The wave of post-debate momentum that has erased and even reversed the leads that President Obama once had in both national and swing-state battles is still going strong, and with a hefty bit more cash on hand than the Democratic camp and only six days left until the election, they’ve got plenty of spending left to burn through. Via the WashTimes:
A late surge of support and months of restrained spending have left the Republican National Committee flush with cash with little time to spend it — $68 million as of Oct. 17, which was nearly seven times the amount the Democratic National Committee had in the bank.
Adding in the cash from other presidential campaign committees, the mismatch still was stark: $156 million for Mitt Romney and his GOP allies to $94 million for President Obama and his allies. State Republican parties also had 50 percent more cash than their Democratic counterparts, according to an analysis by The Washington Times.
The last few days, however, have seen significant shifts in even a few states in which President Obama held hitherto commanding leads — Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Minnesota, of this morning‘s “Axelrod will shave his ‘stache if Obama loses them”-fame, spring to mind — and the Romney campaign has seen fit to start diverting some of their resources into those states. Obama campaign manager Jim Messina labels this as last-minute “flailing,” per Politico:
Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said Wednesday that he doesn’t anticipate Chicago opening any new fronts in the final six days of the campaign — essentially ceding states like Arizona where advertising might move the needle. …
“In these final days, our map is set — unlike the Romney campaign which is flailing, trying to make the map different than it is,” he said, in response to a question about the possibility of trying to contest Arizona. …
The Romney campaign and their allies have gone up with last minute buys in states like Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin — all states expected to end up in Obama’s column. The Romney campaign says they’re simply expanding the map, but the Obama campaign says they’ve realized their pathway to victory is now implausible.
Even if the shifting-towards-Romney numbers in all of these states don’t even mean that all of these states are necessarily in real play, how is putting Team Obama on the defensive and forcing them to divert their own resources, while simultaneously even just supporting the nationwide impression of wildly strong momentum, doing anything other than capitalizing on recent gains? What Messina calls flailing, I’d call calculating.