Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Romney Campaign Not Expected to Invest Much in Pa

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Romney Campaign Not Expected to Invest Much in Pa

Article excerpt

Poor Pennsylvania. The one-time premier battleground state, accustomed to attracting so much attention and advertising money from presidential campaigns, is being treated like a has-been this year.

When the campaign went into high gear Friday after the close of the Democratic National Convention, Republican Mitt Romney's campaign announced it would run new ads in eight states, but none in Pennsylvania.

High-spending conservative groups Americans for Prosperity and American Crossroads, who have poured $6.4 million into the state this year, pulled their planned post Labor Day spots. And the Republican's campaign has not advertised in the state since a short burst in early April that helped drive challenger Rick Santorum out of the GOP race.

Pennsylvania has not voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1988, but the state and its 20 electoral votes are still used to heavy flirtation by the GOP. Democratic candidates Al Gore and John Kerry won it with only 51 percent of the vote in 2000 and 2004, and Democrat Barack Obama lost the state's primary by 10 points in 2008 to Hillary Clinton, leading Republican nominee John McCain's campaign to invest heavily in Pennsylvania that fall.

He gave up contesting Michigan, visited Pennsylvania repeatedly through the last weeks of the campaign -- including stops on both sides of the state in the last two days before the election -- and still lost 54-44 percent to Mr. Obama.

Now it is Pennsylvania looking from the outside in. The main battleground states as of now -- and where the Romney campaign launched its latest ads -- are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. All voted for Mr. Obama four years ago, like Pennsylvania.

"The Romney folks, and the Dems, look to see where their money will move the most votes that result in winning that state," said GOP consultant and the Pennsylvania Business Council political director Chris Nicholas. Pennsylvania's "two biggest markets are expensive and take big bites out of ad budgets. They obviously think, for now, that the grass is greener in other states for TV ads."

When all polls of Pennsylvania are averaged together by Real Clear Politics, Mr. …

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