Pennsylvania is the forbidden fruit for Republicans; desired but always out of reach. News reports over the last 24 hours indicate that Romney is going to make a major push in that state. Paul Ryan visited the state on Saturday, and Romney has dispatched 60 plus staffers to the state — with more on the way. There are polls showing Romney ahead.
Has this plan been in the works for some months?
From all appearances, the poll cited below by TD is from a reputable polling firm. I spent some time last night perusing their website and, although it seems like a small outfit, it does appear to be a legitimate pollster.
In fact, one of the most striking things is that the firm, Susquehanna, has been tracking a below-the-radar campaign by Romney in that state.
Although keen political observers like Jay Cost of the Weekly Standard have dismissed this unknown pollster (Tweeting that “Romney up in PA? Meh. Haven’t seen any ads here for him. As of last ad buys, he thought he was down more than he can make up.”)
A news item was posted to their website commenting on the closeness of the race based on their polls and, most importantly, that Romney was spending money on advertising.
After two SP&R polls showing Romney and Obama still in a tight race in the Keystone State, Romney released two TV Commericals that specifically target the region.
This ad is sponsored by the “Republican Federal Committee of Pennsylvania.” The two polls referenced above were sponsored by the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania and the Pittsburgh Tribune. The more recent poll was also sponsored by the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania.
It’s been widely reported that the RNC is sitting on huge sums of cash. It would not be a stretch to imagine that these state level Republican groups, in coordination with the RNC, have been laying the groundwork for a final two-week Romney blitz in Pennsylvania, a well-orchestrated roll-out and the ginning up of excitement in a state which Romney would love to poach.
Remember that during the Republican primaries, Gingrich seemed to have stopped Romney cold with a victory in South Carolina. As Byron York wrote at the time, Romney had to do three things to win in Florida a mere 10 days later:
1) attack Gingrich with a level of ferocity not yet seen in the already-contentious Republican presidential campaign; 2) raise the level of his performance in debate; and 3) improve his on-the-stump message to give voters more substance and fewer platitudes.
In the battle that now rages, Romney has been doing all three nationally and in Pennsylvania. He’s got twice the amount of time he had going into Florida, and the Republican state committee has been softening things up for just such a pincer move, typical of Romney and his brilliant strategists. Win or lose in Pennsylvania, it’s going to make Obama spend precious resources there.