Mitt Hits the Panic Button
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But Romney isn’t going anywhere near those states. He’s doing three events in Virginia today, which he should have put away weeks ago so he could concentrate on other states. Tomorrow he heads to Wisconsin, where’s he’s still the deep underdog, and after that Ohio, which he absolutely needs to win, but is still down. Then it’s to Colorado, where he may win but Obama has been making a mini comeback. Then he’s off to Iowa and New Hampshire, where he’s down, but could really stand to win.
More likely, the “expand the map” strategy is about his campaign and their allies having more money than they need in the real swing states and a desire to “ keep the ‘momentum’ storyline going,” as Amy Walter notes, even if it’s no longer true.
As Steve Kornacki pointed out this morning, the entire “the polls are wrong” argument is based on a faulty reading about the role independent voters play in this election. Romney keeps winning among independents but losing overall in polls because lots of conservatives no longer self-identify as Republicans, but effectively vote that way.
And at least in private, Republican leaders seem to be finally acknowledging the reality — well, at least part of the reality. Politico’s Mike Allen reported this morning that “top Republicans are already hinting that if Romney loses, his people will blame the storm for stalling his momentum.” Romney’s momentum had clearly stalled before Hurricane Sandy struck, and there was really only a brief moment since Romney emerged as the GOP nominee in April that he looked like he was winning. But hey, whatever helps Republicans sleep until Election Day.