Friday, April 18, 2014
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Playing PA's Tune

Both sides in the presidential race are singing songs of Pennsylvania. One seems off-key.

Playing PA's Tune

Both sides in the presidential race are singing songs of Pennsylvania; but one side seems a tad off-key.

The state GOP Wednesday morning issued a statement quoting party chairman Rob Gleason as (shockingly) agreeing with Gov. Corbett that Pennsylvania’s in play.

“Governor Corbett is absolutely correct regarding Pennsylvania’s continued competitiveness in the 2012 Presidential election. Like the Governor, I speak with voters and volunteers daily and Mitt Romney continues to have tremendous support on the grassroots level,” Gleason said.

He added that Corbett “knows Pennsylvania politics and he knows that Mitt Romney is poised to deliver a big upset in the Keystone State.”

Support for this enthusiasm is based on a report in the Allentown Call that Corbett, while in Lebanon County, said that in his “travels across the state, I think there’s a great deal of support for Gov. Romney.”

Given that the guv’s “travels across the state” are often restricted to GOP areas and kayak trips, I don’t doubt his claim.

But is seems a stretch to think he or Gleason talk with many “voters and volunteers” who aren’t Romney supporters.

A few hours after Gleason’s statement, state Democrats issued a list of state and national headlines noting that Romney-supporting conservative groups pulled TV ads out of the state and that Romney’s campaign is focused on 8 key states, not including Pennsylvania.

Then the Romney camp then issued a statement announcing its “Pennsylvania Campaign Leadership” team led by Corbett, Sen. Toomey, Gleason, GOP congressmen and a bunch of other Republican officeholders.

Evidence, I suppose, the GOP is getting serious here.

But wait. Wednesday night state Democratic chairman Jim Burn issued a statement saying Pennsylvanians “are not buying the failed policies of the past” that Romney’s selling.

This is based, I imagine, on his travels across the state speaking with voters and volunteers.

Well, here’s what we know today.

The average of the most recent independent in-state polling as compiled by the realclearpolitics.com Website has Obama up a comfortable 7.7 percent, and that’s before the Democratic convention which gave Obama a 4- to 6- point bump in major national polls.

Also, Pennsylvania hasn’t voted for a GOP presidential candidate since 1988.

Granted, things happen and Mitt’s got money; but happy tunes about PA going Romney just sound a little flat.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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