Romney team is both defiant and realistic

After one of their worst weeks of the general election campaign, Mitt Romney and his advisers are scrambling to refocus their message and make up ground lost to President Obama in several battleground states. …

Romney advisers now interpret the state of the race from two somewhat contradictory perspectives. On the one hand, they see national tracking polls that a week ago showed Obama in the lead immediately after his convention but that tightened dramatically after that. Other national polls give Obama a lead.

The other view of the race comes from recent polls in the battleground states that consistently show Romney running behind. Especially troubling are Obama’s narrow leads in Ohio, Florida and Virginia, all vital to Romney’s chances of winning. If presidential campaigns are really a series of state-by-state contests, Romney’s path to 270 electoral votes is far more problematic than Obama’s at this moment. [cont.]

Dan Balz and Philip Rucker, Washington Post