Despite all the hype, it’s going to be a short election night. The Keystone State is the key reason. Pennsylvania will go for Governor Mitt Romney.
Reasonable prognosticators — and even the MSNBC crowd — will realize once the results are in from Pennsylvania that the other three time zones won’t matter.
Once upon a time, Pennsylvania was a pivotal swing state. But in recent years it has been reliably Democratic in presidential elections.
Certain other patterns have persisted as well. For example, the Pennsylvania governor’s mansion changes parties every eight years, with Democrats and Republicans swapping the residence.
But this presidential election is different. The Boston crowd has decided to compete for the state’s 20 electoral votes.
And it’s with good reason.
President Barack Obama simply isn’t working for culturally conservative Democrats in Western Pennsylvania and the proverbial “T” — which is Pennsylvania-speak for the entire state except the city of Philadelphia and the four counties (Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery) abutting the city.
Half of the NRA membership in the entire country is within a four-hour drive of Pittsburgh. These voters do, in fact, cling to their guns and religion.
Recent electoral results signal a Republican surge in the Commonwealth. Conservative Pat Toomey was elected to the Senate in 2010 despite the best efforts of the White House.
Republicans control 12 of Pennsylvania’s 18 congressional seats. In the crucial Philadelphia suburbs, Democrats were only able to offer token opposition to Congressmen Mike Fitzpatrick and Patrick Meehan this year.
In those critical counties near Philly, Governor Romney is a perfect fit for Independent and Republican women. Polls suggest there is no gender gap.
This election, voter intensity favors Republicans. Senator Bob Casey (of the Potted Plant Party) has his hands full with a challenge from businessman Tom Smith. Recent polls show that race is a toss-up.
Given all these factors, it’s no wonder Romney and his allies have started an air war. In fact, Republicans have spent enough money on ads in Pennsylvania in the past week to fund a solid, month-long ad campaign in the state.
So be prepared to go back to your regularly scheduled programming on Tuesday night. No need to stay up all night waiting for the results from the Midwest and Rocky Mountains.
Michael J. Hudome is a Republican media consultant whose clients have included John McCain for President, all four national committees and several current and former members of the House and Senate.