The Washington Times - November 4, 2012, 06:44PM

MORRISVILLE, Pa. — On his second-last day of campaigning, Mitt Romney traveled Sunday to Pennsylvania, where he was looking to connect on a late-game “Hail Mary” by becoming the first Republican to win the Keystone State since George H. W. Bush won here in 1988.

The former Massachusetts governor, though, didn’t seem fazed by the seemingly long odds, walking onto the stage here to the theme song from the Philadelphia-set movie “Rocky” and predicting that he would win the state come Election Day.

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“This audience and your voices are being heard all over the nation, they are being heard in my heart,” Mr. Romney told the 25,000 people in attendance. “The people of America understand we are taking back the White House because we’re going to win Pennsylvania!”

In another measure of the increasing crowds Mr. Romney has been attracting, another 5,000 people were in the overflow area outside the arena’s gates.

The former Massachusetts governor, though, didn’t seem fazed by the seemingly long odds, walking onto stage here to the theme son from the Philadelphia-set movie “Rocky” and predicting that he would win the state come Election Day.

“This audience and your voices are being heard all over the nation, they are being heard in my heart,” Mr. Romney told the thousands in attendance. “The people of America understand we are taking back the White House because we’re going to win Pennsylvania!”

Polls here show the race has tightened in the wake of Mr. Romney’s well-received debate performances. The latest Real Clear Politics average of polls shows Mr. Obama holds roughly a four-point lead after holding double-digit leads for much of the campaign and winning the state over John McCain in 2008 by 10 percentage points.

“Romney is performing quite well in the Philly burbs and the overall race is quite competitive,” said Christopher Borick, a pollster and political science professor at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa. “However to actually win the state he will have to perform exceptionally well in the Philadelphia suburbs and have turnout in Philly itself really tank. That scenario could happen but I think it’s fairly unlikely, thus leading me to conclude that Romney’s late move here is more of a roll of the dice than a move from strength.”

The Romney camp, though, said the risk was worth it because of the potential reward. Plus, they said, the campaign said it had the resources to invest in the final days of the campaign, so they decided to take a stab.

Mr. Romney started the day with campaign stops in Des Moines, Iowa, and Cleveland, Ohio, and will close out the day with an event in Newport News, Va. He arrived at the event here outside Philadelphia more than a hour behind schedule.