These days, Mitt Romney's campaign is producing internal memos as fast as Chris Matthews produces boxing references.

The latest one to wend its way to the inbox is from senior strategist Alexander Gage. You can read the whole thing here, if you'd like, to avoid any filtering.)

Gage writes that the campaign is "entering the last leg of the final stretch of the race." And on that leg, there's a caution flag up. Mitt Romney, Gage writes, is not running a national campaign because there _is_ no national campaign.

[It] is important to remember that even then, we will not be measuring ourselves through the lens of national polls and we do not expect to be competitive in them.



More from Gage:

Looking at historical Gallup polls from previous election cycles, relatively-unknown candidates who succeed in the early states gain 16-40 points in national polls.



He also tries to set expectations for other candidates, pointing out that no Republican has won the nomination without winning either Iowa or New Hampshire. That's true, but the reference set is so small, it's hard to make any real argument from history.

Gov. Romney’s early state strategy has paid dividends thus far, but we should expect a tumultuous road ahead as the campaign accelerates.



The bottom line: Don't fret about Rudy's standing. Keep your focus on the early state polls. We'll get momentum when we win Iowa.

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