Salena Zito

Maranto says what's causing Pennsylvania voters to give Obama a second look goes beyond Obama's "share the wealth" notion: "They are suspicious of him and his Ivy League buddies who have never run anything in their lives (but) that now want to run the country."

He adds that "it is all in the arrogance."

Liberal Democrats often have a hard time in this state because they don't understand why voters in poor, rural areas don't "vote their pocketbooks." Frankly, these are not very materialistic people; if you live in Johnstown or in Elk County and you care that much about money, then you will leave for better opportunities in the big city.

People who stay behind don't care as much about money as they care about their families or communities.

To ambitious politicians such as Obama or running mate Joe Biden, that's just crazy; they can't imagine folks who care more about family or community than about getting ahead.

Oh, this doesn't mean that people in places like Elk County or Centre County aren't ambitious -- they are. But rather than focus on material needs, they focus on being better parents or better hunters, better Christians, better whatevers. It's a different, more laid-back life.

Much the same can be said for the Pittsburgh region, where many people live within a few miles of where they grew up.

Who will close the deal in Pennsylvania? The polls say Obama; the pundits, too.

Let's see what the voters say.


Salena Zito

Salena Zito is a political analyst, reporter and columnist.