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PA Governor 'Nervous,' Sees McCain Surge

6 years ago
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Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell has written two separate memos to the Obama campaign in recent days begging for Sen. Obama to come back and campaign in his state. In the memos, Rendell, a former Hillary Clinton supporter, admits to being "a little nervous" about Obama's chances in the Keystone state. Rendell says that the McCain camp is making a strong push for Pennsylvania, with Sen. McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin spending significant time and resources there recently.

Rendell wants Sen. Obama to return to his state and make three appearances to blunt McCain's momentum. He recommends a visit to what Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA) labeled "racist" Western Pennsylvania, followed by an appearance in the capital of Harrisburg and a "large rally" in Philadelphia. But Obama's presence alone will not seal the deal, according to Rendell. So he wants the Obama campaign to bring Sen. Clinton and former president Clinton along with him, presumably to smooth things over with Pennsylvania's small townspeople, whom Obama once derided as "bitter" gun-loving religious zealots.

The Obama campaign has been nervous about Pennsylvania since Clinton trounced Obama by 10 points in the primary there. The selection of Joe Biden as his running mate was as much about Biden's Scranton roots as it was about his foreign policy experience. And the campaign has good reason to worry. Obama's own internal polling shows him with only a two-point lead in the state. It's probably closer than that given that internal polls are notoriously skewed toward the campaign conducing them. If Obama follows Rendell's advice and makes an emergency swing through Pennsylvania, it will be more telling of Sen. McCain's chances in the election than any public poll result.

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