Following Gov. Mitt Romney’s recent rise in Pennsylvania polls, Republicans are spending more money advertising in the state in the hopes of putting it back into play.
Surprising Pennsylvanians who haven’t seen political ads on their televisions since August, three Republican super PACs bought up huge batches of airtime for the final week of the election. The pro-Romney Restore Our Future PAC will spend $2.1 million; the conservative Americans for Job Security has bought up $1.1 million in airtime; and GOP strategist Karl Rove’s Crossroads PAC has purchased $600,000 in ads.
The Obama campaign has purchased more than $600,000 in ads as it works to defend a nearly five point lead on Romney and keep the state’s 20 electoral college votes on their side.
Gov. Romney rose five points in state polls in the last month. The Romney campaign released a memo Tuesday confirming its renewed push in the state. “We are adding Pennsylvania to the long list of states where we are expending significant resources in order to bring real recovery to the country,” it read.
“Democrats are playing a little bit more defense than they thought they would,” Time’s Mark Halperin said on Tuesday’s Morning Joe.
Pennsylvania isn’t the only state with unexpected, last-minute campaigning either: Bill Clinton was stumping in Minnesota on Tuesday, too.
“If you’re taking one of your principal assets – with the president and vice president frozen now– and you’re moving him to a state otherwise thought to be in your pocket ten days ago. You don’t have to be a genius to see that they’re looking at some internals that’s causing some concern,” Morning Joe’s Mike Barnicle added.
Before Rove’s Crossroads made the Pennsylvania buy, he hinted that it was a possibility, adding that he did see the state shifting toward Romney. “If you take a look at the public polls, the state has moved in Romney’s direction as the country has,” he told the Erie Times-News.
Halperin, however, says the GOP push might not even be about Pennsylvania at all. Republicans “believe there’s a possibility, at the minimum, to keep the president not just having to focus on Ohio. If they can distract him way from Ohio to play defense, they can increase their chances in Ohio.”