Political experts weigh-in on campaigns last-minute trips to Pennsylvania

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — It’s the golden hour in the battle of the blue and red.

“Candidates and their star surrogates would not be spending their time here in Pennsylvania if Pennsylvania wasn’t in play and wasn’t a must-win for both teams,” said David N. Taylor, president and CEO of Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association.

“There’s no coincidence that you’re seeing the level of attention here in Pennsylvania. A. There’s a lot of people who haven’t voted yet, and B. Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes are the biggest prize in this country,” said Mike Barley, a political consultant with Long Nyquist and Associates.

The campaigns have been hitting that treasure hunt hard, even though many voters are decided, and the state estimates that 1.5 million have already cast their ballot.

“You need those folks to have all the passion you can motivate, and there’s nothing more motivating than to be in the presence of your candidate,” Taylor said.

That motivation is gaining momentum for one candidate in particular, according to Barley.

“I think that anybody who thinks that President Trump is out of this has not learned their lesson from 2016 — me being one of them,” Barley said.

While Barley admits this year has been anything but certain, he believes that the president has unlocked Pennsylvania’s blue-collar vote.

“We polled in many races, [we] asked, ‘who do you think your neighbor is voting for?’ The overwhelming majority thinks they’re voting for President Trump,” Barley said.

On Nov. 3, it won’t matter what anyone thinks, just how they vote.

“People should exercise their citizenship, not just by voting, but casting an informed ballot. Know what you believe in and why,” Taylor said.

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