Is Pennsylvania for the taking for Republicans next month?
Tightening independent polls are giving hope to the GOP in Pennsylvania, although the presidential campaigns show no signs of bringing their candidates or TV ads back to the state.
Instead, Pennsylvania's highest-profile politicians are finding themselves increasingly busy on the campaign trail, including Gov. Tom Corbett and U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, both Republicans, and former Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat.
In State College on Monday night, Toomey made time for a crowd of several dozen at a Centre County Republican Party dinner and told them that a sixth straight win for a Democrat in Pennsylvania's presidential election is not inevitable. After all, Pennsylvanians elected himself and Corbett just two years ago, and 12 of 19 U.S. House seats are held by Republicans, he said.
“Don't tell me this is a blue state,” Toomey told the crowd.
A Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday showed a narrowing race between President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Gov. Mitt Romney. The poll said 50 percent of likely voters support Obama, versus 46 percent for Romney. Just three weeks ago, Quinnipiac reported Obama with 54 percent to Romney's 42 percent.
The race for U.S. Senate also appears to be narrowing. Quinnipiac's survey showed Democratic Sen. Bob Casey with 48 percent, versus Republican challenger Tom Smith's 45 percent. Quinnipiac's Aug. 1 survey showed Casey with a big lead, 55 percent to Smith's 37 percent.
A Muhlenberg College poll released Monday showed similar numbers.
Practically all of the ads in the presidential race ceased in August in Pennsylvania.
Romney and his running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, have each visited Pennsylvania once since July. Obama hasn't campaigned in Pennsylvania since June. Vice President Joe Biden last visited in September, and was in Montgomery County on Tuesday for the funeral of former U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter.