Romney Fights For Pennsylvania

New York Post

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Republican Mitt Romney is actually keeping his promise to spend more time in swing states than he has lately. Today Romney is in Pennsylvania, which hasn’t gone for a Republican president in years and where Democrats have a decided registration advantage. No surprise then that the story makes it seem as if Romney is graspign at straws for campaigning in Philadelphia.

But is it desperation or does Romney have reason to focus on the Keystone state?

Here are a couple of data points to consider:

1. There are two polls this week showing Romney behind President Obama (not surprising) but the margins are really small (surprising). The margins are one point, 48 percent to 47 percent, and two points, 47 percent to 45 percent. And these polls show that while Obama had more of an advantage in previous polls, the gap has narrowed tremendously in Romney’s favor.

2. Unemployment in Pennsylvania is lower than the national average so that should bode well for Obama. But it is still over eight percent — 8.1 percent to be exact.

3. Romney is getting big money from donors. He’s expecting to raise $1 million in Philadelphia and that’s where the state will be won or lost, in the city and surburbs. There are more conservative voters in areas between Phili and Pittsburgh in the southwest corner of the state. But not enough to overcome the potential voter turnout around in the East.

4. Which brings us to one other annecdotal datapoint and that’s about enthusiasm. Last time out, the urban areas of Pennsylvania — Philadelphia and Pittsburgh — were going crazy for Obama and John McCain was nowhere. This time, there is much less visible evidence in the cities that Obama-fever is going to repeat itself.

5. The Jews. Like Florida, there are a goodly number of Jews in Pennsylvania and they are being targeted by groups like the Republican Jewish coalition in a similar vein. The RJC is on a massive phone-banking campaign in Ohio and in Pennsylvania and using ads about “buyer’s remorse” regarding having voted for Obama in ’08.

The conventional wisdon is right about Pennsylvania, it does have more Democrats than Republicans and it hasn’t gone Republican in a presidential contest in decades. But then again, where do you think all those famous “Reagan Democrats” live?

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