Thursday, February 11, 2016

Woofin' on PA

Both campaigns are barking about Pennsylvania but there's only one real true indication that it's in play, and we haven't yet seen that.

Woofin' on PA


Both presidential campaigns are doing lots of barking about Pennsylvania still being in play headed into the final weekend before Election Day.

Two conservative groups supporting Mitt Romney -- American Crossroads and Americans for Prosperity -- are spending a combined $2.7 million on TV ads in the state, according to reporting by the Associated Press.

(No word yet from Obama backers, Americans for Destitution.)

Other groups backing Mitt are also airing ads, and the Romney campaign itself is up on TV in the state for the first since early April prior to the GOP primary.

And Mitt's sending surrogates: Romney son Tagg was to appear at events Thursday in Bensalem and Paoli; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was scheduled Thursday evening in Holmes, Delaware County.

Also, Romney campaign aides pushed the state during a press call Wednesday, arguing it's winnable and among several states in which they are increasing their efforts.

When asked about PA, Senior Romney advisor Russ Schriefer said, "I think we're in an excellent position to win."

Meanwhile, over in Obamaland, the president's senior advisor, David Axelrod, said he'll shave off his mustache of 40 years if Obama loses Pennsylvania.

This prompted the Romney camp in the state to send Axe a Romney/Ryan razor and shaving cream -- "for the morning of Nov. 7" -- to the Obama campaign office in Harrisburg.

Then Democratic National Committee bigwig Brad Woodhouse emailed out what appears to be internal GOP texting or tweeting that says Mitt's path to victory does include PA.

Composite polling results by Huffington Post and still show Obama leading in the state by 4 to 5 points.

Certainly that could tighten over the next few days under heavy Romney TV. But the proof of whether the state is in play is in the presence: if Mitt's not here, a win's not near -- no matter how much woofin' you hear.

Daily News Political Columnist
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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

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

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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