Ron Brownstein may be the best in the business at reading polls, and here he explains a conundrum that has puzzled a fair number of political observers: why the President seems to be doing so much better in swing states than among the general population. The answer is pretty simple: because most of the spending and targeting and stumping is taking place in swing states, and the Obama campaign is simply doing a better job of it than Romney has. Specifically, Obama has targeted white working-class women–the so-called “waitress moms”–who are particularly sensitive to Romney’s 47% gaffe; and he’s running ads on the daytime programs that they watch–like Judge Judy and Doctor Phil.
Today’s polls have the race tightening in several states, and that’s bound to happen between now and November 6; Obama’s margins in places like Ohio, Virginia and Florida have been stupendous, historic–and probably unsustainable. But he walks into the debate tonight with the upper hand in large part because he has been running the more subtle and sophisticated campaign.