By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Rick Santorum’s exit from the Republican presidential race paves the way for Mitt Romney to claim the nomination.  But his move also takes a lot of money off the table in Pennsylvania.

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The Romney campaign and its Super PAC backer “Restore Our Future” had planned around $3 million worth of ads across the state to combat Santorum, a Pennsylvania native son.  The dust had barely settled from Santorum’s announcement (see related story) before Romney’s people were pulling the plug on the commercials.

“TV stations and radio stations across the state are weeping because that’s money they’re not going to get, and they really need,” says Randall Miller, professor of history at St. Joseph’s University.

And Miller says there will also be an impact on the Main Street economy:

“All those diners and what-have-you in upstate Pennsylvania — or even in our area, where we’re expecting advance people to come by, and journalists — they’re not going to be getting that traffic.”

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Miller says there’s a long-term effect, too, with less exposure for communities and companies that aren’t going to get visits from stumping candidates.

However, with Pennsylvania always a big prize in the general election, the spotlight is sure to be back on the commonwealth in the fall.



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