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August 29, 2012

About Those Pennsylvania Rumors

I have now heard through multiple sources that excitement amongst the party leadership has rebounded regarding Pennsylvania.

Everybody who reads AOS knows my thoughts on the state.

Here is a cold splash from me: the excitement seems to stem from the wrong region.

Western Pennsylvania has been drifting rightward for decades. The Metro Pitt region went for Dukakis by hundreds of thousands of votes. That margin shrank to a pitiful 29k in 2008 for Obama. And therein lies the problem: we are going to win the region for the first time since 1972, but we already almost did in a year where the President stomped McCain statewide by 10. This is the area the GOP is excited about, but unfortunately it is the wrong region in terms of changing the statewide winner.
Winning Metropolitan Pittsburgh despite Allegheny County is a win for the long-term, but the battle for the Keystone comes down to four counties in the southeast: Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware, and Chester. This is the 800lb gorilla in the room: the leftward shift of this region over the last two decades has done more to hurt Republican chances in the state than any vote bomb eminating from Philadelphia proper. Had we not lost this region, PA would be redder today than at anytime since WW2 (thanks to the Republicanization of western Pennsylvania). Team Romney needs to tackle the challenge of convincing these moderate suburban ex-Republicans he is right for the job. If he flips Bucks and Chester and holds Obama down significantly in the other two, the state is almost certainly his, Philly be damned.

It is a big job, but as I've stressed, now is not the time for timid campaigning.
Accept the real challenge, and Go Big.

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posted by CAC at 08:47 AM

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