Barack Obama has pulled his TV ads from seven states that voted Republican in 2004, including the perennial swing state of Florida and two others -- North Carolina and Virginia -- he had been agressively targeting as part of his 50-state strategy.
The move could suggest that Obama is returning to a more traditional game plan of focusing on key battleground states to reach the 270 Electoral College votes to win the presidency.
Obama's campaign told Fox News Network, which first reported the shift, that it is a temporary suspension during the Democratic convention. The other states are Alaska, Georgia, Montana, and North Dakota.
But Republican rival John McCain's camp saw more significance.
Sarah Simmons, McCain's strategy director, cited advertising spending and polling data that she said shows that in the states where Obama has spent time and bought ads, his poll numbers dropped.
In a memo, she asks: "Does this represent an overall shift in strategy; do they have to find a new path to 270 electoral votes? Does this represent a sign of things to come in other states? Is the Obama campaign planning to close down offices in states they have initially targeted?"
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.