The truly remarkable thing in this news report is that Romney thinks Pennsylvania is still competitive:
Mitt Romney journeyed to a military college here Friday, aiming to make Pennsylvania a more competitive election battleground and tearing into President Obama on foreign and domestic policy in a speech delivered before a backdrop of stoic, uniformed cadets.
As I was pointing out on Twitter earlier this afternoon, Romney has no realistic chance of carrying Pennsylvania. Nate Silver gives Obama a 97% chance of winning the state. This is separate from the question of whether Romney can make an improbable comeback to win the election. Romney can win the election while losing Pennsylvania, but winning Pennsylvania is out of the question at this point. Pennsylvania hasn’t voted for a Republican presidential nominee since 1988, and only three Republican candidates since 1960 have carried the state (Nixon in ’72, Reagan in ’80 and ’84, and Bush in ’88). The state isn’t about to go for Romney now.
Rasmussen’s last survey in Pennsylvania released earlier this month showed Romney 12 points behind. His unfavorability rating statewide is 55%, and among independents it jumps up to 70%. Given those numbers, it isn’t surprising that Romney is losing Pennsylvania independents by 31 points. Among moderates, he trails by 41. He trails in every age cohort, and gets blown out by 16 point among voters 65+. Older voters have typically been the ones keeping Romney competitive in other states, but not in Pennsylvania. All of this is according to a Rasmussen likely voter poll.
Romney just said yesterday that winning in Pennsylvania would be a “shock,” which is putting it mildly. Then he declared today that he thought he would win. If Romney genuinely believes he has a realistic shot at carrying Pennsylvania, he is kidding himself. Regardless, any time he spends in a state he can’t win and doesn’t need to win is time wasted that could have been spent in competitive states.