Obama may be ahead in Pa., but he'll keep visiting for the money

Posted: June 13, 2012

The numbers are clear: President Obama leads former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney by double digits in Pennsylvania and has raised nearly twice as much campaign cash in this state as his Republican general election foe.

But don't write the Keystone State out of the 2012 presidential race just yet.

Obama visits Philadelphia Tuesday for three campaign fundraisers at the Franklin Institute — a public event with about 500 people, a private roundtable with 25 people and a private dinner with 75 people.

Romney, who has been raising money in a more low-key fashion in Pennsylvania, is expected to have several events here in the 147 days leading to the Nov. 6 general election. He will visit Pennsylvania Saturday as part of a five-day, six-state campaign bus tour.

A Daily News/Franklin & Marshall College Poll last week showed Obama leading Romney by 12 percentage points in Pennsylvania. But Obama did not crack 50 percent in the state, leading 48-36 percent.

Larry Sabato, a political scientist at the University of Virginia who follows Pennsylvania races, said: "There's nobody who thinks Romney is going to carry Pennsylvania," before adding a caveat. Sabato said a competitive race in Pennsylvania by the fall would signal a likely Obama defeat.

Obama has raised $3.6 million in Pennsylvania this election cycle and Romney has raised $1.9 million, according to the Federal Election Commission. Obama had the power of incumbency while Romney had to outlast several challengers in the Republican primaries, including former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, who raised $1.4 million in Pennsylvania.

Twenty-one percent of Obama's contributions came from Philadelphia, where Democrats outnumber Republicans, 6-1. Romney got 9 percent of his contributions in the city.

Charles Kopp, Romney's Pennsylvania campaign chairman, acknowledges his candidate's trailing position in the polls.

"We still expect to win," Kopp said. "Win, lose or draw, however, Pennsylvania should be an important state for raising money."

Romney did enjoy a fundraising first last week — news that he and the Republican Party out-raised Obama and the Democrats for the first time in May, $76 million to $60 million.

Tickets to Obama's Tuesday fundraisers start at $250 for the public event, $40,000 for the private roundtable and $10,000 for the private dinner.  3n

Contact Chris Brennan at 215-854-5973 or email him at brennac@phillynews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisBrennanDN and read his blog, PhillyClout.com.

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