Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, seen in a file photo, told state delegates… (Carolyn Kaster / AP File…)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell warned the state's Democratic delegates not to "rest on your laurels" just because Pennsylvania is being widely cited as a guaranteed win for President Obama.
"Don't be fooled," Rendell said at the morning breakfast meeting. "I believe they are laying a bit of a trap for us. They have so much money ... if they decide to come in and blitz the last six or seven weeks, they can do it if they want."
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Both high-profile conservative groups and the Obama campaign have pulled TV advertising from Pennsylvania, and the Romney campaign hasn't yet spent a dime in the state. Obama won the swing state, which has selected the Democratic candidate for the last five presidential cycles, by 10 points in 2008. And every public poll has showed Obama leading in the state.
But Rendell, who said he received an angry call from the campaign after he first said publicly that Mitt Romney could win Pennsylvania, told the Democrats that the last thing they want to do is show Republicans that they've become complacent.
"All of a sudden that nine-point lead becomes a six-point lead to a three-point lead, and then all of a sudden it's within the margin of error," Rendell said. He told the party faithful that they must treat the next two months as if Obama was polling in Pennsylvania two points behind and then work to make it up.
"Roll up your sleeves ... because if we all work like we're two points behind we will win," he said.
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Rendell also said he wants to see U.S. Sen. Bob Casey win his reelection by as wide a margin — 18 points — as when he beat Rick Santorum in 2006. If Casey keeps winning elections overwhelmingly, Rendell said, then people will look at that "one election he lost and say, 'the other guy must have been pretty spectacular.'"
Pennsylvania politics history note: Rendell beat Casey in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in 2002.
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