Paul Ryan Campaigning In Pennsylvania
October 20, 2012 2 Comments
As most of you know my position on the election is that Romney doesn’t really have a pathway to victory. Nevertheless there are some encouraging developments on the campaign trail. Paul Ryan is going to be speaking in Pennsylvania today. Polls appear to be getting tighter in Pennsylvania. One poll actually shows Romney up 4. Most of the polls out there seem to indicate Obama is up 3-4, though these seem to be leaks of Obama and Romney camp internal polls. RCP still shows Obama up 5, though they don’t include the poll showing Romney up 4 in its average.
The question for the Romney camp is why are they sending Paul Ryan to Pennsylvania. Do they believe the state is in play or are they hoping to force Obama and the Democrat to shift their funds from real swing states to defend a state that Romney has no real chance of winning. Pennsylvania hasn’t been won by a Republican since 1988. It’s possible a local issue could make this closer than normal. Obama’s anti-coal policies have rankled the middle of the state, which depends on coal production. So perhaps this will be a closer than normal loss for the GOP. Still, if the polls show it close then maybe Romney really has a shot.
Or more likely the Romney camp is trying to get the Democrats to divert funds from Ohio and other swing states to defend what should be an easy blue pick up. The RNC has $83 million cash on hand while the DNC is taking out a loan. These aren’t the campaigns per se but they spend money on their candidate. Romney and Obama appear to be even on cash but with certain swing states clearly going Romney’s way, Romney has apparently begun to shut down operations in North Carolina and Florida. Obama hasn’t given up Florida yet. By shutting down spending in states Romney will clearly win, he can shift money to Ohio and perhaps some blue states where the polls are tightening.
The real point of the Ryan visit is to force Obama to buy ads and otherwise campaign in Pennsylvania. Romney spending a few thousand to send Ryan is a good investment if it means Obama will be forced to visit or even better if they have to take out $1 million in ads. That’s money Obama could be spending in Ohio or Nevada, states that Romney really needs to win badly. This is all part of the campaigning game, it’s a joy to watch. One wonders what the Obama camp is doing right now to out maneuver team Romney.
Pennsylvania isn’t in play. If it is, then we’re entering Dick Morris territory in which case Romney will win in a landslide. If Pennsylvania goes red, so will Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa to say nothing of all the swing states. Pennsylvania would represent a shift that goes well beyond one state, it would represent a national trend away from President Obama. There is zero evidence that a national trend is underway, at least not to this extent. Polls may have tightened after the first debate, there may be a small swing against Obama out there. But not to the point where solidly blue states like Pennsylvania end up red on election night.