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Obama on Offense in Florida

Here’s something interesting: a tally of campaign ad spending over the past seven weeks, as tallied by TNS Media Intelligence and reported by the New York Times.

There’s lots of interesting stuff to look at there, but what about those Florida numbers? The Obama campaign has bought more advertising time there than anywhere else, whereas McCain has spent absolutely nothing.

Two months ago, Florida looked like a strong McCain state — not necessarily one that Obama couldn’t win, but not the one that would put him over the top to 270 electoral votes. Obama trailed in every individual poll of Florida from the start of the campaign through the middle of June.

Since then, however — and perhaps because of Obama’s investment in the air war — Florida has tightened, and has now snuck up to fifth place on our Tipping Point Index.

I’m still not sure that the Obama campaign has played its hand optimally. They seem to have a certain stubbornness in insisting they can compete in non-Virginia Southern states, in the same way that the McCain campaign insists in can compete in places like Minnesota.

But having closed the gap in Florida, I think the Obama campaign needs to keep the effort up, and see how the polls behave between now and Labor Day.

Nate Silver founded and was the editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight.