“We’ll be monitoring developments in the state very closely,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “We have over 60 staff in the state and are breaking get-out-the-vote records. We plan to continue that through Election Day.”
The official added that Ms. Meriwether is working in Virginia “temporarily, because we have so many events there.”
The decision of whether or not the Romney camp should devote money in Pennsylvania is complicated by the state’s expensive media markets, including Philadelphia, where some of a campaign’s ad buy is “wasted” on TV viewers in solidly Democratic Delaware and New Jersey.
“It’s not a cheap place to play,” Mr. Borick said. “It’s going to be a serious allocation of resources. At the end of the day, I think that’s the only thing holding them back. I think it’s probably a little too risky for them right now. Pennsylvania might just be a bit of a luxury, instead of a necessity that those other states are.”
Mr. Romney’s lone visit to Pennsylvania this fall was for a fundraiser in Philadelphia and a speech at the Valley Forge Military Academy on Sept. 28, but he did predict that he would win the state.
“I’ve got a little secret here, and that is the Obama campaign thinks that Pennsylvania is in their pocket, they don’t need to worry about it,” Mr. Romney said. “We’re going to win Pennsylvania, and we’re going to take back the White House.”
Republicans might be even more optimistic about their chances in Pennsylvania if a judge had upheld the state’s voter-ID legislation approved by the legislature last spring. The measure required voters to show photo identification at polling places, but a judge this month blocked the provision from taking effect this fall, saying the state hadn’t done enough to provide voters who lack ID with the proper documentation.
Mr. Rendell said that if the law were in effect on Nov. 6, it would cost Democratic candidates 1 percent to 2 percent of the vote statewide.
Another positive development for Republicans in the state is the showing in recent polls of unheralded Senate candidate Tom Smith, who is challenging Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr., a Democrat. The Quinnipiac poll showed Mr. Smith trailing the incumbent by 3 percentage points, 48 percent to 45 percent. Democrats and even some top Republicans long ago considered Mr. Casey as a certain winner for re-election.
Mr. Smith, who made a fortune in the coal industry, has spent more than $16 million of his own money on the race.
“The Casey campaign so far has been lackluster,” Mr. Borick said. “Bob Casey’s not a good fundraiser, and he’s let Smith come right in and define the race.”