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Politics & Government

Toomey: PA's Lack of Early Voting is Reason for Few Romney Visits


Pennsylvania has been on the sidelines for the last several weeks when it comes to the presidential candidates and their TV advertising dollars.  However, Pennsylvania’s junior U.S. senator says that's because it's too soon to focus on the commonwealth because it doesn’t allow early voting. 

Pat Toomey (R-PA) says he thinks the Romney campaign is watching Pennsylvania very closely, but he suggests the GOP presidential nominee doesn’t yet have to start campaigning in earnest in the commonwealth.  

"Pennsylvania is one of the last states in America to vote," Toomey said.  Because we vote on Election Day.  Most states start voting well before Election Day.  We don’t allow any in-person voting prior to Election Day.  We do have an absentee ballot program naturally, but there’s lots of states that actually allow to show up and cast a vote anytime you like well before the election."

Toomey says it makes sense the Romney campaign would first shore up its support in states that allow early voting. Pennsylvania’s Republican establishment has insisted the state is still very much in play. Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan made a campaign stop in Pittsburgh last weekend. It was one of only a handful of visits to the state by the G-O-P ticket.

Commenting on another key statewide race in the commonwealth between incumbent Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and Republican nominee Tom Smith, Toomey said he’s not sure Smith needs any advice from him.

"I think Tom Smith needs to keep doing what he’s been doing.  Tom has come from nowhere to a point where I think he’s about tied.  I think this is a very, very close, probably a toss-up race, so he’s doing quite well."

Toomey said it’s “quite possible” Smith will win without any “outside assistance” on the campaign.

"He’s demonstrated he’s quite capable of providing quite a lot of assistance to his own campaign."   Smith, a former owner of a coal company, has bankrolled much of his campaign.