Jim Messina is either a very confident fellow or he's delusional.
Obama campaign manager Jim Messina told reporters on Saturday that despite national tracking polls showing the president and Romney tied, Obama is still winning.
"In all the battleground states, we continue to see all our pathways there," he told the White House pool at an Obama fundraiser in Milwaukee. "We're either tied or in the lead in every battleground state 45 days out."
Messina, who drove from Chicago to Wisconsin to be with Obama on his first trip to a state that appears to have come into play when Paul Ryan was selected to be Romney's running mate, predicted that the national polling will get even closer, but that the president's lead will hold in key swing states.
"I think you will see a tightening in the national polls going forward," he said. "What I care way more about it Ohio, Colorado, Virginia, Wisconsin, etc. In those states, I feel our pathways to victory are there. There are two different campaigns, one in the battlegrounds and one everywhere else. That's why the national polls aren't relevant to this campaign."
In Wisconsin, Messina said the GOP is stronger than they are nationally, but maintained that the Obama campaign still has an edge
Messina speaks the truth - up to a point. The president has small leads in a few vital states like Virginia and Ohio - two states it is believed Romney must win. It is also true that the number of persuadable voters in most of the battleground states is very small; 5-10% at most.
But there is a reason the Obama campaign is trying to pump up expectations for Romney and the debates. Most voters still aren't fully engaged in the campaign and a spate of bad economic news at the beginning of October could flip some of those numbers in the battleground states. Just as voters really begin to pay attention, they will be reminded of Obama's failures on the economy and get their first look at Romney in the debates. Elections have turned on less and the Obama camp feels it necessary to give the illusion of certain victory while scrambling like hell to damage Romney by playing the expectations game.
If they were really that confident of victory, they wouldn't be trying so hard to convince us.