via the AP:
Republican officials with knowledge of the plan report that Romney’s campaign will begin running ads statewide as soon as Wednesday. The buy includes the expensive Philadelphia broadcast market, where Romney’s campaign was reluctant to invest earlier in the month. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss campaign strategy.”
Just so you’re prepared for it, Save Jerseyans, the liberal spin will go something like this: “Mitt Romney is moving into PA because he’s losing in Ohio, so he needs another big state to get to the 270 electoral vote mark.”
Keep dreaming, guys.
This isn’t a small tactical buy intended to project strength. Contrary to the AP story, we’re already seeing Romney ads up today in the Philly market. A lot of them.
I’ve already explained why Governor Romney is actually ahead in Ohio (and remember: we were right about the national polls, too, when they were going bonkers). But it’s a free country; no one is forced to accept logic. Still, the explanation for this Keystone State buy is much simpler than even the numbers suggest. The Romney campaign and its allies have a lot more money than Obama to spend over the last week. Romney alone is sitting on $100M+. At some point, you reach the saturation level with ads in long-contested battlegrounds.
So with polling looking good generally (particularly in the suburbs, possibly in Bucks/Chester/Montgomery, too?) and plenty of money to burn, Romney’s team is moving into a state where, in addition to other factors including a strong pro-energy independence tilt in the electorate, (1) the polls show significant tightening, and (2) 90% of the voters wait until Election Day to cast ballots (unlike Ohio, Florida, etc.). Why not expand the map and improve your chances?
Now, let’s be realistic. Is Pennsylvania still a reach? Yes. It’s still a purple state where the GOP isn’t very strong. But is it winnable? Absolutely. This ad buy is a sign of Romney strength. Any Obama backer who tells you otherwise is failing to mask their growing fear of defeat next week.