Monday brought a few hints that Pennsylvania, formerly seen as an icy blue brick in President Obama’s firewall, is really in play this year. First, the Republican Party happily announced that contrary to all the stories about Obama banking big leads through early voting, the Republicans are actually 18 percent ahead in Pennsylvania absentee ballots. The GOP describes this as “an enormous and unexpected hole for the President’s campaign to dig out of.”
That might be just a tad hyperbolic, but Restore Our Future, the Romney-aligned Super PAC, is betting cash money on the Republican’s chances in Pennsylvania. According to a report at Politico, Restore Our Future is putting over two million dollars into airing an ad called “New Normal:”
As Jonathan Martin of Politico notes, the Romney campaign itself has not been shifting resources into Pennsylvania, but the challenger’s nationwide surge is pulling in a lot of third-party money. And it’s interesting to observe that Restore Our Future’s $2 million ad buy in Pennsylvania has apparently “prompted the Obama campaign to shift advertising resources there for the first time since July,” according to the New York Times. That’s money Obama won’t be spending in other battleground states.
Interestingly, the Times chides Restore Our Future for making “long shot” bets in places like Pennsylvania and Michigan… but Michigan only looks like a long shot if you count polls from two weeks ago. The recent Baydoun/Foster poll calls the race a dead heat at (what else?) 47 percent apiece for Romney and Obama. The RealClearPolitics electoral map now calls Michigan a “toss up”… along with Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wisconsin. (It’s also noteworthy that they’ve got Florida classified as a toss-up too, even though many polls show Romney with a strong lead in the state. Romney’s team will not want to let their edge in Florida slip away.)