By Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS ) — Local Democratic officials remained confident on Sunday that a strong Philadelphia turn-out will give the Pennsylvania’s electoral votes to President Obama on Tuesday.
Tightening polls and Mitt Romney’s personal visit (read related story) have created the appearance of a real race in a state that had been on President Obama’s side of the ledger for months.
The city’s 600,000 votes for Barack Obama in 2008 were a key to his victory and Democratic Party Chairman Congressman Bob Brady is dismissing polls or strategists that suggest anything less this time around.
“We’ll do the job we do in the city of Philadelphia,” Brady says. “We’ll get our majorities out.
Philadelphia has registered fewer new voters for this election than four years ago, but Brady sees no loss of enthusiasm for the president. He’s more concerned about efforts to discourage voters, beginning with continued advertising for a voter ID law that is not in effect.
That was also a concern for Pat Coulter of the Urban League, which is running a non-partisan campaign to encourage voter turn-out. But she says she’s finding a twist.
“That’s been in many ways motivating people to turn out,” she says.
Local officials also dismissed Romney’s visit to the area as an act of desperation.
“To give you a football analogy in a football town,” says former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, “this is a Hail Mary, and Hail Mary’s work about one out of a thousand times, and that’s my guess is what their odds are here.”
Rendell joined with Brady and Mayor Michael Nutter to simultaneously ask for, and promise, a big turn-out in Philadelphia. Taking no chances, they also promoted Bill Clinton’s Monday visit on behalf of President Obama.
If you ask why we’re doing this,” says Rendell. “Is it because we’re scared? No, it’s because when somebody punches you in the gut, you fight back.”