Despite Lack of Campaigning, Neither Obama Nor Romney Completely Shutting Out Pennsylvania in Final Week
Are you still paying attention to the presidential race? Because there’s only, like, a week left until you cast your vote. And since that’s the case, both the Romney and Obama people are letting you, Pennsylvania, know they still think about you like you exist.
The Romney campaign still isn’t advertising here, but that’s not stopping the “Restore Our Future” conservative Super PAC from throwing a few pitiful dollars our way, you know, just for old time’s sake. They plan to push a $2.1 million spending campaign through Pennsylvania, beginning tomorrow. And they’ll be on the air here in Philadelphia, too.
As the Inquirer notes, “That’s on top of the $1.1 million already committed by Americans for Job Security, a conservative GOP super PAC.” But the actual Romney campaign? The reverse-skunk-haired robot and his “I like stuff” catch phrases? Yeah, he’s got nothing for you.
But the Obama campaign does. Not television ads, per se, but more like a memo which is all, “We’re winning the commonwealth, and there’s nothing they can do about it.”
According to a memo from Bill Hyers, the Pennsylvania State Director of the Obama campaign, “despite [Republicans’] electoral gains in 2010 and a year-long primary, Republicans have failed to make any meaningful headway in Pennsylvania. The state remains out of their reach.”
Among the reasons for that, according to Hyers: Democrats have 1.12 million more registered voters here than Republicans. And amongst those new voters between 2008 and 2012, more than 20,000 of them area Latino and 17,352 are African-American—both of which are a chunk of base-Democrat support. Similarly, since August 1st, 2012, 91 percent of new registrants in Pennsylvania are under the age of 35, African American, Latino, or women, and that hurts Republicans. Democrats also claim they’re “out-performing the record we set in 2008 on the ground.”
As we’ve been following the campaign throughout Pennsylvania this summer and fall, it became painfully obvious that after, say, July or so, neither campaign seemed to believe Pennsylvania was a swing state anymore—at least, not in presidential political terms. Only one public poll has shown Romney winning—and it was commissioned by the state Republican Party. After released, lots of conservative news sources acted like it mattered—which was sort of funny, because it didn’t. But it sort of made you wonder: Who were the people who believed every single poll was wrong, except for the one commissioned by the state Republican Party?
Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight blog gives Obama a 94 percent chance of winning the state. They note—and this is, well, notable—that our state may be swing-y, but not due to our so-called independence, a la states like Maine and New Hampshire. Rather, we have a lot of older, white, working class voters who are typically “swing” voters, but, as the Obama camp points out, more Democrats. “The state is relatively inelastic; it has few true swing voters, and turnout tends to be the final deciding factor,” according to 538. “In other words, the state’s Democratic-lean isn’t severe, but it is hard to reverse.”
Republicans won in 2010, despite the Democratic numbers advantage, because unenthusiastic Democrats didn’t turn out for their party. Want to make sure it doesn’t happen again, young liberal? Then you got to vote.