The Politico has a useful piece on the emerging battle in Pennsylvania. Bottom line: A lot of knowledgeable people on both sides think the state is closer than the polls say; they also think it'll tighten over the next two weeks. (Though most seem to think Obama will pull it out.)

One small quibble with the McCain insider who's quoted at length in the following passage:

And in the four populous and historically Republican collar counties surrounding Philadelphia, the campaign believes McCain is a far better fit for the socially moderate suburbs than President Bush.

“McCain is more like a [Tom] Ridge than a Bush,” said the McCain campaign insider, referring to the popular former two-term GOP governor. “That gives suburban voters a comfort level with him. He’s a different kind of Republican in so many ways.” 

McCain may be more like Ridge than Bush in some respects. But there's at least one key difference: He's pro-life whereas Ridge is pro-choice. I can't imagine that goes over well among the moderate Republican women in suburban Philly.

Actually, make that two key differences: So far as I know, Ridge has never chosen a staunch social conservative of dubious qualifications to be his running mate--another thing I doubt goes over well in the 'burbs.

--Noam Scheiber