Pennsylvania is a holy grail of sorts for Republican presidential candidates. The Romney camp says polls are trending in its direction, and Romney will visit the state for the first time since September.
Could Mitt Romney win Pennsylvania, a state that’s swung Democratic in every presidential election for the past 20 years? That question comes up because Romney himself is now scheduled to stop in Philadelphia for a rally on Sunday following a burst of GOP-funded Keystone State ads.
At this point in a campaign a candidate’s time is a precious resource. Mr. Romney’s surprise visit to Pennsylvania thus suggests that his campaign sees an opening. Either that or they’re desperate, as Democrats charge.
Right now President Obama maintains an edge in Pennsylvania polling. Entering the race’s last weekend he leads Romney by 4.6 percentage points in the RealClearPolitics average of major polls conducted in the state.
But that margin is half what it was at the beginning of October. The most recent surveys show the race in Pennsylvania continuing to tighten, according to G. Terry Madonna, professor of public affairs at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., and Michael Young of Michael Young Strategic Research.
The reason for the narrowing margin is that Romney continues to gain on the crucial measure of which candidate would best manage the economy, according to Drs. Madonna and Young. An October Franklin and Marshall poll showed Romney leading Mr. Obama on this question by 47 to 42 percent.
“Someone didn’t get the memo about Obama’s inevitability in the Keystone state,” wrote Madonna and Young on Thursday in a RealClearPolitics post.