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McCain tries to steal Pennsylvania; Obama's poll numbers widen

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Historically speaking, short-term anyway, Pennsylvania is blue. They haven't voted red since 1988. A compilation of current state polls, show McCain down by 11 points.

And unless Bill Ayers starts stumping for Obama or Joe Biden continues talking, the chances of reversing these numbers seem daunting. Especially in light of the party breakdown. There are 1.2 million more Democrats than Republicans in the state.

So why the heck would McCain continue to spend time in the Keystone state? It could be his only option.

It ain't that bad

McCain advisers say internal polling shows different results. The real Obama lead is about half what the public polls indicate, they say. And they say by turning about 2,000 voters per county from voting Democrat to Republican, the McCain campaign can steal the state.

In a conference call with reporters yesterday, McCain political director Mike Duhaime recognized the challenge in Pennsylvania but said McCain resonates with independents.

"Certainly, it's a state that a Republican hasn't won in 20 years," Duhaime said. "But we think Sen. McCain is the right candidate, with an appeal to independent voters. And certainly, the ability to get some crossover Democrats is what you need."

270

In the race toward the 270 electoral votes, Pennsylvania is key because other states that looked promising for McCain are no longer. They've conceded Michigan. New Mexico is now done. Colorado looks unlikely. Minnesota and Wisconsin seem unreachable.

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