Obama’s Pennsylvania Blunder

By Dick Morris on November 2, 2012

There are many reasons why Obama will lose this election — by a lot — on Tuesday. But when the history of this contest is written, it will be especially important to probe why Obama blundered by virtually ignoring Pennsylvania.

Team Obama was so focused on the swing states that they ignored the semi-swing states which could come into play. Ohio, Florida, Colorado, North Carolina, Virginia, Iowa, New Hampshire, Iowa, and Nevada loomed so large in their calculations that they forgot about Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota.

Adopting an all-or-nothing approach, Obama advertised heavily in the swing states and not at all in the semi-swing states of the Midwest. The Detroit, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis media markets — and all the smaller cities in between got not Obama advertising.

Obama took care to irradiate the swing states with his negative attacks on Romney. When the voters in those states saw that Mitt was not a Halloween monster but a pretty nice and reasonable guy, his negative stopped working and the states started falling to Romney.

But in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan, the negatives on Romney never ran. The only Romney they saw in these states was the very presentable and attractive one who showed up in the debates. So there was no obstacle to hold them back from voting for Mitt.

Obama’s static dependence on the swing states to constitute a firewall backfired. The firewall became like the French Maginot Line of 1940, easily outflanked. When Romney began to buy ads in the semi-swing states, Obama was slow to respond.

Initially, his campaign dismissed Romney’s ads in Pennsylvania as a bluff intended to draw Obama’s resources away from Ohio. But it was no bluff. Romney’s people realized that 20 votes in Pennsylvania were as good as 18 in Ohio.

And, in this final week, Romney’s campaign and its allied groups are spending $11 million on Pennsylvania ads as opposed to only $2 million for Obama.

Enter: Super PAC for America. We were one of the prime movers of the Pennsylvania strategy and are advertising there heavily. Since I was the consultant for three Pennsylvania Governors, I know the state well and decided, early on, that it deserved equal billing with Ohio.

What can you do today to beat Obama? Send us money to heavy up our TV buy in the Pennsylvania markets: Pittsburgh, Johnstown-Altoona, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and Wilkes Barre-Scranton. Help us hit Obama in the soft under belly of his base!

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