Polls are fleeting things. As long as Iraq sucks all the oxygen up in the media, the polls will reflect how the people feel we are doing in Iraq. If (and it's a big if) we can disengauge successfully from Iraq by the election, or if it looks like things are going that way, Bush's polls bounce right back up. Does that really tell us anything about the election? I think it's really too early for the polls to matter. If it was mid September, I'd be more interested.
Was it Ed Koch that said "All politics is local"?
PA is annoyed with Governer Rendell in Harrisburg, and Pittsburgh is hot at Mayor Murphey. For those out of state, both are Democrats. Both sets of problems have to do with taxes, budgets, and keeping services going. We'll see how much support the Dems get if Rendell doubles the tolls on the turnpike! PennDOT is not well loved here. And I haven't heard anyone in love with some of the proposals to lower the property tax by raising sales or income taxes yet. These issues are likely to make Dems less likely to come out and vote for their guy. If Kerry looses Alleghney county, or wins it with low turnout and margin, he won't carry the state, and I don't know if the Grant Street political machine can deliver Pittsburgh this time around.
I'm not saying that Bush will win PA. Kerry will probably win the younger voters just on the Iraq issue. But if he wants a win in PA, (and probably the country) he needs to do more than make this a referendum on Bush's performance, because right now, nobody really thinks he would be any better.
Note, my opinion and a buck ninty-nine will get you a gallon of gas... one thing Kerry has in his favor is the price keeps going up.