MERCER COUNTY —
The Obama campaign headquarters at 79 E. State St. in Sharon is spartan but shows signs of a national campaign that’s serious about competing in Mercer County.
Four years ago the local Obama operation was working out of donated office space in the plaza in Sharpsville. This time around the national campaign is paying the rent and providing professional organizers to augment a core of local volunteers.
More than 100 people turned out for the HQ’s grand opening Tuesday, a respectable crowd for a local political event.
Judy Hines, a retired Lakeview teacher who was signing up volunteers Tuesday, says that support from Chicago means that they understand western Pennsylvania is important and could play a “make or break” role in November.
Pennsylvania is one of less than a dozen states that are considered in play in this year’s presidential race. A good “ground game,” as the political strategists like to refer to local organizing, is considered a key to victory for either President Obama or Mitt Romney.
The opening of a full-time campaign office in Mercer County is a sign that Obama’s organization is working hard on that front. Whether its enough to flip the county, which went for John McCain in 2008, remains to be seen.