Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan will make his first campaign stop to the Philadelphia suburbs today as the GOP hopes to turn the Keystone State red in November.
Ryan will greet supporters at the American Helicopter Museum and Education Center in West Chester in the afternoon before heading to a fundraiser in Center City. The latest poll, taken before Ryan’s selection, had Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney closing in on President Obama in Pennsylvania, trailing by six points.
Ryan’s selection as Romney’s running mate has energized voters in the party’s base a few weeks ahead of the Republican National Convention. Pundits credit his hard-working style and connection with younger voters for his popularity.
“If his reception in southeastern Pennsylvania is anything like his reception in the rest of the country, it’s obvious he’s brought a lot of enthusiasm and that’s something you want in a selection,” said Christopher Nicholas, political director of the Pennsylvania Business Council and a former GOP campaign strategist.
With Pennsylvania again expected to be a swing state, the southeastern part of the state is critical as Republicans look to improve on their dismal numbers in 2008.
“Obviously if the Romney-Ryan ticket does well enough in the southeast portion of the state, it’s going to carry the state,” said Don Adams, president of the Independence Hall Tea Party PAC.
One consultant estimated that the Ryan fundraising event could generate between $500,000 and $1 million.
Despite an appearance by the rising GOP star, Democratic consultant Larry Ceisler said he does not expect Republicans to compete in the region.
“I think when they bring Paul Ryan in, they bring him in to suck money out,” he said.