Obama campaign now buying ads in ... Detroit

Via Mark Halperin and Jim Geraghty, who points out that Detroit’s TV market doesn’t reach Ohio. This is all about defending Michigan, which would have seemed crazy a month ago but now, in a world where The One is under 50 percent in Oregon, makes lots of sense. This is, after all, a state capable of electing a Republican governor (by a landslide) and a Republican legislature, and there’s a native son at the top of the GOP ticket. The last poll of Michigan — taken one week ago — showed a dead heat. I wonder what those Hopenchange internal numbers are showing right now. From Halperin:

An Obama aide tells me this on the Michigan ad buy:

“Restore Our Future went up with a $2 million buy in Michigan. We’re matching states where they go up. We’re not going to let them make a play anywhere.”

Both sides have enough money for these end-game ad forays. The real issues remain candidate time/visits, the psy-ops involved here, and the belief of some Republicans that a combination of Minnesota, Michigan, and Pennsylvania could surprise on Election Day.

My only question: How likely is it that any of those three states comes through for Romney if Ohio doesn’t? And if Ohio comes through, why do we need any of those states? Seems like maybe the Romney Super PAC’s ad buy is less about stealing Michigan to capture the presidency even if Ohio falls through than it is (a) forcing Obama to divert money to a formerly “safe” state, and (b) increasing the odds of a big red wave if there’s a final small tilt towards Romney nationally (or regionally) over the next seven days. In that case, he wouldn’t “need” Michigan to win but it’d be lovely to have it as proof of a mandate to govern, and that’ll come in handy in twisting Democratic arms during those fiscal cliff/deficit reduction negotiations.

Elsewhere in “painting the map red” news: Romney just went up with his first ad in Pennsylvania, a state that ABC moved from “safe Democratic” to “lean Democratic” just yesterday — along with Minnesota. In the northwest, Team Mitt may be eyeing not only Oregon but even Washington state(!) as having turned more purplish than anticipated. And here’s a new ad from Citizens United that’s going up in Wisconsin and New Hampshire — a.k.a. Romney’s Plan B — but it’s not aimed at drumming up GOP turnout. In fact, it’s airing not on Fox News but on CNN and MSNBC. When you watch, you’ll understand why.

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