Romney, Obama Headed To Pennsylvania. Is It On?

Colby Itkowitz
Allentown Morning Call

Look out Keystone State, you’re in the political cross-hairs.

Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney have both scheduled events in Pennsylvania this week, even as the debate rages about whether the state will actually be in play in November.

Obama will hold a fundraiser at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia Tuesday night.

Romney has scheduled a folksy “Every Town Counts” bus tour that will start in New Hampshire on Friday, swing through an unidentified small town in Pennsylvania on Saturday and continue through Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Michigan.

It’s an itinerary of Democrat-leaning swing states that Romney would love to put in the Republican column in November.

So is Pennsylvania reachable for Romney? Evidence mounted last week that the former Massachusetts Governor would bypass Pennsylvania when DC-based Politico got its hands on a PowerPoint from a Romney pollster that showed the path to 270 electoral votes would depend on states like Colorado, Iowa and Ohio, not Pennsylvania.

The Romney campaign hasn’t made much of an effort so far in the state – no ads, minimal staff – it did recently hire a state director and a communications director in Pennsylvania. Kate Meriwether, Romney’s new state spokeswoman, said everything in campaigns change quickly. “We’re definitely going to be at play in Pennsylvania and other states that aren’t on that PowerPoint,” she said.

A Franklin and Marshall poll released last week showed Obama with a 48-36 percent lead over Romney in Pennsylvania.

Meanwhile Romney is bashing Obama for his comments about the private sector being in good shape while Obama’s camp rips Romney for wanting to fire teachers, police and firefighters