States of Play – MN and PA Join the Club

There’s six days to go until the election, and the electoral map is pretty much settled. Right? Uh… maybe.

Just when we thought both candidates were zeroing in on Ohio, this comes in from Politico’s Jonathan Martin:

Romney’s high command can take a look at single-digit deficits in states like Minnesota and Pennsylvania and lay down some cash on TV there, as they have in recent days.

Will they take their candidate off the Ohio-Virginia-Florida treadmill and drop him into Minnesota or Pennsylvania?

Asked if Romney was going to visit either, [campaign adviser Rich] Beeson only offered up a “stay tuned.”

Such an eyebrow-raising move would either show real confidence that they have a shot in those states or completely vindicate the Obama campaign’s line that Romney is casting about for an alternative path to 270 electoral votes.

What? Pennsylvania and Minnesota are now in play?

My personal view is PA isn’t, and MN could be. Looking at the polls, Pennsylvania looks at least as hard to get as Ohio does for Romney. If he only needs Ohio then he ought to stay there, though I guess putting up a few ads in bleed-over media markets wouldn’t hurt. Minnesota is a tougher call – on RCP there’s only been three major polls, but the most recent one has Romney within three.

Romney’s probably running better there than in states like Ohio in part because Minnesota hasn’t been pummeled with anti-Romney ads from the Obama campaign for most of the summer. Since both campaigns have money to spend, throwing a little bit at possible difference-makers is a good idea. But don’t expect this to change the trajectory of the election too much. With six days left, the winner will now be dictated by forces outside the control of both campaigns.

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Posted in President Obama

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