MILWAUKEE — 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
"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 continue to have a strategic advantage" because of more field offices and infrastructure.
UPDATE: Romney Political Director Rich Beeson sends this statement in response to Messina:
“Governor Romney is seeing strong support across all the battleground states, including those President Obama won with close to double digit margins or more. 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. It’s why we now see states like Wisconsin, which Republicans haven’t won since 1984, now in play.”