10:16 am Oct. 16, 20121
Pennsylvania, the preferred destination for New Yorkers looking to help out in a swing state, might just matter in November after all.
A Quinnipiac poll out yesterday afternoon showed Mitt Romney narrowing the gap to four points among the state's likely voters, down from a 12-point lead for President Obama last month.
The Senate race is suddenly in doubt too, with incumbent Democrat Bob Casey endangered now by Republican businessman Tom Smith.
Casey had a 51-37 lead as recently as August, and both sides seemed content not to fight in the state. But Smith has closed the lead to 48-45 in the new poll, leading to new questions about whether the presidential or senatorial campaign committees will spring to action in the state.
The uncertainty is compounded by questions about whether that poll is an outlier; a Public Policy Polling survey released the day before had Obama with a five-point lead, and Casey up by 11-points.
A "top Romney aide" told Politico that he believes the race is close, but that doesn't mean the campaign will start pouring money into the state.
“I won't blow smoke at you with Pennsylvania and Michigan, even though there are polls showing that they’re in sight.”
“I absolutely believe they’re close,” the adviser said. “It’s just, to go in, to move three points in Pennsylvania is different than moving three points in New Hampshire.”
The Obama campaign has kept up a steady stream of trips to Pennsylvania, and was already planning to bus some volunteers down from New York this Saturday, even before the poll was released.