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Mitt Romney speaking at a near-empty Ford Field
Remember the primary? Not a battleground.
The Romney campaign and his allies are making a late play in Pennsylvania and Michigan, which they are spinning as some kind of momentum.

Here's the current state of the race, per the TPM polltracker. I did one of these yesterday, so the trends only span one day.

The states that have polls all show the trends continuing in Obama's direction. I re-added Michigan and Pennsylvania at the bottom. Pennsylvania Michigan looks tight! But it's skewed by one of those bullshit baby Rasmussen pollsters, in this case Foster-McCollum for the local Fox affiliate. Their influence on the composite is particularly outsized because few people have polled the state recently. Take them out, and it's Obama 48.7-44.8, or a nearly four-point edge.

Heck, even Rasmussen has Obama up 52-45 (and 51-46 in Pennsylvania, for that matter).

So why would Republicans dump several million into two states that sport wider spreads than the current crop of battlegrounds?

Because they are losing. Even if they can hold on to North Carolina and eke out a victory in Florida, Romney's campaign would still be only at 235 electoral votes, 35 short of what they need for victory. The next closest state is Colorado with nine Electoral Votes. That's just 244. After that, the states look pretty tough for Romney. If North Carolina's 2.5-point advantage is a dominant one for Romney, then so are those 2-4 point Obama leads elsewhere. And remember, the trends are still moving toward Obama.

Pennsylvania is not a good pickup opportunity for Team Red, nor is Michigan. But they have no choice as they see other key states trend away from them.

If Romney's campaign was winning, they would focus on the states above and bring the trophy home. But they don't have the EVs they need, and are desperately casting for other states to bring into play.

Originally posted to kos on Tue Oct 30, 2012 at 04:59 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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