News and notes from a few swing states and potential emerging battlegrounds:
Colorado: Romney 48, Obama 47. (UPDATE - Same exact numbers, new from CNN. Romney's +1 despite -- supposedly -- trailing with independents. In their state polls, CNN has been one of the few pollsters that deviates significantly from the lockstep Romney dominance with indies).
Iowa: Mitt Romney is making his final stop on the stump in the Hawkeye State late this afternoon before effectively suspending his campaign through tomorrow, due to the hurricane. The rally will feature Iowa wrestling icon Dan Gable. The Republican nominee, who is in a very tight battle with the president in Iowa, is hoping to capitalize on sweeping all four major newspaper endorsements in the state.
Minnesota: This surprise contested-ish state will be getting more attention very soon. Following reports that Team Romney is considering sending at least one member of the ticket to the state, the Obama campaign is dispatching Bill Clinton to hit the trail in Minnesota. Both campaigns are on the air with ads. The Washington Post has upgraded the state from a solid Obama state to "leans Obama."
Ohio: Saturday night brought news of a 49/49 tie. Sunday saw PPP's questionable poll showing Obama cruising. Today? Two polls: (1) Gravis has Obama ahead by a single point, 50/49, with a D+8 sample. (See here for some analysis on the partisan split). (2) Rasmussen gives Romney the slight edge, 50-48. This poll is somewhat anomalous because it is based on a sample of D+0 -- more favorable than most other polls -- but it gives Obama small lead with independents, while most other polling gives that advantage to Romney. The Romney campaign is targeting Buckeye State voters with a new ad aimed at debunking Obama's attacks on the auto industry:
You'll recall that even liberal loyalist David Letterman was put off by Obama's falsehoods on this subject during the debates. For what it's worth, Josh Mandel's Senate campaign blasted out an email showing the Republican leading incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown by two points in Ohio:
These are from Public Opinion Strategies who does our polling and Governor Romney's polling. The survey sample is +5 Democrat.
Overall: 45-43 us
Independent voters: 46-32 us
Most intense voters (10's on a scale of 1-10): 48-43 us
“Will do a better job on helping grow the economy and create jobs”: 47-39 us
“Will do a better job of reducing government spending and debt”: 55-31 us
It's an internal poll, so take that with a large grain of salt. But a D+5 sample seems reasonable, if not too generous. Polling in this race has been all over the map, mostly showing Brown ahead. RealClearPolitics' John McIntyre appeared on the Hugh Hewitt Show recently and said he thinks the state may be very narrowly leaning Republican.
Pennsylvania: Things have been pretty quiet in the Keystone State ever since a string of surveys showed the race there quasi-competitive earlier in the month. Most polling gives Obama a steady four-to-six point lead, but that isn't stopping a Republican SuperPAC from launching a new multimillion-dollar ad blitz in the state. Pennsylvania voters will see this spot from the pro-Romney Restore Our Future:
Pennsylvania political gurus think the state is in play, but that Obama is still favored by a significant margin.
Wisconsin: Not too much to report here, other than improving GOP hopes of capturing the state. Mitt Romney just postponed tonight's rally on the outskirts of Milwaukee; I'd imagine the campaign will reschedule once the worst of Sandy is over. Meanwhile, several recent polls have shown the state's Senate race a dead heat, with Republican Tommy Thompson edging ever so slightly into a lead. It's been a see-saw affair throughout.