Romney Giving Up on PA is Bad for Democrats

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If you were following the Twitterverse today, you were probably ecstatic to see this Tweet from NBC’s Chuck Todd:

Americans for Prosperity (the Koch group) has cancelled the rest of their PA TV ad buy. Still up in other swing states including MN and NM
— @chucktodd via Twitter for iPhone

Then, if you are an astute PA political junkie, you would have put that information together with the most recent polling in PA, just like the Daily Kos did here:

Two polls over the weekend confirmed the lopsided numbers—a Philly Inquirer poll gave Obama a 51-42 lead, while a Muhlenberg University poll gave him a 49-40 advantage.

In fact, the only pollsters to give Romney as much as 44 percent of the vote in the state was Rasmussen (of course), and Quinnipiac way back in March. The most recent Q-poll, in late July, had Obama winning 53-42.

After that, you should be elated, jubilant, and even celebratory.  Right?


When I saw the news that more and more Romney groups are ditching PA, I applied the first law of campaign physics: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Now that Obama has PA locked up, that means all those Obama For America (OFA) offices that were coordinating and helping local campaigns in PA to get out the vote are now going to start funneling their volunteers and staff to other priorities.

If you are a Democratic candidate for State House, State Senate, PA Row Offices, or a Congressional Candidate, you are suffering a campaign blow when Romney’s numbers get dismal in the Keystone State.

Usually, these smaller races can count on hordes of OFA volunteers to help get their literature out, mention their name in phonebanks, and distribute their yard signs.  Those OFA volunteers and staff in PA were (and, for now, still are) out hitting doors in PA and making calls to PA residents.  The candidates in PA get a boost from this.

But that’s about to change.

Here’s the tough reality: OFA works for OFA.  OFA does what’s best for OFA.  OFA only boosted your campaign to turn out grassroots supports and energize Democrats locally to help the President win in Pennsylvania.

That’s their goal, and frankly, it damn well should be.

But now that Romney and his Super PAC buddies have abandoned their hopes of turning the Keystone State red, OFA in PA is going to start channeling their volunteers and staff to OFA goals in other states.

Before long, cheerful volunteers that were happy to be calling folks in their neighborhood are going to be calling folks in New Mexico neighborhoods.  Or folks in Wisconsin neighborhoods.  Or folks in Minnesota neighborhoods.

Soon, PA candidates will no longer be able to expect that extra boost OFA provides them.

So, to all those PA political activists out there volunteering for OFA and talking to folks in your neighborhood–get ready to meet your new neighbors in Colorado.

It’s just a matter of time.

[Note: My recommendation to all you super volunteers out there is to continue volunteering for OFA if you already are, but as soon as they ask you to make a call into another state, go work for your local candidates.]

About Jake Sternberger

Jake Sternberger was a contributing writer at Keystone Politics from 2011 to 2014.
This entry was posted in Elections, National Politics.

2 Responses to Romney Giving Up on PA is Bad for Democrats

  1. Rex says:

    I think you are pulling this one out of your ass. OFAPA has not made a single call into a state besides PA.

  2. Jake Sternberger says:

    Rex… yeah, I know. That’s the point. But they are likely going to start making calls out of state because it is in their best interest. Unless, of course, you want to assert that OFA works against its own interests.