(Updated) Two Republican super PACs apparently are making a late play for Pennsylvania, placing a $3.2 million buy for airtime across the state in support of Mitt Romney.
Restore Our Future, the super PAC founded and financed by loyal former Romney staffers and donors, plans to spend $2.1 million for the last week of the campaign starting Tuesday, including in the expensive Philadelphia media market.
That’s on top of the $1.1 million already committed by Americans for Job Security, a conservative GOP super PAC that has aired ads around the nation attacking President Obama and backing Romney for president and Republican candidates for Congress.
Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said in a conference call with reporters Monday that it would respond in kind to the ROF buy in Pennsylvania.
"We’re not gonna take anything for granted and make sure we’re doing what we need to do on the ground," Messina said. "We’re (also) gonna go up in pa. They understand they’re not gonna be able to win ohio, so now they’re getting desperate."
Republican private polling shows Pennsylvania is within reach, though independent polls, including one over the weekend by The Philadelphia Inquirer, show a slightly larger lead for Obama of an average of 5 percentage points.
Neither presidential campaign is itself advertising on Pennsylvania broadcast, and the president and Romney have not visited the state much either.
In a state-of-the-race memo, Bill Hyers, Pennsylvania director for the Obama campaign, said that it has a more extensive and finely tuned "ground game" to turn out supporters than the Romney campaign does. In addition, he wrote, Obama benefits from the large Democratic voter-registration advantage in the state.
"Over the last three months alone, 47,440 African-Americans, 17,908 Latinos, 187,986 people under age 35 and 115,170 women have registered to vote in Pennsylvania – all groups among whom Obama leads Romney overwhelmingly," Hyers wrote.