The Romney campaign put out a memo confirming what Right Turn has reported over the last week: Republicans believe Ohio is a dead heat.
Its reasoning is simple: “Rasmussen this week showed it tied at 48%, Suffolk tied at 47%, and Angus-Reid tied at 48%. Our view is that the race is a dead heat with Romney on an unmistakable upward track. Other public polling continues to vastly overstate Democrat partisan advantages in Ohio. For example, the Time Magazine poll this week shows a nine-point advantage for Democrats in party identification, which would be a stronger Democratic turnout than in either of the last two presidential campaigns in the state.”
The campaign’s assessment matches separate polling from down-ticket candidates and third-party groups in Ohio. Maybe Republicans are wrong, but this is how the Romney team and other Republican groups assess the race.
The next question is: What about Pennsylvania? President Obama is going on radio in Philadelphia, the first overt sign of concern by the Obama team about the Keystone State. The dilemma is this: If Ohio is very, very close and Pennsylvania is in play, will either campaign divert critical time from Ohio to send its candidates to Pennsylvania? Will either one go on the air, sending off a late ad war?
Looking around for spare electoral votes, some Republicans are keeping an eye on Maine’s 2nd Congressional District. The state’s electoral votes are apportioned by district, so each candidate could come away from Maine with a vote or two.
Finally, Republicans suggest Minnesota is getting close to being in play. Public polling has been scarce, but Republicans insist that private polls show Obama leading by the low single digits.
The race, as you can see, is tight in many places. But Romney (if in fact Virginia, Florida and Colorado are beginning to line up in his corner) is the one with more avenues to 270 electoral votes. As I have said before, watching where the candidates go will tell you where the race is most hotly contested.