Just days after the official kickoff to the fall campaign season, Pennsylvania’s swing state status has earned another strike. For the first time since May, no campaigns, PACs or super PACs are on television here in the presidential race.
Priorities USA Action, the super PAC founded to boost the re-election effort of President Obama, confirmed that it has suspended its advertising in PA. A spokesperson cited the fact that major Republican PACs have themselves pulled out of the state.
The group unveiled a new advertisement today (embedded below), set to air on television and online in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Bill Burton, a former White House deputy press secretary who serves as the group’s senior strategist, said the decision came after news that their Republican counterparts have given up on Pennsylvania – at least for the time being.
“Since we’ve seen from both public and our own private polling that our ads have made an impact, and considering Romney and his allies have given up on PA, we are no longer advertising [in Pennsylvania],” Burton told PoliticsPA.
Priorities spent approximately $1.6 million on the air in PA as of August 26, according to the Washington Post’s ad tracker. Only Florida had received more dollars from the group.
Only a three groups have spent more in the state in 2012: American Crossroads/Crossroads GPS, Restore Our Future, and Americans for Prosperity – all three aimed at boosting Republican Mitt Romney.
Last week, Crossroads and Americans for Prosperity both confirmed that they were going dark in PA.
On Friday, the Romney campaign announced new ads in 8 swing states; Pennsylvania was not among them. It has not invested any significant amount on television in PA since the April primary. Restore Our Future spent over $2.6 million in the state in August, but their most recent ad flight ended on the 27th.
Obama leads Romney by 7.7 points according to the polling average by Real Clear Politics.
Television ads only paint part of the picture of a campaign. Field efforts, like identifying supporters and getting out the vote, also play a role. Both campaigns have put together significant field efforts in the state.
But television spending is the best barometer for the importance of a state. And it looks like, at least for now, both sides see Pennsylvania as blue.
Here’s the new Priorities USA Action ad: