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Romney to make unexpected campaign stop in Pennsylvania

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign rally in Doswell, Virginia November 1, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign rally in Doswell, Virginia November 1, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

DOSWELL, Virginia (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney plans to campaign in Pennsylvania on Sunday to take advantage of what aides see as the possibility of an upset win over President Barack Obama in the traditionally Democratic state.

Campaign aides said the visit would likely take place in the southeastern portion of the state. Romney had held off on campaign visits to Pennsylvania because it appeared Obama had the state locked up. But polls have tightened in recent weeks, although Romney is still behind.

The visit would have two potential goals. If Romney were to win Pennsylvania, it could provide a buffer for him should he lose Ohio, a crucial battleground state where Obama has been holding a small but persistent lead in the polls.

Winning Pennsylvania could also expand the path for Romney to winning the 270 electoral votes needed for victory. He has a narrow path at this point that relies on winning a number of battleground states like Virginia, Florida and North Carolina where the race is too close to call.

The Obama campaign has been dismissive of Romney's recent efforts to increase his profile in Pennsylvania after the campaign announced it was running television ads there.

A senior Romney adviser said Romney's wife, Ann Romney, had been campaigning recently in Pennsylvania on her husband's behalf and found an improving picture for him there.

(Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Alistair Bell and Peter Cooney)

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