Mitt Romney is suddenly plunging into traditionally Democratic-leaning Minnesota and Pennsylvania, and his GOP allies are trying to put Michigan into play. It’s forcing President Barack Obama to defend his own turf – he’s pouring money into television ads in the states and dispatching top backers – in the campaign’s final week.
The question is: Why this Republican move?
GOP efforts in the trio of Rust Belt states could indicate that Romney is desperately searching for a last-minute path to the needed 270 Electoral College votes – without all-important Ohio. Or just the opposite, that he’s so confident in the most competitive battlegrounds that he’s pressing for insurance against Obama in what’s expected to be a close race.
Or perhaps the Republican simply has money to burn. Use it now or never.
Former President Bill Clinton was dispatched in response on Tuesday. “Barack Obama’s policies work better,” he declared on the University of Minnesota campus, one of his two stops in a state that offers 10 electoral votes and hasn’t voted for a Republican presidential candidate since Richard Nixon in 1972.