Mitt Romney’s super PAC is running ads in Pennsylvania, a traditional Democratic stronghold, which has forced the Obama campaign to spend money defending that state even as it denies that the race there could be close.

“This morning, Restore Our Future decided to go up in Pennsylvania, [so] we’re going to go up as well,” Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said. “They are not close in Pennsylvania — we are going to win Pennsylvania — but we’re not taking anything for granted.”

The spin accompanying that revelation was part-and-parcel with the rest of the conference call, which Messina hosted along with David Axelrod. “We know and you know, we are winning,” Messina said in a statement that would be redundant if it were as obviously true as he indicated.

“We’re winning this race,” Axelrod also said. “I say that not on the basis of some mystical faith in a wave that’s going to come or some hidden vote; we base it on cold hard data based on who has voted so far and on state-by-state polling.”

Politico’s Mike Allen noted today that both campaigns believe they’re winning. Axelrod and Messina both projected that belief, but they also seem worried that the state of the race might change if reporters wrote too many stories about Romney’s momentum.

Both Axelrod and Messina argued that Team Romney’s attempts to pick off traditionally Democratic states are a sign of weakness, not strength.

“The reason why they need to expand the map is because they’re down in the places where they need to win to get 270 electoral votes,” Messina said, recalling that Bush had done the same thing in California and Hawaii during the 2000 and 2004 campaigns — a memory incongruous with the point of this call, given that Bush won both national elections despite losing in those two states.