Democratic groups build a firewall in Pennsylvania

October 23, 2012

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EARLIER ON THE FIX: 

Why neither Obama nor Romney will 'pull out' of any swing state

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Obama the instigator vs. Romney the reserved

FIRST ON THE FIX:

* Two major Democratic outside groups are going up with ad buys in Pennsylvania -- the first major buys Democrats have made to defend the state at both the presidential and Senate level. Patriot Majority PAC is going up with an ad buy in the presidential race, the group tells The Fix, while Majority PAC has purchased $515,000 worth of ads for Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), who faces an increasingly tight race with businessman Tom Smith (R). The two major parties and presidential campaigns have yet to make major buys in blue-leaning Pennsylvania. The question from here is whether the spending -- particularly in the presidential race -- is a head fake trying to get Republicans to burn money in a tough state or a real sign that Democrats are concerned about losing what would be a game-changing state.

WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

* The pro-Mitt Romney super PAC Restore Our Future is launching a very significant $17.7 million ad buy this week, including three ads that attack President Obama's handling of the economy. The ads will run in 10 states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.

* The pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action is hitting Romney with a new TV ad returning to its attacks on Bain Capital. The commercial features employees at companies Bain took over who lost their jobs. The ad will air in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.

* The GOP outside group Crossroads GPS is up with a new ad featuring the Oparowskis, the couple whose son formed a bond with Romney while being treated for cancer three decades ago. Romney later gave the eulogy at the boy's funeral.

* Obama isn't pulling out of any battleground states, campaign manager Jim Messina told reporters Tuesday morning. “I’ve heard a lot of gossip about which states campaigns are staying in or leaving,” Messina said. “We are tied or ahead in every battleground state, and we’re not leaving any state where we’re tied or ahead.”

WHAT YOU SHOULDN'T MISS: 

* Romney is not committing to any network television interviews during the final two weeks of the campaign. 

* Rep. Chris Murphy (D) holds a slight 46 percent-to-40 percent lead over Linda McMahon (R), according a new poll of the Connecticut Senate race conducted for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. The poll of 800 likely Connecticut voters was conducted by  Hamilton Campaigns from Oct. 19-22. Quinnipiac University, which will release its next survey Wednesday, has shown the race to be a dead heat in recent weeks.

* Obama and Romney are tied at 47 percent among likely Florida voters, according to a new poll conducted by Mark Mellman for the liberal group Americans United for Change. The poll of 800 likely voters was conducted from Oct. 18-21 and also indicates a close race among early voters, with Obama at 50 percent and Romney at 45 percent. The five-point lead isn't statistically significant, though, given that just 17 percent of respondents said they voted early. Overall, the fact that a pro-Obama group would release an internal poll showing him tied in Florida could suggest the state is tilting towards Romney. 

* A new poll conducted for Democrat Richard Carmona's Arizona Senate campaign shows him at 45 percent and Rep. Jeff Flake (R) at 41 percent. The poll was conducted by Anzalone Liszt from Oct. 17-21.

* Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), a retired Army lieutenant colonel, said Tuesday that Obama doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to "horses and bayonets." The Post's Ed O'Keefe reports that West said American soldiers were issued bayonets in Iraq in 2003 and rode on horseback in Afghanistan in 2001. “So obviously we have a president who does not understand the full capabilities and capacities and what we do in the United States military," West said. (We should note that Obama never said at Monday's debate that the military doesn't use horses and bayonets -- simply that it uses fewer of them.)

THE FIX MIX:

Empty Seattle...

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Jon Cohen | October 23, 2012