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Is Pa. Still in Play for Presidential Race? Rendell Thinks So

Former Gov. Ed Rendell told reporters Thursday at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., that even though Republicans are pulling advertising from Pennsylvania, Democrats must work hard to secure the state for President Barack Obama.

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It’s a trap.  Or at least it could be.

Former Gov. Ed Rendell warned the Pennsylvania delegation at the Democratic National Convention here that the presidential race is not over in the Keystone State, despite reports this week that Republicans were pulling advertising out of the state.

Most polls show Democratic President Barack Obama with a lead of between 5 and 10 points in Pennsylvania, but Rendell said the GOP might be laying a trap in the hopes that Democrats will slack off in their efforts to secure the state’s 20 electoral votes for Obama.

If they decide to come in and blitz the last six or seven weeks, they can do it if they want,” Rendell said. “All of a sudden that 9 point lead becomes a 6 point lead becomes a 3 point lead.

Rendell addressed the delegation at breakfast on the final day of the convention, along with U.S. Sen. Bob Casey; U.S. Reps. Chaka Fattah, of District 2, and Allyson Schwartz, of District 13; and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who hails from Greene County in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Observers believe Pennsylvania lies just outside of the eight or nine “swing states” that could determine the outcome of the presidential election.

The Keystone State has not backed a Republican since George H.W. Bush in 1988, and it does not seem to be a prominent target in 2012 for GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign or Republican-supporting super PACs.

Republicans came closest to recapturing the state in 2004, when John Kerry edged George W. Bush by a little more than 2 percent there.

But Republican fundraisers may see it as out of reach this year.  The Associated Press reported this week that two key Romney groups — political advocacy organization Americans for Prosperity and Karl Rove’s American Crossroads super PAC — have pulled their television advertising in Pennsylvania after spending about $20 million there.

But Rendell said nothing in politics is a sure thing.

We’ve got our work cut out for us here,” said Rendell, who is also a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Democrats are not alone in hoping the race in Pennsylvania will tighten in the final weeks of the campaign.

While Republicans disagree with Rendell “on nearly every political matter, his political instincts on our state’s competitiveness in the presidential race are correct,” emailed Valerie Caras, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Republican Party, on Thursday.

Caras said Republicans could rely on a large grassroots network to get out the vote for Romney in Pennsylvania even without advertising money from outside groups.

If the polls do narrow between now and Election Day, Montgomery County in the Philadelphia suburbs figures to be one of the most critical parts of the nation for both presidential candidates, according to election experts.

Josh Shapiro, Montgomery County commissioner and a delegate to the DNC, said Pennsylvania is “legitimately competitive” and Democratic efforts to turn out voters are in full swing.

“It’s door-to-door, making phone calls and targeting our voters,” Shapiro said. “And we’re doing that now. It’s much easier to ask for their vote on Nov. 6, if you’ve done the legwork ahead of time.”

Dave Fillman, president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 13, which represents public workers in the state, said organized labor would continue its get-out-the-vote efforts until Election Day, even if the polls continued to show a lead for Obama.

“We’re not going to change anything,” Fillman said Thursday here.

With a lead in the polls, Democrats in Pennsylvania have used the Republican-passed voter ID law to energize their base. The law was upheld by a state judge and will go before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Sept. 13.

Fattah said Democrats are using this issue to remind their volunteers how important getting out the vote will be.

The courts will do what the courts will do,” Fattah said. “We have to make sure that every citizen in our state has the right to vote, uninterrupted, on Election Day.”

Contact Eric Boehm at Eric@PAIndependent.com or follow @EricBoehm87 on Twitter.

The Illuminati September 07, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Here's another gem from the DNC. Communism has invaded this country and they didn't even need an invading army. Our republic is in serious trouble folks. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07fTsF5BiSM&feature=youtube_gdata_player
Keith Best September 09, 2012 at 07:55 PM
Here are the job numbers the media is not reporting about the August job numbers that just came out. This is what the media is telling you...and it's true. "The unemployment rate dropped from 8.3% to 8.1%. 96,000 jobs created in August." Here are numbers they are NOT telling you: 1) 368,000 people STOPPED looking for work in August. Meaning they CANNOT be counted as unemployed. These people have no more unemployment benefits to claim and have realized there are zero jobs out there for them. If you were to re-calculate those numbers and include the people who are no longer looking for work, the unemployment rate would be 12%. This number does not include the UNDEREMPLOYED, or the people who have stopped looking for work over the past 3 years; that number would be an astonishing 23%. 2) 69% of men are working. Meaning 31% are not lowest % of working men since the 1940's. 3) The number of employed Americans is the lowest number in the past 31 years. An incredible number considering there are more people now in the USA than there were in 1981. 4) A record high of 88,921,000 Americans whom are not in civilian labor force. 5) Manufacturers have cut the most jobs in August than at anytime in the past two years. 6) The supposed "job growth" each month is LESS THAN the number of people LEAVING workforce every month. People leaving the work force CANNOT be counted as unemployed. Why would anyone vote to extend this with Obama....... vote ROMNEY/ RYAN 2012!
James Kephart Jr. September 22, 2012 at 02:50 PM
PA is not in play. Promise people other people's wealth and assure yourself victory. Frankly, I am surprised that there are enough self respecting people left in this country to make this a close race - anywhere. After all, our president is promising to only make those making over 200K pay more. If democrats were so happy with Clinton Era tax rates, then why not stand up for taking all of us back to those rates? I guess those willing to vote for a republican, even after the president has made them that promise, must be stupid, angry racists that just want to be part of the 1%! 1887 Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinborough, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years prior: "A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship." "The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years."
Colter95 November 03, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Typical BS, James. It's not racism, it's this: I saw Obama yesterday claiming the new job numbers are proof that his policies are working and that we are in an economic recovery... Fact is, that is not the truth, or even close to the truth... First, the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9% and the year-to-date monthly average of 157,000 payroll jobs is barely enough to keep up with population growth -- much less make up for the 8 million jobs lost during the Great Recession. Second, the so-called real unemployment rate (U6) remains elevated at 14.6%, albeit down from 14.7% the prior month. Similarly, the labor participation rate is at 63.8%, up from its multi-decade low but still incredibly weak. Third, average hourly earnings fell a penny in October and average hours worked fell to 34.4 from 34.5 in September. Stagnant wages means "we're not generating income," Reinhart says. "That's a problem in terms of the durability of an economic expansion, which is usually fueled by consumption. To get consumption you've got to generate income." Also, just look at your checkbook. We are paying a lot more for everything now than we did in 2008. The price of gas has doubled. At the same time, wages have gone down, and that's if you're lucky to have a job. In 2008, 25 banks went out of business. In 2012, 48 banks have gone out of business. Almost double the amount. Does that sound like recovery to you? Don't believe the Obama lies!! Romney/Ryan 2012
Colter95 November 03, 2012 at 03:57 PM
And this: Please don't let Obama sweep Benghazi under the rug... Lets not forget those four who were left to be slaughtered in Benghazi... Every voter needs to read this excellent article... Very well worth your time... http://spectator.org/archives/2012/11/01/benghazi-obamas-core-deceit/ These are pretty good as well: http://www.gazette.com/opinion/romney-146793-obama-benghazi.html http://frontpagemag.com/2012/dgreenfield/benghazigate-obamas-many-lies-about-libya/ http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/50657 http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2012/10/25/CBS-Busts-Obama--and-Itself-Hidden-60-Minutes-Clip-Proves-White-House-Lied-About-Benghazi Romney/Ryan 2012

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