The Romney campaign has decided to make a last minute push into Pennsylvania and the political scribes are now spinning the story that Pennsylvania, long considered to be leaning Obama, may suddenly be in play since the polls have tightened. This has a number of Democrats nervous. I’m not buying it.
This is what I wrote four years ago when John McCain made a similar late play for Pennsylvania (much of the poll analysis in that post remains true this time around):
So, stop the nail biting.
As to why McCain decided to go after Pennsylvania, what choice did he have? He is trailing badly in the Southwest and is likely losing Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico. He cannot win without carrying Pennsylvania, while holding Ohio, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Missouri and Indiana (not to mention North Dakota, Montana, Georgia and Arizona). A look at the electoral map makes clear that he had no choice but to go after Pennsylvania. McCain’s Pennsylvania gambit is a sign of weakness, not strength.
Now, you can make the argument that the polls are inaccurate. Perhaps. But, the polls are the best evidence we have right now of the state of the race. I am more comfortable judging the race based on the polls than on some nebulous “gut feeling”. I refuse to go into a fetal position because of a “gut feeling” or because of McCain campaign spin. And you shouldn’t either.
This is no time to become complacent, but it is also not a time to succumb to fear on the cusp of success. Until the polls close next Tuesday, leave the worry aside, work hard to get the vote out and make sure you vote.
Romney is in Pennsylvania because he is in trouble in Ohio, just like McCain was in 2008. Like McCain, Romney has barely broken 45% in the poll composites. Like McCain, Romney’s Pennsylvania gambit is a sign of weakness, not strength. You can’t win Pennsylvania if you can’t poll much higher than 45%, period.
So, go vote tomorrow and re-elect the President. All indications are that Pennsylvanians should keep Pennsylvania blue once again.