"A half-dozen GOP ads during Jeopardy tonight, here in Harrisburg, PA. Crossroads, Americans for Prosperity, new warm n’ fuzzy Romney ad, not sure about the others, but it was like getting beat down to the ground and, just as you’re getting up, boom, another punch. They were all good ads and, one after another, kind of overwhelming. They must think they can move the needle in PA. Can they? Disturbing thought for me."
"And TPM Reader KO is seeing the same thing …
"I can report the same ad barrage as your Harrisburg reader here in Pittsburgh over the last few evenings. All sort of GOP SuperPAC ads for Romney during the local news, some syndicated shows and tonight’s repeat episode of The Voice. Lots of talk of how “Obama’s economy” is an awful “new normal,” how Obama voters don’t think he’s earned a second term, and how he’s just in over his head (including one ad that just ran a Romney debate answer on the awful economy intercut with scary slow mo footage of Obama). They were offset by a few airings of an Obama campaign ad focused on Romney’s 14% tax rate, but those ads were definitely overwhelmed. No ads directly from the Romney campaign itself, I think"
"Also plenty of dueling ads in the Casey/Smith Senate race and the Mark Critz/Keith Rothfus House race. The Republicans in those races seem to be trying to nationalize those races a bit by tying Casey to Obama and Critz to Pelosi in ads. Lots of talk about how democrats are anti-coal too, ruining not just an industry but “a way of life.”
"DEfinitely seems the SuperPACs are making a last ditch effort to move the needle here."
Nevertheless, there's a case that this doesn't necessarily represent Romney strength.
"Mitt Romney plans to campaign in Pennsylvania this weekend. Does this mean Romney’s expanding the map? He’s behind by 4.6 in the state in the RCP average and by nearly five in Pollster.com’s average. It’s hard to see how spending valuable time with only a few days left in a state where you’re trailing by that margin constitutes a sign of strength. Maybe internal GOP polling is finding something we don’t know about, but this could just as easily mean Romney’s running out of paths to 270."
Indeed, the only way Romney has a real chance in PA is if his internal polls are giving him-good information-we don't have. Sargent's gloss that this may show desperation-fewer routes to victory-is the wild attack ads he's been running against Obama in Florida this week-Hugo Chavez has supposedly "endorsed" Obama.
Florida was supposedly locked up. And if he really can afford to spend time in PA shouldn't Florida be locked up already?
"There is no Mitt Romney victory without Florida. It’s that simple. Barack Obama has plenty of paths available to him: As long as he wins Ohio — which is looking more and more likely — he can win almost any combination of swing states and still reach 270 electoral votes. Indeed, if you simply give him every state where he holds a lead in the polling averages, he wins 281 electoral votes, and the presidency."
"Romney, by contrast, has to run the table — without Ohio, he needs Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire and — especially — Florida. So far, however, Romney hasn’t locked down this crucial state. In fact, the ten most recent polls show an even race with the slightest Romney advantage. And if you take an average of averages, Romney leads by 0.6 percent — as slim a margin as the race in Virginia, which is considered a toss-up by most observers."
"It’s this fact that gives you a sense of why Romney has taken to running ridiculous ads against Obama in a state which he needs to win if he wants a chance at winning the presidency. The latest one, obviously aimed at Florida’s Cuban community, ties support for Obama to support for two famous Latin American dictators: Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro."