Obama camp sees 'pathways to victory'

Obama campaign manager Jim Messina says he sees the "pathways to victory" in the presidential race through the battleground states.

Speaking to reporters in Wisconsin as President Obama campaigned there on Saturday, Messina appeared to believe that while the national polls continue to be tight, the battleground state polls are tilting in their favor with six weeks till the election.

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"We're either tied or in the lead in every battleground state 45 days out,' Messina said. "I think you will see a tightening in the national polls going forward. What I care way more about is Ohio, Colorado, Virginia, Wisconsin etc. In those states, I feel our pathways to victory are there. There are two different campaigns, one in battlegrounds and one everywhere else. That's why the national polls aren't relevant to this campaign.

Messina also said Obama has a "strategic advantage" in Wisconsin because of longstanding grassroots efforts, even as Republicans have also strengthened their ground operation because of the recall election earlier this year.

"This is one where ... because of the recall election, they test drove their car whereas in other states they haven't. It would make sense they're strong here, as are we. They are stronger than McCain was in '08, no question, on the ground. But we have a strategic advantage" because of their field operation.

Rich Beeson, the Romney campaign political director, said states like Wisconsin, which Republicans haven’t won since 1984, are now in play.

“We’ve had more people come out to knock on doors and make phone calls in support of Governor Romney because they understand we can’t afford four more years of policies that increase our debt, don’t create jobs, and have people working more for less,” Beeson said.

--This article was posted t 6:08 p.m. and last updated at 7:26 p.m.

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