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Pa, back in the swing

Published by Tim McNulty on .

Pennsylvania feels swingy today at least.

With Obama hitting Philadelphia today, Tom Fitzgerald at the Inquirer collects the latest on whether or not Pa is a battleground this year (we had much of the same here), and Chris Brennan at the Daily News has the details on the reelection campaign's three fundraisers (they cost $250, $10K and $40K).

Brennan notes Romney will be fundraising in the state whether or not he can win it, and sure enough there's new evidence of that in Romney's latest finance event schedule -- the campaign has listed an evening fundraiser here in Pittsburgh on July 17, via Politico. (We're still waiting for details on the Republican's bus tour through Pa this weekend.)

Democratic strategists talked to focus groups in suburban Philly and Columbus, Ohio, recently and they're worried about the Obama team's economic message to the middle class. Only Mitt Romney's unfavorable numbers (reflected again in today's Q poll) are keeping the prez ahead. Other Dems (looking at polls in Pa and other backgrounds) argue the Obama team would be best served by forgetting about swing voters and focusing most of its energy on GOTV and voter registration.

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Q poll: Obama up 6, Corbett approval at new low

Published by Tim McNulty on .

The latest Qunnipiac University poll shows the presidential race tightening a bit in Pa, with Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney 46-40%, and voters viewing Gov. Tom Corbett more negatively than at any point in his nearly 1 1/2 years in office.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey maintains his commanding lead over GOP challenger Tom Smith, at 51-32%.

From the school:

With strong support from women and independent voters, President Barack Obama leads Gov. Mitt Romney 46 – 40 among Pennsylvania voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Romney would do a better job on the economy, voters say 49 – 41 percent.

The matchup compares to a 47 – 39 percent Obama lead in a May 3 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

In today's survey, women back President Obama 51 – 36 percent, while men tip to Romney 44 – 40 percent. Obama leads 83 – 10 percent among Democrats and 43 – 35 percent among independent voters, while Republican voters back Romney 80 – 7 percent.

Pennsylvania voters say 77 – 18 percent that Obama is a likable person, compared to 58 – 29 percent for Romney. The Republican would create more jobs, voters say 45 percent, while 43 percent say Obama would create more jobs.

. . . Pennsylvania voters disapprove 47 – 36 percent of the job Gov. Tom Corbett is doing, his lowest approval rating ever and down from an all-time high of a 50 – 32 percent approval in a September 29 Quinnipiac University poll.

Women disapprove 51 – 32 percent while men arsplit with 40 percent approving and 43 percent disapproving.

. . . From June 5 – 10, Quinnipiac University surveyed 997 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

UPDATE: Billy Pitman, the RNC's communications director for Pa, emails:

In today's Quinnipiac poll, only 46% of voters approve of the way the president is handling his job, while 49% disapprove. Voters see Governor Romney as the candidate who will do a better job on the economy by a margin of 49% to 41% over President Obama. Despite the president's belief that the private sector is "doing fine," Pennsylvanians clearly don't agree. Obama visits Pennsylvania to find himself ceding ground to Governor Romney, who visits this weekend and is moving within striking distance in the Commonwealth.

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New Obama ad hits Romney record in Mass.

Published by Tim McNulty on .

The Obama campaign is back with another ad in Pennsylvania and eight other states, and back to hitting Mitt Romney's record as governor of Massachusetts.

"First in debt. Forty-seventh in job creation. That’s Romney economics. It didn’t work then. It won’t work now," it says.

The spot is running in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

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Kumar in Pgh tomorrow for Obama

Published by Tim McNulty on .

Actor Kal Penn of "Harold & Kumar" fame (and a former White House advisor) will host a campaign forum in Pittsburgh tomorrow on Kal Penneconomic issues facing young voters.

From OFA:

PITTSBURGH – Former Associate Director of the White House Office of
Public Engagement and actor Kal Penn will host a roundtable for
Pittsburgh area young professionals to discuss what is at stake in this
election for young Americans. President Obama is fighting for all young
Americans by ensuring a job-creating economy with a growing middle
class, where hard work pays off, responsibility is rewarded, and
everyone from Main Street to Wall Street does their fair share and plays
by the same rules.

Full statement from the Obama camp after the jump:

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Rep. Vulakovich in for Orie special

Published by Laura Olson on .

There's another Republican name seeking to replace former state Sen. Jane Orie: state Rep. Randy Vulakovich of Shaler confirmed this morning that he too is seeking to represent the North Hills in the Senate.

Vulakovich said he had local party leaders as well as non-political folks in the area approach him about running, but made up his mind once the new legislative maps were approved on Friday.

"I never had on my radar to go from state House to state Senate," he said in a short interview. "A lot of people in the community asked me to give it consideration."

He said the new maps, which move the 40th Senatorial District but remake the neighboring 38th to encompass most of the North Hills, were a factor.

Whoever wins the special election in August will hold the seat for the remaining two years of Ms. Orie's term, after which the 40th District will be relocated to the Poconos. That will leave the incumbant to face off against Democrat Jim Ferlo of Highland Park, who currently represents the 38th.

Vulakovich said he wasn't looking that far ahead yet -- his focus is on gaining the nomination on Saturday amid a slew of other interested candidates (including former Congresswoman Melissa Hart, who previously represented the area in the state Senate), and if elected, on "trying to restore normalcy" to the district.

The Republican nominee selected by local party leaders will face Democrat Sharon Brown in the special election.

UPDATE, 5 p.m. - Failed to note earlier that Vulakovich is on the list of conferees for Saturday's candidate-selection meeting that was released by the state party last week.