Don’t believe what a campaign says. Believe what a campaign does. Specifically, its schedule and how it allocates its candidate’s time. The most precious resource in any political campaign is that, the candidate’s time. It is fixed, finite. There are only about 3,500 hours until the election. How candidates spend that time reveals a lot about the state of the campaign.
Today, Romney launched a bus tour through a swath of supposedly “blue states”. Beginning in New Hampshire, the tour will also visit Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa. With the exception of Ohio, all of these states are part of Obama’s “blue wall”, solidly democrat states he can count on, allowing him to campaign in more Republican territory. Romney’s campaigning here further confirms what recent polling has been telling us: Obama’s “blue wall” is crumbling.
A poll released yesterday showed Romney essentially tied with Obama in Michigan:
Obama still holds a slight edge in the poll, 46.9 to 45.5, but that’s within the survey’s 2.3 percent margin of error. The poll was conducted by Michigan-based political consultants Foster, McCollum, White & Associates.
It’s the second straight poll to show Obama and Romney in a dead heat in the Wolverine State. Romney held a 1-point advantage in an EPIC-MRA poll released last week.
This comes close on the heels of recent polls finding Romney leading in Wisconsin and trailing only six in Pennsylvania. None of these states have voted GOP for President in at least 20 years. Wisconsin was competitive early this decade, but overwhelmingly supported Obama in 2008.
If these states are competitive in the Fall, Obama will be facing a very tough road to reelection. Resources spent in these states can’t be spent in the Republican-leaning states that Obama must win, like Virginia, Colorado or Florida. Romney’s bus tour tells us that, at least as of today, the campaign believes these traditional “blue states” are competitive.
If Obama campaigns in any of these states over the next few weeks, his campaign will be saying the same thing.