Reports have been coming in that Mitt Romney’s campaign is making one final push in Pennsylvania. The candidate himself will be in Philadelphia on Sunday, and millions of dollars in ads will blanket the state with just a few days to go. John McCain made a similar push in 2008, albeit with more than four days to go, and it didn’t make any sense then either. Obama’s lead there consistently polls between three and six points, even among Republican-leaning pollsters like Rasmussen, his ground game is strong and the state’s disenfranchising voter ID law was struck down by a judge. All of that suggests that Obama will win Pennsylvania, and it won’t be especially close.
So, what is Romney’s camp thinking? Here’s what I imagine. All the top strategists are sitting around a table looking at a stark electoral map. They see only a narrow path to victory. They have to capture Florida AND Ohio AND Virginia AND one more swing state, probably Colorado. It’s not impossible, just a little depressing. There’s nothing dynamic about it, they just have to win every where that they have a shot, or else they lose. Then one of them says, “Hey, they’re only up four in Pennsylvania, and we haven’t even campaigned there!”
A sneak attack! Morale in the meeting soars. High-fives all around.
And hey, maybe it will work, but there’s a pretty big problem: Obama is consistently polling right around 50% in the Keystone State with Romney around 45%. Even if Romney can capture a good chunk of the remaining 5%, they still need to peel off people who have already said they are voting for Obama. With four days left. A number of political commentators are talking themselves into the idea that this is possible, a bold move that will catch Obama off guard. I instead will offer this piece of advice to the Romney campaign: go hard after Ohio, Colorado, New Hampshire, Virginia and Iowa, and bring donuts to your next meeting.