The Flow Of The Blow: Obama Is On Defense Down The Stretch


In 2008, John McCain was desperately playing defense in states like Florida, North Carolina, Virginia and Indiana. Just the fact that he had to commit resources into those states told you that he was in trouble. Well, this year Barack Obama is the one trying to fend off Mitt Romney in blue states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. That should tell you a lot about the state of the race down the stretch.

Here are some of the details.

Pennsylvania.

Mitt Romney plans to campaign in Pennsylvania this weekend, the clearest indicator yet that the Republican nominee believes he can snatch the state and its 20 electoral votes from President Obama.

Two campaign officials confirmed that Romney would stop in Pennsylvania on Sunday amid a cross-country tour of battleground states. His running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), has scheduled a campaign stop in Harrisburg, Pa., on Saturday…

NBC News reports the ad buy for Pennsylvania is small and worth $120,000. But it signals Romney’s desire to make a play in the Democratic-leaning state, where 20 electoral votes are at stake. Obama leads by an average of about 5 percentage points, according to polls compiled by RealClearPolitics.

Romney political director Rich Beeson said in a campaign memo Tuesday that the Pennsylvania ad campaign shows Romney’s “momentum has jumped containment from the usual target states and has spread to deeper blue states that Chicago never anticipated defending.

In order to court the women’s vote for the Republican Party, a group called Independent Women’s Voice, has dropped $7.4 million for geo-targeted online ads in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Minnesota

Restore Our Future, a super PAC backing Republican nominee Mitt Romney, is going up with $1.8 million worth of ads in Minnesota and New Mexico — states that have been considered safe bets for Democrats.

The super PAC announced Wednesday it would spend $1.1 million in Minnesota and $700,000 in New Mexico.

President Barack Obama’s campaign has made a very small ad buy in Minnesota to counter a new purchase by Mitt Romney in the state, an Obama campaign official and a Republican ad tracking source told CNN.

Earlier Friday a Romney campaign official confirmed it had bought a small amount of television ad time in Minneapolis. Two ad tracking sources told CNN the Romney buy was about $30,000 and would run Saturday through Tuesday. The amount of the Obama buy has not been disclosed.

For nearly 40 years, Democratic presidential candidates have banked on Minnesota’s electoral votes.

But a recent Star Tribune/Mason-Dixon poll suggested President Barack Obama’s lead is narrowing in Minnesota.

With a week until the election, the Obama campaign sent former President Bill Clinton to the University of Minnesota for a rally Tuesday morning.

Michigan

Two major conservative groups working to defeat President Barack Obama launched new ad offensives in Michigan and Pennsylvania as they hope to build support in two states some Republicans think they a chance of winning.

Americans for Prosperity, a group advocating for limited government and cutting government spending, on Thursday began a $3 million media campaign in the two states, running a previously-aired commercial that features people it says voted for the president in 2008 and will not do so again.

The Obama campaign announced that day that it will be buying its first network TV ads in major markets across the state after the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future announced a $2 million Michigan ad buy.

…Meanwhile, the Romney campaign announced it has bought ad space on “Gas Pump TV,” the closed circuit station that airs at some gas stations. The ads blame Obama for high gas prices.

Wisconsin

Restore Our Future has reserved around $1 million in airtime for Iowa and Wisconsin, an amount that ensures its message will be on television in heavy rotation there because of their smaller-sized media markets.

RYAN in WISCONSIN: The congressman will drop by the victory centers in La Crosse at 2:20 CT and Hudson at 5:15 CT, where he will thank volunteers who are delivering or collecting items for storm relief efforts. All Wisconsin Victory Centers will collect donations for storm relief efforts today and tomorrow.

ANN in WISCONSIN and IOWA: She visits victory offices in Green Bay, Davenport and Cedar Rapids, where she will participate in storm relief collection efforts. She then attends a Victory Rally at the Temple for the Performing Arts in Des Moines at 6 CT.

This amount of action in what were considered “gimmie” states for Barack Obama not so long ago tells a lot about the race down the stretch.

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