By Jonathan Easley - 10/31/12 01:00 PM EDT
President Obama’s senior campaign adviser David Axelrod said Wednesday he’d shave his signature mustache if Obama loses Minnesota, Michigan or Pennsylvania to Mitt Romney.
Provoked by recent polls, the campaigns have been in a turf war over traditionally blue states.
The Romney campaign says it sees an opening to steal some electoral votes that many believe Obama should’ve locked down by now. The Obama campaign says this is merely posturing by the Romney campaign, and a sign of desperation because Romney needs to expand his map for an Electoral College victory.
“They’re going to states that they’re simply not going to win in hopes that they can make something happen to compensate for the fact that we’re even or ahead in all of these battleground states,” Axelrod continued. “There’s not one of these battleground states that they can say with absolute confidence that they’re going to win.”
Recent polls have shown Romney within striking distance in Minnesota, Michigan and Pennsylvania, although the polling averages still favor Obama. Many analysts believe Romney is a long shot to overtake the president in any of the three because the states have leaned Democratic in recent elections.
Still, national polls show Romney with a slim lead and the Republican argues his momentum could help broaden the battlefield. A recent Minneapolis Star-Tribune poll found him within 3 points of Obama in Minnesota.
On Wednesday, GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan stopped for a press availability at the airport in Minneapolis on his way to a campaign event in Wisconsin, although the campaign doesn’t have any other scheduled events in Minnesota before Election Day. The Obama campaign dispatched former President Bill Clinton to shore up support there on Tuesday.
The Obama campaign has also purchased ad time in Michigan in response to some GOP super-PAC ad buys, although the Romney campaign has not put any more money into advertising in the state.
“In the era of super-PACs there’s a lot of money out there, and folks can take fliers on states that they don’t necessarily think they’re going to win,” Axelrod continued. “We’re being prudent in those states and we’re not taking anything for granted, and we set aside resources so that if they went into states, we’d go into states.
"That’s smart politics, but it’s certainly not a sign of desperation or concern. We’d be foolish to allow them to spend millions of dollars in those states and not do anything in return. We set aside some money just for this contingency and wherever they went, that’s where we were going to go,” he said.