Gleason declined to get into specific strategy when asked, saying, "We have many, many strategies that are under way" and he feels Romney appeals to independents in the Lehigh Valley, a former steel hub and now one of the fastest growing parts of the state, as well as "values voters" in the southwest part of the state. Gleason added they have an "intensive Philadelphia effort" to improve Romney's chances in those suburbs, which tend to be more liberal but can swing.
"We will be opening victory offices around the state," Gleason said on a Republican National Committee conference call. "He's going to be here many times, going around to meet the electorate so we have a whole host of campaign positions that we have and we will be working on. Remember, the election is still not until November and we are starting to show improvement already … and in almost every election, turnout is the most important thing, as was proved in Wisconsin just last week."
The Romney camp and the RNC have seven campaign offices in Pennsylvania – the Obama campaign has 27 open so far -- and an RNC aide says they will continue to add "in waves over the summer."
GOP Congressman Charlie Dent, who represents the Lehigh Valley, likes Romney's chances because of how his energy policy compares to that of the president's. On the same RNC call, Dent said Obama has waged an "assault on coal" by trying to "raise the price of coal and make it not competitive." Another point Republicans are pouncing on and sent out to their press list: a Democratic Congressman from the state, Mark Critz, actually sent out a statement blasting the president for his economic and energy policies, sent from his campaign office. It shows how despite the Democrats' advantages in the state, it's difficult for the president in the Rust Belt portion of Pennsylvania.
The Obama campaign hinted that part of its campaign strategy in the state would be to use Romney's record in Massachusetts, calling the presumptive GOP nominee "out of touch" and questioning whether Republicans really do believe they can win in Pennsylvania.
"President Obama and middle-class Pennsylvanians know that America is stronger when hard work pays, responsibility is rewarded, and when everybody plays by the same rules," Obama campaign spokesman Michael Czin told ABC News in a statement. "On the other hand, Mitt Romney is campaigning in support of the same failed policies that benefitted a few but crashed our economy and punished the middle class."