To combat the new state law, Obama volunteers and paid staffers are trying to find potential voters who lack photo ID cards, and then helping them qualify to vote. The new state law requires ID cards to include an expiration date, something many college student ID cards lack.
At Temple University in Philadelphia, officials are considering adding voter registration forms to roughly 5,000 freshman orientation packets for the first time this fall. Students say their ID cards are being revamped to include expiration dates.
Republicans say voter ID laws are needed to avert voter fraud, an alleged problem for which there's scant evidence. Democrats say the laws are designed to depress turnout by low-income people and minorities, who tend to vote Democratic.
Strategists in both parties say the prime target in Pennsylvania is swing voters in the heavily populated four-county Philadelphia suburbs. Republicans there tend to be moderate, and more focused on economic than religious issues.
Andrew Reilly, chairman of the Delaware County GOP, acknowledged the Democrats' statewide voter registration advantage. But he said Romney is the first Republican presidential candidate in 20 years who fits well with the area's GOP electorate.
"Pennsylvania is a challenge," Reilly said. "I think Romney's got a shot."
Messina, Obama's national campaign manager, said issues that will make Romney less appealing in Pennsylvania, as in several other manufacturing states, include his opposition to Obama's auto industry rescue and his support of tax cuts for millionaires. "We're going to win Pennsylvania with a great campaign," Messina said.
It may take a good campaign to win back Ludwig, who said she hasn't committed to Romney despite her disappointment in Obama.
James, the Romney adviser, says a smart, energetic campaign can lure such voters to the GOP column. "2012 is not 2008," James said. "We believe we can win Pennsylvania. And if we win Pennsylvania, Mitt Romney will be president."
Associated Press writer Marc Levy contributed to this report.
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