President Barack Obama heads out of the national political conventions with a much clearer path to winning, top advisers to Mitt Romney privately concede.
The Romney campaign, while pleasantly surprised by Obama’s lackluster prime-time performance, said the post-convention bounce they hoped for fell well short of expectations and privately lament that state-by-state polling numbers — most glaringly in Ohio — are working in the president’s favor.
“Their map has many more routes to victory,” said a top Republican official. Two officials intimately involved in the GOP campaign said Ohio leans clearly in Obama’s favor now, with a high single-digit edge, based on their internal tracking numbers of conservative groups. Romney can still win the presidency if he loses Ohio, but it’s extremely difficult.
The Obama and Romney campaigns anticipate little movement in national polls before the first debate on Oct. 3, which both see as the most important day of this campaign. They also see eye-to-eye on their belief the election will come down to whether Romney can persuade voters he understands the problems of ordinary people and that his solutions are at least marginally better for turning things around economically.
Where the two camps differ — and differ starkly — is on their theories of the case for navigating the final nine weeks. Romney, armed with more dismal jobs numbers, will run a one-size-fits-all campaign, wrapped around the message that the economy is bad, Obama is to blame, and that change of leadership is absolutely essential. The Republican plan rests heavily on Romney’s capacity to bury Obama with negative ads — and reap the benefits of his billionaire backers hitting the president even harder, and more relentlessly. This, more than anything else, alarms the high command in Chicago.
A Democratic official said the other big worry for the Obama campaign is that when you dig into the small slice of undecided voters (probably only 6 percent to 8 percent of the electorate, according to the campaigns), the demographics are not favorable to Obama: mostly white, many with some college education, economically stressed, largely middle-aged.
“Many of them voted for Obama in 2008 and felt good about that vote, and still think Obama’s a good person who really tried hard, but the economy sucks for them,” said the Democratic official, who has access to reams of internal polls and focus groups.
Continue reading here…below this fold: (“PHOTOS: 18 defining Obama moments”)
- Romney Campaign Issued Rebuttal to Obama’s Speech Before It Was Over (politicker.com)
- POLITICO: Advantage, Obama… (politico.com)
- Poll: Obama opens up four-point lead on Romney nationally (thehill.com)
- Mitt Romney’s Path To Victory: Incredibly Narrow, And Perhaps Impossible To Navigate (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Here It Comes …. (tarpon.wordpress.com)
- Obama and Romney campaigns begin blitz on battleground states (guardian.co.uk)
- Evolution of HuffPo electoral counter shows trend against Obama (legalinsurrection.com)
- Latest Gallup Poll: Early Democratic, Post-Convention Bounce (addictinginfo.org)