On RealClearPolitics, Caitlin Huey-Burns takes an extensive look at the shifting shale in Pennsylvania and why Republicans are optimistic on their chances in the Keystone state:
Romney will surely have to put up a strong fight to win Pennsylvania, which hasn’t gone Republican in a presidential election since 1988. Obama won the Keystone State by 10 points — a wider margin than his predecessors — and the RealClearPolitics polling average shows him leading here by 7.8 percentage points. Yet Republicans see an opportunity among the working-class “Reagan Democrats” who swung their way a generation ago. Polling and data suggest these voters may not be returning to Obama in November. But will they necessarily turn out for Romney? And to Silvis’ point, what can Romney do to woo them?
Among the reasons for optimism for Romney’s chances are the following:
- Independent voters are breaking for Romney by 6-points over Obama according to a Quinnipiac University poll
- Romney does better than McCain was doing in the state at this point four years ago; the Romney campaign is fighting hard for every voter, including sending out personalized emails last week encouraging individual registered Republicans in Pittsburgh to help create personal networks of local activists to talk about Romney and encourage support for his campaign
- There are a lot of conservative Catholic Pennsylvanians who may not like Obama’s contraceptive mandate. The contraceptive mandate may already be more of an issue for Obama tham previously thought. At least one Catholic university in southwestern, Pa., which is essential territory for Obama to win, has already announced changes to its health-insurance coverage due to the Obamacare mandate
- Romney’s operation has been fighting for Pennsylvania for a couple of months now and isn’t letting up
- Romney doesn’t have to win Pennsylvania to win the White House, while the reverse is probably true for Obama….[and] if Romney decides to compete more strongly in the Keystone State, he could force the Obama team to spend more time and money there — resources that it could otherwise use in tighter battlegrounds