By David S. Broder
The Washington Post
UPPER DUBLIN, Pa. — In April, on the eve of the Pennsylvania primary, voters in this Philadelphia suburb were finding plenty of fault with both Barack Obama and John McCain. Many were preparing to — and soon did — vote for Hillary Clinton, helping her to a decisive victory in this state.
This week, those voters are part of a mass movement to Obama, driven by much greater familiarity with the Illinois senator’s views and by a pronounced distaste for McCain and his running mate, Sarah Palin.
The striking shift in Montgomery County, often a bellwether, makes McCain’s task of recapturing Pennsylvania from the Democrats look almost like Mission Impossible.
Robert Stutz, a recently retired hospital administrator, was, like many of his neighbors, skeptical of both the eventual nominees when they were on the primary ballot, “so I was mostly listening to Hillary at that point.” But he’s been impressed with Obama’s health-care plan and says that McCain virtually disqualified himself with his vice presidential choice. “I can’t imagine putting Sarah Palin in a position to be president of the United States,” he said.
Rich Miles, a building maintenance man, answered the question about his voting plans with the words: “Not Obama.” McCain and Palin reflect his values, he said. “They put the country first.” Whatever Palin may have done in shoring up the Republican base and securing the support of people like Miles, she clearly has cost McCain votes among some well-educated suburbanites.
Ann Marie Cutler, another Clinton primary voter, admits that she still has “some doubts about Obama in terms of experience,” but she is reassured by the fact that “he’s very bright.” She watched the vice presidential debate and was “sorely disappointed” with Palin. She “drops her g’s constantly,” Cutler said.