Polls, Polls, Polls

The freshest polls, right out of the oven:

President Obama is up by 5 in Ohio, but by just 1 in Florida and 2 in Virginia (NYT/CBS).

President Obama is up by 4 in Pennsylvania (Franklin and Marshall).

President Obama is up by 5 in both Wisconsin and Iowa (PPP — leans Dem).

These are narrower leads than he’s had earlier in the race — you know, before the first debate.

Seven States Are Having a Presidential Election

For the final two weeks, both states are focused on seven states:  Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, Virginia, New Hampshire, Florida, and Wisconsin.  Ohio is considered the most important by both sides.

Mitt is considering making a play for Michigan and Pennsylvania.

The Prez is returning to New Hampshire, which wasn’t planned, so that means they’re not confident there.

They Can’t Both Be Right

From “Obama vs. Romney:  How they plan to win,” Glenn Thrush and Jonathan Martin, Politico:

It’s momentum vs. the map.

With a little more than two weeks left until judgment day, Barack Obama’s campaign is embracing a fundamentally defensive strategy centered on winning Ohio at all costs — while unleashing a new barrage of blistering attacks against Mitt Romney aimed at mobilizing a less-than-fired-up Democratic base.

A surging Romney is suddenly playing offense all over the map, and the upward movement since the Denver debate gives him the luxury of striking what his advisers — and more than a few Democrats — think is a more positive, presidential, “Morning in America” tone.

In contrast to the grind-it-out Obama strategy, Romneyland’s working theory is that the momentum shift since Denver is a late-breaking, decisive wave that gives them the chance to not just win but win big.

But if Obama is currently on the ugly end of Big Mo, Romney finds himself hobbled by previous mistakes, namely a failure to develop competitive ground operations — or even a baseline of competitive advertising — in potential battlegrounds such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, which are becoming more competitive.

Both campaigns are confident they can win. But their theory-of-the-case victory strategies couldn’t be more different. A buoyant Team Romney sees itself driving into Obama territory on a tailwind of enthusiasm. Team Obama is relying on a three-state solution — winning Ohio, Wisconsin and Nevada puts him over the top — and more “Hit Mitt” messaging geared at driving Democrats to the polls, a hybrid of hope and the hammer.

Obama’s people think he will pull it out. Romney’s aides see the possibility of a romp.

“We’re going to win,” said one of the former Massachusetts governor’s closest advisers. “Seriously, 305 electoral votes.”

A top Obama strategist counters: “We’ve regained our footing since Denver. … We’ve always been focused on a pretty narrow band of territory. We’ve always had the map on our side. So, ultimately, this comes down to Ohio plus two or three states. We’re going to win.”  Emphasis added.

This Makes Me Nervous

Nate Silver at the FiveThirtyEight blog at the NYT is suggesting that Obama should concede Florida.

He writes, “Romney has made larger-than-average gains in the state since the Denver debate, and has now become a definitive favorite there.”

Silver’s model gives Mitt a 69% chance of carrying the state on November 6.  If the election were held today, he gives Mitt a 78% chance.

Obama doesn’t have to carry Florida to win, but if he does, it would make it very, very challenging for Mitt to find another electoral path to 270.

The Voices in Dick Morris’ Head

Dick (“Whoremonger”) Morris claims that Mitt is “solidly ahead” in Florida, Virginia, Iowa, and Colorado.

He says he thinks Mitt will take Ohio, New Hampshire, and Nevada.

Then he says Mitt “will likely carry” a bunch of blue states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

So Morris is basically predicting a Romney landslide.  Based on what?  The voices in his head, I guess.  You know, the voices that told him Sarah Palin would make a great veep when he met her in Alaska.

TPM Gives Florida to Mitt

Liberal web site Talking Points Memo now gives Obama only 256 electoral votes (down from 270 on October 9) and Mitt 235 (up from 206 on October 9).

They’ve moved Florida to “Lean Romney.”

Sarah Silverman, you need to schlep harder.

But mostly the Prez needs to “try better,” as Alex the Parrot used to say, in the final two debates.