Friday, September 14, 2012

We Don't Mean a Thing if We Ain't Got that Swing (State)

Is Pennsylvania a "swing state" no more?

Well, folks, it appears that both presidential campaigns have decided to leave us Pennsylvanians alone for a while.

Mary Wilson, over at WHYY's Newsworks web page, reports that Mitt Romney and Barack Obama seem to agree on one thing after all -- Pennsylvania may not be a swing state in the November election.

"Shortly after the Republican National Convention, two Romney-allied super PACs announced they would pull their television ads out of Pennsylvania, saying the state isn't competitive for Romney at the moment," Wilson reported.

"A superPAC supporting President Barack Obama followed suit, citing polls showing the commonwealth is leaning toward Obama. Then, the president's own re-election campaign halted ads."

"That's pretty telling when you consider the fact that four years ago, when you look at the entire presidential campaign in its totality, more money was spent on Pennsylvania television than any other state in the union," Franklin and Marshall pollster G. Terry Madonna told Wilson.

Although Pennsylvania has gone for the Democrat in the last five presidential elections, the margin has been pretty close, despite the Democrats having a registration edge.

Back in 2008, there were just six swing states in play at the end of the election, while the 2004 campaign featured 11 swing states, according to the May 9 edition of The Constitution Daily, the daily publication of Philadelphia's own National Constitution Center.

They reported as follows:
The New York Times list for 2012 includes Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The USA Today swing state map in May.
The USA Today/Gallup list has the same nine states as the New York Times, with the addition of New Mexico, North Carolina, and Michigan.

The Politico list excludes Michigan and calls New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin “soft” swing states.

The Real Clear Politics projected electoral map adds Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina, and Montana to the list of potential swing states.
 A "soft" swing state? What the heck is that?

"The key to watch," the site wrote in May, "which states get the most campaign spending in proportion to their electoral counts."

So if spending goes down, especially compared to our fat 20 electoral collage votes, perhaps that does mean we are soft.

More recently, last month to be exact, ran the analysis by The Constitution Daily which indicated that the election may, as usual, be decided in Ohio and in Florida, at least if campaign spending is the lead indicator.

This is how The Guardian newspaper saw the numbers Aug. 24.
"Among the eight states, Ohio leads Florida as a recipient of campaign financing, with $56 million, compared with $51 million for the Sunshine State," they reported.

The nine states that mattered, according to that analysis, were Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

"All nine states were won by Barack Obama as the Democratic candidate in 2008. It looks like eight of the states are in play, while both campaigns are ignoring Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral votes, apparently assuming those votes will go to the president," wrote Scott Bomboy, The Constitution Daily's Editor-in-chief.

"In fact, more TV advertising money has been spent in New Hampshire, with its four electoral votes, than in Pennsylvania," he wrote.

Two Pennsylvania governors, the current and the former, both think its a mistake for the campaigns to count Pennsylvania out.

Gov. Tom Corbett told Newsworks that he thinks Pennsylvania is winnable for Romney.

His predecessor, Ed Rendell, said he believes the Romney campaign's pull-out of resources is a feint and that money will roll back in closer to the election in an attempt to swing the state Romney's way at the last minute.
Brian Williams singled out Montgomery County as
a place where the election would be decided.

Only time will tell.

In the meantime, at least we'll be spared the bulk of the campaign commercials.

I must confess I found the idea that the election might be decided among just a few states, Pennsylvania being one of them, kind of exciting.

In fact NBC anchor Brian Williams told Daily Show host Jon Stewart that the election would be decided "in places like Montgomery County right outside Philadelphia."

I got chills.

But I also felt burdened with the potential responsibility of the outcome.

"Really? You want us to decide? Have you met us"

As Uncle Ben told Peter Parker, with great power comes great responsibility.

No comments:

Post a Comment