Following controversial remarks saying some working-class Americans are “bitter” and “cling to guns or religion”, Democratic Presidential contender Barack Obama is facing a 20% drop against rival Hillary Clinton in a new Pennsylvania poll.

In the new American Research Group poll, Clinton now leads Obama 57% to 37%. Previously, the two Democratic candidates were tied at 45% each in the statewide poll.

On Monday, Illinois Senator Barack Obama continued defending remarks made at a private fundraiser in San Francisco that were revealed to the public last Friday.

In the speech, Obama said that the state of the economy and loss of jobs during the Clinton and Bush administrations had left some people “bitter”, causing them to “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Both Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and Republican Presidential nominee John McCain were quick to leap on Obama’s words, accusing him of elitism and being out of touch with working-class Americans.

In a speech in Pittsburg on Monday, Senator Clinton said she does not think Barack Obama understands the people he is supposed to be representing.

“I don’t think he really gets it; that people are looking for a President who stands up for you and not looks down on you” she said, according to the Baltimore Sun.

McCain, speaking at the annual Associated Press meeting in Washington on Monday, said he thought Obama’s remarks were “elitist”.

“I can only look at his remarks and say that those are certainly not the vision I have of America and its strength and greatness,” McCain said, according to ABCNews.com.

Obama, however, continues to defend his statements, although he admitted Monday that “it may be that I chose my words badly.”

In response to the attacks by Clinton and McCain, Obama said that when he hears “my opponents, both of whom have spent decades in Washington, saying I’m out of touch, it’s time to cut through their rhetoric and look at the reality.”

On the heels of his much criticized remarks, Obama has lost a considerable amount of ground against Hillary Clinton in a recent Pennsylvania poll.

On Monday, a new poll from the American Research group gave Clinton a 20% lead over Obama in the state.

The new poll, partially taken after Obama’s statements from the private fundraiser were leaked to the Internet, shows Clinton has gained a 20% over Obama among likely Democratic primary voters in Pennsylvania.

In a previous poll conducted April 5th to 6th, Obama and Clinton had been tied at 45% each.

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