At least four states President Barack Obama’s campaign manager Jim Messina considered locks for the November election are no longer so in the last week of the 2012 campaign.
In December of 2011, Messina outlined six electoral paths to victory for the Obama campaign and put Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire in the campaign’s “baseline,” which meant those states were included in all six of Messina’s paths to victory. This meant these were states the Obama campaign thought would be guaranteed to be in their column.
One week before the election, though, Obama is playing defense and spending his campaign’s resources in all four of those states.
In Wisconsin, which Obama won by 14 points in 2008, Obama is clinging on to a 2-point lead in the RCP Average of polls, with Romney surging.
In Minnesota, which Obama won by 10 points in 2008, Obama only leads Romney by 3 points, and his approval rating is below 50%. Last week, the Obama campaign even made an ad buy in the state.
The Obama campaign will on Thursday dispatch Vice President Joe Biden to Pennsylvania, a state Obama won by 10 points in 2008, perhaps to energize blue collar Democrats who did not vote for Obama in the state’s Democratic presidential primary.
And last Saturday, Obama campaigned in New Hampshire, a state he won by 10 points in 2008.