Does Romney Camp Think They Can Swing Pennsylvania?

It's possible, of course. An awful lot of people here in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are still unemployed, and Obama is going to need a heavy turnout in both cities to override the wingnut voters in the rural areas of the state. But as the

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It's possible, of course. An awful lot of people here in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are still unemployed, and Obama is going to need a heavy turnout in both cities to override the wingnut voters in the rural areas of the state. But as the article points out, I'm not seeing or hearing much from the Romney campaign:

GOP officials long have said any move into Pennsylvania would come late. The state is the last to start absentee voting and doesn't allow in-person early voting, so both sides concentrated their early efforts elsewhere. So far during the general-election campaign, Mr. Romney has made five trips to Pennsylvania; President Barack Obama has made two political trips to the state during this campaign.

Flush with cash and buoyed by encouraging poll numbers in several states, Romney campaign officials say they continue to evaluate whether to bolster staffing and begin advertising in additional states. While polls show the race tightening in several states that previously had dropped off the list of battlegrounds, Pennsylvania is an intriguing possibility for a late-in-the-game investment.

Nearly all recent polls show Mr. Obama's lead in single digits in Pennsylvania, and four of them put his lead at four points or less. A survey released last week by Quinnipiac University found Mr. Obama leading Mr. Romney 50% to 46% in the state, down from a 12-percentage-point gap in September.

With 20 electoral votes—more than Ohio, Virginia or North Carolina—Pennsylvania often beckons to Republicans. then disappoints. The state hasn't backed a Republican presidential candidate since then-Vice President George H.W. Bush in 1988. Sen. John McCain campaigned in Pennsylvania four years ago but lost by 11 percentage points to Mr. Obama.

A close Senate race, in which Republican Tom Smith has invested millions of his own money, also has energized Republicans about their prospects in Pennsylvania.

But Democrats say they don't see evidence that Mr. Romney is gaining significant ground, nor that his campaign is preparing to run television ads or sending more resources to the state. "If it were real, and [Mr. Romney] had a shot here, then he would be on the air and on the ground, and he is neither," said Josh Shapiro, a Pennsylvania Democrat and chairman of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.

Still, Jim Burn, chairman of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, said he knows that could change. "We don't think the Republicans think they can win here," he said. "But we're asking everyone involved to prepare as if they are going to come back, as if they are going to spend money, as if in the final days here they're going to launch a full offensive."

If the Romney campaign decides to elevate Pennsylvania as a priority, it would begin adding staff and airing ads in the state. So far, that hasn't happened. In fact, five Republican campaign staff members in Pennsylvania recently were redeployed to Ohio and Virginia, leaving the Romney team and the Republican National Committee with about 60 staffers in the state.

"Pennsylvania is definitely in play," said Rich Beeson, Mr. Romney's political director. "There's a significant blue-collar Democratic vote in Pennsylvania that I think is going to flock away from Obama."

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