October 31, 2012

AP Seems Appalled (and Concerned) That Romney Is Campaigning in Minn. and Pa.

I heard Rush Limbaugh comment on this report from the Associated Press’s Thomas Beaumont and Brian Bakst (“Romney, GOP suddenly plunging onto Democratic turf”) this afternoon on his program. This evening, having read the whole, I agree with him (which of course often happens) that the AP writer are very upset that GOP presidential challenger Mitt Romney and his campaign are going after Pennsylvania and Minnesota — so upset that they’re throwing any kind of speculative nonsense they can conjure up to explain away its obvious significance, namely that Team Romney believes they can pick up even more electoral than they believe they have within their control by venturing into these two states — oh, and Michigan too.

How upset are they? One theory the AP pair has: “Or perhaps the Republican simply has money to burn. Use it now or never.” Lord have mercy, guys. The question with the answer you don’t like is: Why is he “burning” it in those two states? Gee, because he apparently thinks he can win them. Several paragraphs from Beaumont’s and Bakst’s blubbering, which will only admit to the apparently unlikely (in their view) possibility the Romney “could” win the race for the White House, follow the jump (bolds are mine):

Mitt Romney is suddenly plunging into traditionally Democratic-leaning Minnesota and Pennsylvania, and his GOP allies are trying to put Michigan into play. It’s forcing President Barack Obama to defend his own turf — he’s pouring money into television ads in the states and dispatching top backers — in the campaign’s final week.

The question is: Why this Republican move?

GOP efforts in the trio of Rust Belt states could indicate that Romney is desperately searching for a last-minute path to the needed 270 Electoral College votes — without all-important Ohio. Or just the opposite, that he’s so confident in the most competitive battlegrounds that he’s pressing for insurance against Obama in what’s expected to be a close race.

Or perhaps the Republican simply has money to burn. Use it now or never.

Former President Bill Clinton was dispatched in response Tuesday. “Barack Obama’s policies work better,” he said at the University of Minnesota campus, one of his two stops in a state that offers 10 electoral votes and hasn’t voted for a Republican presidential candidate since Richard Nixon in 1972.

… Of the nine states where the two men have spent more than $1 billion in advertising since June, Romney is in the strongest position in North Carolina. But public and internal campaign polls show he’s locked in stubbornly tight battles in Colorado, Florida, New Hampshire, Nevada and Virginia and is fighting to overtake Obama’s advantage in crucial Ohio as well as Iowa and Wisconsin.

That said, Romney still could win. Anything can happen in the race’s closing days — including Democratic-leaning states like Minnesota, Pennsylvania or Michigan going Republican.

If Romney is just “burning money,” why didn’t the Obama campaign feel like it had to send Bill Clinton to of all places Minnesota to play defense?

Just to summarize, even with skewed polls included in the averages at Real Clear Politics:

  • The national race is tied at 47.4% for each candidate.
  • The electoral vote race is at 201-191 in favor of Obama, but Romney appears to have the edge in three states (FL, VA, NC) which would move him to 248, only 23 votes short of victory.
  • Obama is up by 2.3 points in Ohio, but Rasmussen shows Romney with a two-point lead. If Romney wins Ohio, he only needs to take one other small state to emerge victorious.
  • Obama is up by less than five points in most polls in Pennsylvania, where there may be an undetected shift to Republicans by those affected by Obama’s hostile energy policies (that point also applies to Ohio).
  • Rasmussen has Wisconsin in a tie.
  • A Minneapolis (Red) Star Tribune poll has Romney within three with a sample which was 41% Democrats and 28% Republicans. The Land of 10,000 Lakes (and probably more taxes) is traditionally Democrat-donminated, but Republicans now hold the legislature, and the 13-point poll difference between the two parties looks like a serious case of skewing to me.

I believe Rush was right when he surmised that what the AP was really saying is: “Stay out of those blue states!”

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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