Although the Obama campaign is sending former President Clinton to Minnesota and has started running ads in the state, key Obama staffers said Monday morning Republican Mitt Romney's momentum in Minnesota is "pretend."
"The Romney campaign wants you to think it’s expanding the map but it’s not," said Jim Messina, President Barack Obama's campaign manager. "Romney is pretending he’s got a shot in state’s like in Pennsylvania and Minnesota. We expect the Romney campaign to visit an out of play state this week to pretend like they have some momentum there."
A Star Tribune Minnesota Poll over the weekend found Obama with 3 percentage point lead over Romney, predicting a far tighter race than both campaigns appear to have assumed.
Obama campaign senior advisor David Axelrod said the Obama campaign is running ads in Minnesota because the Romney campaign began advertising in the state.
"We are not going to surrender any territory," he said on a conference call with reporters.
Republicans see evidence that the Democrats are clearly scared Minnesota is on the verge of slipping away from them.
"No matter how you slice it, President Obama’s map is shrinking while Governor Romney’s momentum and plan for a real economic recovery is forcing the president’s campaign to spend critical campaign cash to defend states they once thought were safe," said Ryan Mahoney, Regional Press Secretary for the Republican National Committee in an email to reporters over the weekend.