The Obama campaign shoots back at talk that any of those states may actually be in play.
"You see the Romney campaign and their allies heading into three states they are simply not going to win: Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota. I am so confident of that, that I've put my mustache on the line," Axelrod said.
But the Obama campaign is also putting up spots in those states, prompting the Romney camp to say the Obama campaign is playing defense.
"We feel like they're defending territory while we're on offense," Madden added.
There's been a heavy dose of state polls released already this week, with many more to come the rest of this week and into the final weekend before the election. But as with the national polls, sometimes the numbers behind the state survey toplines are more revealing.
"In the battlegrounds, Obama's running two very different campaigns and he's mobilizing two very different coalitions," Brownstein said.
"In the Sun Belt states, the president's putting most of his chips on cultural liberalism, aimed mostly at younger voters, mainly white, college-educated white voters.
But in the Rust Belt, Obama's running better among blue-collar white voters due to his economic populism. They are his last line of defense, and he's running significantly better among blue-collar white voters in Ohio, Wisconsin and Iowa than anywhere else."
But in the end, there's only one number that will count. And that's the number of electoral votes each ticket has won.