The battleground hasn’t expanded – it’s still being played on Obama’s turf … But the focus has narrowed to four states this week – Iowa, Virginia, Ohio, and Colorado … Team Romney maintains 2-to-1 spending edge … Activist conservatives still don’t trust Romney – just look at how they pounced yesterday … Is Romney embracing “RomneyCare” again … The spiral campaign: Sandra Fluke introduces Obama, Romney invokes Pope John Paul II in an ad – it’s birth control vs. religious freedom again. … Conservative intelligentsia continues to push Ryan for veep.
*** Romney hasn’t expanded the map: Here we are in August and what the Obama campaign, at the beginning of all this, said would be the battleground states are the battleground states. They are not what the Romney camp said and hoped it would be, expanding to places like Pennsylvania and Minnesota (and Michigan and Wisconsin still look like reaches). Look at the four states where the campaigns are advertising most heavily this week (by points) – Colorado, Ohio, Virginia, and Iowa. All four are states George W. Bush and Barack Obama carried. And just one of those is a state Al Gore carried (Iowa). The point is: just four years ago, these were all places Republicans had traditionally been favored in. Yes, it speaks to polarization and a demographically divided America. But this is one reason why Romney’s perceived to be slightly behind – because he hasn’t expanded the playing field. Now, Obama’s defending in all these states, but he’s just not playing defense enough or in any other places. There has been advertising in just 11 states this election, now it’s really only just about eight – with none or very little in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan.