Coal, Hispanics and Women

The presidential campaigns in Pennsylvania this week are stressing different issues.

The Romney campaign is hitting on coal and Hispanics; the Obama campaign on equal pay for women.

I'll let you be the judge.

The Obama camp issued a memo ahead of Tuesday's Senate vote to make equal gender-pay in the workplace easier to attain.

The memo noted: PA women get 77-cents for every dollar men earn; PA women aged 55 to 64 earn on average $14,500 less than PA men of the same age; and in PA, 40% of working women are the primary income-earner in their family.

Then Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked an equal-pay bill.

Romney supports equal-pay, but it's hard to see how his party is helping him on this, especially in PA where suburban women are a key voting bloc.

Meanwhile, the Romney campaign was stressing its efforts in the state with this on Tuesday:

"After almost 4 years of an Obama presidency, one thing is very clear to Pennsylvania families who believed they would see changes and a brighter future for their children -- Obama’s presidency just hasn’t lived up to the promise of his 2008 campaign and voters cannot afford four more years of the Obama Economy."

But the issues then stressed were coal and Hispanics, as in the Obama administration is "hostile" to the state's coal industry, and its economic policies hurt Hispanics.

I'd note that PA's coal heydays have passed. More than 50% of U.S. coal production comes from Wyoming and West Virginia. PA produces just 5.3% and had its historic-high production year in 1918, according to the most recent data from the National Mining Association.

As for Hispanics, 30 other states have higher Hispanic population percentages. In PA, the number is 5.7 percent, according to U.S. Census data.

There are lots of issues impacting PA worthy of open debate. Certainly both sides will raise them in the weeks and months ahead. This week, one campaign seems better targetted.

But I'll let you be the judge.