Still, there are signs that Pennsylvania may be swinging back into the swing state category.
A conservative group, Americans for Job Security, has reserved at least $454,150 worth of time on Philadelphia broadcast stations and more than $200,000 worth on cable channels in the Philadelphia market, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Sunday.
Obama gave interviews Friday to Philadelphia-based, nationally syndicated radio talk show host Michael Smerconish and to April Ryan, the White House correspondent for Pittsburgh-based American Urban Radio Networks.
Democratic former Gov. Ed Rendell expressed concern recently that things are getting a little too close for comfort and Obama could get caught flat-footed taking the state for granted.
“Maybe they (Republicans) are saying, ‘With two weeks to go, we probably don’t have enough time to influence voter choice by 5 percent, but maybe if we just stay quiet – and the Obama folks stay quiet – maybe Democratic turnout basically collapses,’ ” Rendell, a former Democratic National Committee chair, told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“Our voters are not nearly as reliable as Republican voters. . . . Maybe they figure our turnout collapses, Republicans still turn out well and they sneak across the finish line and do a startling upset.”
Rendell said he’d told the Obama campaign, “Number one, I want a Bill Clinton robo-call to every home in Philadelphia and every home in Pittsburgh. I want the president one more time, even for an hour, in Philadelphia.”
Both the Obama and Romney campaigns, which usually go into great detail about their advertising and ground operations in Ohio, Florida and other swing states, declined to talk specifics about Pennsylvania.
Romney held a fundraiser in Philadelphia and spoke at the Valley Forge Military Academy and College in Wayne, Pa., in September. Ryan held a short airport rally in Pittsburgh on Oct. 20. Obama attended two Philadelphia fundraisers in June and a Pittsburgh event in July.
In terms of advertising money, Pennsylvania is a poor sister compared with other states. Obama’s campaign has spent more than $5 million on advertising in Pennsylvania since May 1, while Romney’s campaign spent nothing, according to the National Journal, which tracks campaign ad spending in battleground states.
By comparison, the Obama campaign has spent more than $63.2 million and Romney more than $37.6 million on advertising in Ohio since May 1, according to the National Journal.
“We’re the triple-A farm team,” Madonna said, “not the major leagues.”
Several attendees at the Romney-less campaign event Friday in Erie hope that changes and they see their candidate in the flesh in Pennsylvania soon.
“I think it would certainly help,” said Tom Hutzleman, a semi-retired Erie resident. “Especially in a place like Erie, people like to know people know who we are and where we are.”