Republican presidential nominee John McCain has sharpened his focus to a few key states, with a special emphasis on Pennsylvania.
However, Pennsylvania presents a pivotal challenge to Sen. McCain and a possible weakness to opponent Barack Obama. Sen. Obama lost the state by 10 percent to Sen. Hillary Clinton in the primary, and faces strong opposition in the central and rural western areas.
With 21 electoral votes up for grabs, the state offers a chance for Sen. McCain to make up the ground he stands to lose in several smaller states if current polls continue to hold.
While supporters think a victory in Pennsylvania is possible, it will be a daunting task. Voting for Democrats in every presidential election since 1992, Pennsylvania currently offers Sen. Obama an 11-point lead, according to the RealClearPolitics average.
In addition to the lead, the Democrats were able to register more new voters this year, amounting to 1.2 million more registered Democrats than Republicans in Pennsylvania.
To overcome Sen. McCain’s current deficit, the campaign has been targeting former Sen. Clinton supporters who may have felt left behind or spurned by the Obama campaign.
"When we look at our numbers, we think we’re competitive here," McCain advisor Mark Salter told the New York Times. "We would like to get as many Clinton supporters as we can."
Still, the McCain campaign is lagging behind the Obama campaign in overall spending, allotting about half of what his opponent is, thanks in part to the Illinois senator’s cash advantage after a record-setting month of fundraising.
In addition to shifting advertising dollars to the Keystone State, the McCain campaign has sent some of their key figures there for appearances across the state, including running mate Gov. Sarah Palin as well as Sen. McCain’s wife, Cindy McCain.