taught and believes. Religion is the opiate of the masses. Of course the little Pennsylvania peasants want to "cling" to their opiate in tough financial times.

Barak Hussien will work tirelessly to have the peasants transfer that faith in GOD to faith in the government.

After all, as Barak has been taught in church for the last 20 years - if GOD isn't with the goals of the Black Liberation Theology ("Hate and Blame Whitey for all the worlds ills" - for those unfamiliar with the doctrine), then Barak's church should/will "murder him".

susan, what networks are you watching? I am an avid news viewer and must tell you that CNN and MSNBC should just declare they are in the tank for OBAMA and get it over with.

Last nights cnn forum on compassion was a love fest toward Obama. R u kidding me?

Honestly, I have about decided that there is nothing that could make me vote for any Clinton, in any election, for any office.

It can be true that refusing to vote against the worst of two evils is to assure the election of the worst of two evils, but it still might be too hard to vote for Hilary Clinton.

The American Research Group is notorious for inaccurate polling. I'm surprised the L.A. Times is giving these results any credibility.

When he said they "turn to religion and guns out of bitterness" he actually revealed a deep contempt for the 2nd ammendment and America's Christian religous heritage-the mask was off. He's a pure elitist that thinks we serfs have no need (and/or lack the mental capacity) to bear arms in protection of our liberties, and that deep down religion is "just a crutch" for bitter simpleminded people.

Of course, neither of these things are true-"We the people" bearing arms is how American liberty was won in the first place, and in all areas of life people of Christian belief systems have outperformed the secular and "sexually liberated" co-citizens-stabile communities, intact families bearing well adjusted children who become good citizens-freedom from disease and drugs.

Remember, throughout human history the defining characteristic between a slave and a free man has been the free man's right to bear arms.

Moreover, throughout human history it has been the cosmopolitican and sophisticated that produced the collapses of their civilizations, not the provincial patriarchal, strict citizen soilders of the farms.

As it has always been, provincial family men bearing arms father a civilization, decadent despots seeking to enslave first and always seeks to take those arms away.

IMO he's beaten himself.

at least they have seen the wolf in sheeps clothing before it is to late

Bottom line kiddies, (and I voted for this guy some time ago), if you want to be president or get elected to any office, don't say negative things about the voters. Any voters..... It was dumb. You're in Pennsylvania, you go bowling to impress the working guys.. You're in San Francisco, you open your big mouth in front of the wealthy intellectuals and vomit all over your campaign. He may be bright but this was just plain dumb, I don't care what anyone says. No spin will change this perhaps only time.

National polls mean absolutely nothing. Unless the polling is done from the states that will likely vote Democrat, then the poll cannot be taken seriously. There are several states won by Obama that will never, ever, vote Democrat in the general election.

Count the states that Clinton has won, along with their electoral votes. Then do the same for Obama. Then subtract out the states from Obama that will certainly vote Republican. Obama loses handily. This is the only poll that really matters.

There is no "mass media" conspiracy at work against Obama. The Obama "bitter" comments stem from his inability to get the votes outside of the major metro areas, where (and this is not racist unless you pretne it to be) the population is predominantly black.

Hahahaha, Obama is the most impertinent, arrogant, insolent, over-self-estimating, self-aggrandizing half term senator ever to run for president (well, he's actually the ONLY half-term junior senator ever to run for president, but this fact just proves the former).

The problem with your blog is the particular poll you are revering to is usually very completely wrong. That is way does not include this polls results in their average totals.


After giving him the benefit of the doubt, most folks have finally come to realize the arrogance behind the Obama campaign. This has been more about molding and shaping a false political image in the age of the internet than anything else. Eventually the real man behind the mask had to emerge and in this case it's just another typical small minded, small time slick Chicago politician. I actually feel sorry fall all the Obamaheads who fell head over heels in love for this guy.


Hillary seems to be able to say and get away with any and everything and yet her remarks generate nothing but a couple of laughs; whereas Obama's remarks always seem to linger and linger for days and weeks - what's going on here.

By the way I am bitter: bitter about a government that seems to be more interested in furthering its own cause as opposed to its constitutents cause. Bitter about a war that we don't want, that's costing us trillions, bitter about bailing out wall street, and to damn with main street, bitter about our failing schools and kids being left behind.

And so in this bitterness - I do turn to my GOD and wonder what in the world is going on.

An elitist - when they, The Clintons, made over 1/10 of a billion dollars in 6 years, due to him representing the American people. Give me a break!

Go Hillary! Go girl!

To Susan: We meaning who, Obama's followers that refuse to see anything other than greatness from Obama. Obama has had a free ticket almost all the way up to this point. To make a point, a big deal was made about Hillary's story of her landing in Bosnia; which BTW I think was rediculous at best considering Rezko, Rev. Wright and now his contempt for small town America. I'm sure given his Rev views Obama feels only racists live where most people don't support his Anti-American stance. And talk about feeling entitled I believe he feels entitled to the Presidency given what has happened to Black persons in the past. After all he threw Grandma under the bus but not his precious Rev Wright who has done so many great things for........Black Americans.

The problem with your blog is the particular poll you are revering to is usually very completely wrong. That is way does not include this polls results in their average totals.

To Susan, you "voice" has been silenced! He is a "racist". I love this meltdown.

Obama is one over-confident arrogant individual. He eventually gets away with this crap because so many naive desperate voters (obama supporters) want change but have a blurry vision of the obvious.

I guess the more people see and hear Obama the less they want him. Interesting turn around.

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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