What does it mean that Mitt Romney's campaign is spending money on ads in Minnesota and Pennsylvania? The Romney campaign says he's expanding the map, while the Obama campaign says Romney knows he can't win enough swing states to get 270 electoral votes. A new poll from The New York Times/ CBS News/ Quinnipiac suggests Romney still has work to do in the usual battleground states. The poll finds President Obama beating Romney by 48 percent to 47 percent in Florida, by 50 percent to 45 percent in Ohio, and by 49 percent to 47 percent in Virginia. Most polls have shown Romney leading Florida, but the candidates have been really close in Virginia. Aside from one poll this week from right-leaning Rasmussen, Romney hasn't been ahead in an Ohio survey since early October. A poll from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling out Wednesday finds Obama to have a 5-point lead in Iowa and Wisconsin.
But it's that time in the election where every poll gives you a number to seize on to believe whatever you want to believe. Many are pointing out that the Quinnipiac poll shows Romney winning independent voters by 21 percentage points. How could any candidate win while losing independent voters by that much? The independents can't just be Republican-leaning voters who won't call themselves Republican, The Hill's Christian Heinze writes, because the same Quinnipiac poll showed Obama winning independents by 2 points two weeks ago.