Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

Romney continues last-second Pennsylvania blitz

November 5, 2012 by NCC Staff


GOP contender Mitt Romney is blitzing more than the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pennsylvania, as he will be back in the Keystone State on Tuesday in a swing-state upset bid.

Romney will visit his campaign’s headquarters in Pittsburgh, as well as spend time in Ohio, on Tuesday.

NBC confirmed Romney’s plans on Monday afternoon.

A large crowd, estimated in the tens of thousands, greeted Romney on Sunday in Bucks County, a voter-rich area outside Philadelphia.

Romney could be hoping to blaze a path to election victory used by Hillary Clinton in 2008, when she used a strong campaign in western Pennsylvania to beat then-Senator Obama in the Democratic primaries.

Pennsylvania has 20 electoral votes and would be a lifeline for Romney if the Republicans can’t win Ohio with its 18 electoral votes.

The GOP and its surrogates have been spending heavily in the state in recent days after ignoring it for most of the presidential campaign.

Two weeks ago, the Republicans decided to spend money in Maine rather than Pennsylvania before making an about face.

Recent Constitution Daily Stories

Why the 2012 election is the closest in recent history Romney’s wildest win scenario features Pennsylvania 10 most unusual celebrity presidential endorsements Booze on Election Day was an American tradition

The balance of power within Pennsylvania has shifted away from the Democratic stronghold of Philadelphia in recent years. A GOP presidential candidate hasn’t won in Pennsylvania since 1988.

In 2008, Terry Madonna and Michael Young from Franklin & Marshall College described how President George H. W. Bush was able to defeat his Democratic foe, Michael Dukakis, 20 years earlier.

“The key to Bush's 1988 victory was holding onto the Philadelphia suburbs while losing only two counties, Lackawanna and Philadelphia, east of the Susquehanna (River),” they said, adding that demographic changes since then make a lower Democratic turnout in Philadelphia another key factor.

Clinton was able to execute a similar strategy in 2008 when she defeated Obama in the Democratic primary that year by nine points by appealing to "Casey Democrats" in the western part of the state, who voted for the late Governor Robert Casey.

Recent polls have put Romney within three points of Obama in Pennsylvania.


Sign up for our email newsletter