First lady in Philly today as poll shows Obama widening lead in Pa.

    First lady Michelle Obama makes a campaign stop at the National Constitution Center on Independence Mall in Philadelphia Wednesday afternoon, as a new poll by Franklin & Marshall College shows the president with a 12-point lead in Pennsylvania over his Republican rival.

    The 48-to-36 percent margin in Pennsylvania is an improvement for Barack Obama over the 41-33 percent margin he held in the last F&M poll in February.

    The survey showed far more voters believed Obama is best prepared to handle foreign policy, and many more thought he best understands the concerns of ordinary Americans. Poll director Terry Madonna says voters give Obama a narrower, but still substantial, edge on economic issues “I think voters in Pennsylvania need to see out of Gov. Romney what he would do with the economy if elected president, and merely criticizing the president’s polices is not sufficient, at the moment, to make this race much tighter than it currently is,” Madonna said.

    The poll shows incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey with a 21-point lead over Republican challenger, Tom Smith. You can read the entire poll here.

    The president’s adversaries aren’t conceding Pennsylvania, though. Crossroads GPS, the group associated with Republican operative Karl Rove announced yesterday it’s making a $727,000 TV buy in the state to run the ad you can see above.

    Crossroads GPS says the ad, called Stopwatch, “portrays the cumulative impact of the Obama Administration’s failure to address the national debt, ignoring even President Obama’s own deficit-reduction panel.”

    You can read the Democrats’ response here.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.