I’m trying to maintain a healthy eeyorish skepticism here but it’s getting harder. Yesterday the AP reported that Biden was headed to Scranton and that Romney — maybe — was headed to Minnesota. Today? Reports of a $2 million ad buy by Mitt’s Super PAC across Pennsylvania, including Philly, and a hastily arranged visit by the Big Dog to Minnesota as part of his midwestern swing on O’s behalf:
As the presidential race narrows in Minnesota, former President Bill Clinton is planning to visit here this week to shore up support for President Barack Obama.
Details of the Tuesday visit are still being worked out. The former president’s visit is part of a Midwest swing that includes Minnesota, Iowa, Colorado, Ohio, Virginia, New Hampshire and Wisconsin, the Obama campaign said. All year, the six other states have been considered battleground areas in the presidential race…
The sudden attention comes as both campaigns have started buying advertising time in Minnesota, which had been lacking until last week.
Question for campaign pros: Is there any reason Biden or Clinton would spend a minute in these states if they weren’t legitimately in play, albeit still likely to go for O? I can understand Romney spending a bit of time and money there for strategic reasons, even if he thought he had no real chance, as an attempt to bluff Obama into spending resources to defend them. But it’s harder for me to imagine Team O being suckered by that bluff if their own internal polls had them comfortably ahead. There’s no way they’d be buying ads in Minnesota with money that could be better spent trying to win Florida or Virginia unless they really felt they needed to, right? And if we’re suddenly seeing enough movement towards Romney in the midwest and Rust Belt to make Minnesota and Pennsylvania kinda sorta competitive, then what’s going on in Wisconsin and Ohio, where Team Mitt is pouring in time and money? You already know what Rasmussen says about the latter; he also had the former tied as of a few days ago, but his is the only poll of Wisconsin in the past 12 days. Note to pollsters: Time to fix that, ASAP.
As for the national polls, they’re all over the map suddenly. Pew has the race tied, Rasmussen has Romney by two, and both Gallup and the Battleground Poll have Romney by five. Even Pew sees cause for optimism, though. Exit quotation: “When the sample is narrowed to likely voters, the balance of opinion shifts slightly in Romney’s direction, as it did in early October. This reflects Romney’s turnout advantage over Obama, which could loom larger as Election Day approaches… Indeed, surveys over the past month have found Republicans becoming much more upbeat about the race and about Mitt Romney himself.”
Update: CNN becomes the second outfit today to find Romney up by one thin point in Colorado — despite Obama leading among independents by eight(!). ARG had Romney ahead earlier by the same margin. The last six polls in the state have gone R+1, R+1, O+1, O+4, Tie, R+4.