Republican candidate Mitt Romney seems to have put Pennsylvania back on his list of states to fight for this election season.
On Friday, Romney hosted a private fundraising event at the Union League of Philadelphia.“We really would shock people if early in the evening on Nov. 6, it looked like Pennsylvania was going to come our way,” he said.
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, recent polls report that Obama is 7 to 12 points ahead of Romney in Pennsylvania.
“My priority is job creation and growing incomes. My priority is not trying to punish people who have been successful,” he added, speaking to about 200 donors who paid between $2,500 and $50,000 at the Union League.
His optimism carried through to a rally at later that afternoon at Valley Forge Military Academy and College in Wayne, Pa. “We’re going to take Pennsylvania,” the former governor said.
College Republicans Vice President College junior Arielle Klepach said that Romney’s strategy for Pennsylvania makes sense.
“I think that Romney does consider Pennsylvania to be a state that is winnable, but it’s not necessarily his primary focus. Given that he’s spent a lot of time in other swing states, I think if it comes down to it he will focus more on Ohio, Virginia, Florida,” she said. “But I think there is definitely a focus [in Pennsylvania]. It seems that the campaign has been pretty active in this area even if he hasn’t been present in the last couple of months.”
The GOP has not won Pennsylvania in a presidential election since 1988.
Although College Republicans did not attend any Romney campaign events this week due to late notice, the student group has been working closely with Young Americans for Mitt Romney and Romney for America since the start of the semester.
On Sept. 22, they held a tailgate with Chad Lewis, a player on the Philadelphia Eagles and members from the campaign. The group has planned a voter registration drive this week along with debate watch parties, starting with the first presidential debate on Wednesday at 9 p.m.
Romney has made a few visits so far to Pennsylvania in 2012.
He spoke at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia in April of this year at a Tea Party rally and visited Universal Bluford Charter School in West Philadelphia in May. Romney’s vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan had hosted a private fundraiser at the Union League in August.
Some Democrats are questioning the candidate’s choice to focus on Pennsylvania this late in the election season.
Former Pennsylvania Governor and 1965 College graduate Ed Rendell indicated that he thought the choice to campaign in Pa. was because of concern within the Romney campaign over battleground states. “I think they should invest in Pennsylvania right now,” he said. “[Given] where they are in the polls in other battleground states, they might as well come back here.”
About 30 protesters marched outside the Union League on Friday chanting, “Hey you, billionaires, pay your fair share.”