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Romney Forces And Allies Appear To Be Pulling Out Of Michigan And Pennsylvania

Despite the hopes of some that they would be in play this year, it would appear that Republican SuperPACs, and the Romney campaign, are already beginning to write off Michigan and Pennsylvania:

Mitt Romney’s conservative allies are bypassing Michigan with their advertising while stepping up efforts in other battleground states — suggesting campaign strategists don’t believe his road to the White House leads through his native state.

The pro-Romney groups American Crossroads and Americans for Prosperity are pouring nearly $13 million into advertising in key states, indicating they remain eager to lend considerable financial muscle to Romney in states viewed as truly competitive.

There are no presidential campaign ads of any kind airing in Pennsylvania and Michigan, according to information provided by media trackers to the Associated Press.

One reason the Romney forces may have pulled money out of Michigan is President Barack Obama’s campaign and a political action committee supporting his re-election aren’t spending here either, said Rich Robinson, director of Michigan Campaign Finance Network.

“You don’t spend money if you know you’re going to win or you know you’re going to lose, and Obama hasn’t spent five cents” in Michigan, Robinson said.

Looking at history, this isn’t entirely surprising. Neither Michigan nor Pennsylvania have gone Republican in a Presidential election since 1988, and there are plenty of other battleground states where money can and should be better spent. Additionally, the polls don’t seem to indicate a close race coming in either state. The RCP Average for Pennsylvania is +7.7 in the President’s favor. The numbers are a bit closer in Michigan are a bit closer, a +2.4 advantage for Obama in the RCP Average, but that’s mostly because several questionable instate pollsters have shown a closer race than the national pollsters. If neither Romney nor his supporters are spending money in the state, it would seem to indicate that they don’t believe the instate pollsters.

As I said, not spending money in either state is a smart decision, but it does indicate just how narrow Mitt Romney’s path to victory, such as it may be, actually is at this point.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. michael reynolds says:

    If I was Mr. Obama, and I had the power to dictate, I’d get Bill Clinton a condo and a driver in Ohio. Let Clinton talk to voters in Ohio for the next eight weeks and this thing is over.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 2

  2. Jr says:

    @michael reynolds: Agreed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  3. Moosebreath says:

    “There are no presidential campaign ads of any kind airing in Pennsylvania and Michigan, according to information provided by media trackers to the Associated Press.”

    As a resident of Pennsylvania, there is much rejoicing in my house.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

  4. Mark Ivey says:

    ” Let Clinton talk to voters in Ohio for the next eight weeks and this thing is over.”

    Oh indeed…… :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  5. Fiona says:

    They should ship the Big Dog out here to North Carolina as well. As is, we’re seeing plenty of Clinton in the endless campaign ads.

    Mitt may be Romney’s birthplace, but I never thought he had a prayer there, especially after his opinion piece on letting the auto companies go bankrupt. Pennsylvania seemed more likely, given Republican success in 2010, but I think their strident right-wingery has put off a lot a suburban voters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  6. DC Loser says:

    God, come to Virginia (DC TV market) and see the saturation ads from the GOP SuperPACs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  7. Beth says:

    I definitely think deploying the big dog to battleground states is an excellent idea. He really threw down last night. Worth whatever you have to promise him to get him out again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  8. Anderson says:

    Makes sense. If the Ryan bounce holds up in Wisconsin, that money should go there. Obama’s path to 270 gets trickier with Wisconsin’s 10 EV in the red column.

    Phun phact: if Obama holds onto CO, NE, NH, and IA as well as the MI/WI/MN corridor, he can lose Ohio, Virginia, and Florida and still squeak by.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  9. C. Clavin says:

    Pretty tough when you can’t win a state that suppressed a million votes just so you could win the state. I’m just sayin’

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  10. anjin-san says:

    Romney’s path to victory is looking very, very narrow. I guess people in Michigan really do know who he is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  11. mattb says:

    Given how far the Romney campaign is trailing in terms of a ground operation, this move makes total sense. The really have to up their ground presence to go along with the media buy…

    http://mischiefsoffaction.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-asymmetric-ground-game.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  12. Herb says:

    As I said, not spending money in either state is a smart decision, but it does indicate just how narrow Mitt Romney’s path to victory

    Yes it does. But I’m surprised you called pulling out of MI and PA is a “smart decision.”

    Shouldn’t you have used the old “bad news” formulation?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  13. Tano says:

    I think the race is basically down to 3 states – Ohio, Virginia, and Florida, and Romney needs to win all three (plus NC plus one other small tossup).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  14. Jimbo says:

    @michael reynolds: @Anderson:

    Thank goodness neither you nor Obama has the power to dictate or enslave Clinton to achieve your warped little desires.
    This is Axelrod Propaganda, Dems are getting desperate Romney is just going to START campaigning now as planned, Obama is already spent.

    Just where did the Author of this article source his info to dedicate a full article to it? Romney camp says they are launching now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  15. superdestroyer says:

    I guess wonks and pundits will be struggling to find a way in the next 60 days to talk about an election that is already over.

    What is amazing is how many pundits and wonks still talk about the Republican Party as if it is still relevant to politics or governance. I guess old habits are hard to break for pundits to refuse to face the political and demographic situation in the U.S.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. And more interestingly, Romney is not spending money in his next round of ads in Wisconsin:

    http://politicalwire.com/archives/2012/09/07/romney_launches_blitz_of_15_new_ads.html

    So the upper-Midwest is, in Romney’s campaign’s estimation, not worth spending money on with the exception of Ohio. That implies that they think it is out of play at the current national margin. Given that the three states in question voted Dem three or more cycles in a row AND have been giving Obama clear and consistent polling leads all of this cycle, the easier conclusion is that the Romney camp is triaging its resources and not spending money in lean or likely Obama states.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0