Skip to comments.The Jacksonian-Jeffersonian Vote By Salena Zito
Posted on 04/29/2012 5:36:55 PM PDT by Hojczyk
SOUTH PARK, PA -- John Opfar sat in the front row of a short riser at Consol Energy's South Park R&D facility just before Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney took to a makeshift stage.
Opfar, 31, is a safety inspector at Bailey Mine, 40 miles south in Greene County, in what can only be described as an engineering marvel -- the country's largest underground coal mine.
e said he likes what he hears from Romney, doesn't think Romney is at all like the descriptions in most press accounts, and cannot wait to vote for him: "He talks about what is best for the region and what is best for the country, growing our economy and creating jobs.
"That's all I need to hear."
By all accounts, this Western Pennsylvania coal miner (who could be on the cover of a Ralph Lauren catalog despite his hardhat, safety glasses and beige jumpsuit) should be supporting Barack Obama.
In spite of his working-class roots, Opfar said "that is not happening."
"That is a problem," conceded Dane Strother, a Democrat strategist. "Romney sees opportunity in Pennsylvania and he is not shy about going for it."
Strother said coal country is a good story for Romney to tell and he is "absolutely" working to fill the gaps with voters of all denominations across the state.
"Look, he is not a dumb guy," Strother explained. "He knows he might not win Pennsylvania but playing there is smart. And if he can tighten the margins there, the president is in trouble."
The latest poll by Purple Strategies, conducted in 12 states that will make or break this race electorally, shows a swift tightening in those key battlegrounds, with Romney making remarkable gains on Obama in a very short time.
(Excerpt) Read more at realclearpolitics.com ...
he said he likes what he hears from Romney, doesn't think Romney is at all like the descriptions in most press accounts, and cannot wait to vote for him"
Whoa, boy. I'd hate to be working in a mine "inspected" by someone this blind.