Romney Ramps Up Pa. Campaign Offices

Erie Times-News

Mitt Romney’s campaign bus rolled through Pennsylvania over the weekend, but what remains behind is a growing number of campaign offices — with one promised for Erie later this summer.

The Romney campaign and what the GOP calls its “Victory” offices now have seven locations in the state. The Victory offices are a joint operation of the Republican National Committee, the Pennsylvania Republican Party and the Romney campaign.

That contrasts with the 27 offices that the Barack Obama re-election campaign has scattered throughout the state, including a joint office with the Erie County Democratic Party in downtown Erie.

Without a challenger for the Democratic nomination, Obama got a head start on Romney, who emerged from what once had been a large GOP field to become the presumptive nominee.

“We currently have seven offices open across Pennsylvania and will continue ramping up our voter contact efforts aggressively,” Billy Pitman, Pennsylvania RNC Victory spokesman, said in a statement.

The closest office to Erie is in Green Tree, a suburb just outside of Pittsburgh.

But the campaign said an Erie office will be among the next wave of openings, though a date has not been set.

Pitman said that while the Obama campaign “struggles” to try to win back coalitions from the 2008 campaign, “we’re busy reaching out to Independent voters who are looking for a president who can turn our economy around.”

However, a recent Quinnipiac University poll cited Independents and women as the reason that Obama is leading Romney, 46 to 40 percent, in its latest poll.

And Bill Cole, chairman of the Erie County Democratic Party, said the campaign is not just shoring up the base from 2008, though that’s part of the effort. It’s also seeking out new voters, including Independents, women, youths and other demographics.

Cole said the voters he’s spoken with are more comfortable with a second term for Obama than a first term for Romney. That comfort level, Cole said, includes progress on jobs and the economy.

“They believe he’ll get better results in a second term,” he said.

But Pitman said the Romney team is working on winning Pennsylvania, a state that a couple of weeks ago was thought to be in Obama’s win column.

“We feel great about our strategy to beat Obama in Pennsylvania and look forward to the next couple of months contrasting Obama’s failed policies with Mitt Romney’s sterling business record,” he said.

But Obama, campaigning last week in Cleveland on the same day Romney stumped in Ohio, asked the country to accept his vision for another term or face a return to the recession-era “mistakes of the past.”

Ohio and Pennsylvania are seen as key battlegrounds in the Nov. 6 election.

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