Some say Pa. not the battleground state it once was

Author: , Reporter, BKoltnow@wfmz.com
Published: Sep 18 2012 05:32:24 PM EDT
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Pennsylvania is often considered a key battleground state in presidential elections, but its political hue has been blue for awhile now.

A Republican presidential candidate hasn't carried the state since 1988. While polls show President Obama has a strong lead in Pennsylvania, don't expect local Republicans to throw in the towel.

Despite a lack of presidential attention. Bar Johnston and Tom Caroll are in full campaign mode.

"I don't think we're in a position where we are resting on any step. We have to keep moving forward," said Johnston, vice chairwoman of the Lehigh County Democratic Party.

"We have more victory centers than four years ago. The number of phone calls and emails and door knocks done across the state is much higher now than four years ago," said Caroll, vice chairman of the Northampton County Republican Party.

Both party leaders aren't buying into talk that Pennsylvania isn't a battleground state for Mitt Romney.

"States like Ohio and Florida, which are the usual suspects, remain very much on the radar. Virginia has risen in prominence and getting more attention this cycle than Pennsylvania," said Chris Borick, a political pundit.

Borick said less attention at the top could have a ripple effect on other Pennsylvania races, including the Senate, Congress, state Legislature and the attorney general's office.

"For Democrats, high turnout is what they want, want Philadelphia to show up, want those who don't often show up to be really high. When see low voter turnout, tend to benefit Republicans in state and seem to have most success."

The voter ID law, Johnston said, could also play a big role in the election. Despite poll numbers, Carroll said, Republicans are confident Pennsylvania will be a much closer race than some think.