With Romney being up or tied in all of the battleground states and GOP momentum on the ground with early voting and voter contacts, President Obama is on defense and staying “vague” just 19 days before Election Day.
Obama traveling press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that the campaign was “absolutely not” giving up efforts in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia, three battleground states where the president has slipped behind Mitt Romney. The Obama campaign spokeswoman said the president’s ground game in North Carolina was among its best nationwide, and that the campaign expected supporters in crucial swing states to be energized by Obama’s performance in Tuesday night’s debate. Snap polls from networks and outside polling firms gave the president a small but significant victory over Romney in the second contest, after the Republican nominee’s consensus victory in the first debate, on Oct. 3. Psaki added that boosting support with the base was “important at this state in the race,” and that the campaign views the race overall as “remarkably stable.”
Yet President Obama has done little to outline his priorities and promises for the next four years, and with just 19 days left until Election Day, some are calling on the president to be more specific. “Clearly, the big problem we’ve got with this president, I think across the board, is that he just hasn’t shown any vision for this country,” Reince Priebus, chair of the Republican National Committee, said Wednesday on a conference call for reporters. “It is totally a failure in leadership that this president is presiding over.” Priebus’ criticism isn’t a surprise considering his party affiliation. But members of the president’s own party have lobbed similar criticism. Democratic consultants Stanley Greenberg and James Carville of Democracy Corps released a memo earlier this week that said the president has offered only a “modest vision” of the future. They argued that voters want to hear a “bold case” for “bold policies.” The memo was released after the first debate, where the president was widely seen as having done a lackluster job defending himself and challenging Romney.
Two weeks ago, Mitt Romney trailed in five Rust Belt battleground states by an average of 6.9 points in the Real Clear Politics Average of polls. This morning, his average deficit was just 3.2 points. While all 11 swing states have moved his direction since the Republican nominee’s boffo performance in his first debate with President Obama, Romney has seen the most significant improvement in the core column of the swing states: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa. Power Play readers have long known that the 2012 election would come down to the nation’s industrial heartland. Yes, Florida, Virginia and North Carolina are crucial for Romney. And certainly the president needs to hold on to his Western firewall in Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico. But this election, like most in recent memory, was always going to be about how those folks in the I-70 corridor and surrounding areas would vote. With 70 electoral votes up for grabs – votes that Obama swept in 2008 – the battleground stretching between Allentown, Pa. and Sioux City, Iowa has been the main front in this political war.
Business Insider, GALLUP: Mitt Romney Now Has A Gigantic 6-Point Lead Over Obama
Republican nominee Mitt Romney took his biggest lead yet in today’s Gallup daily tracking poll, expanding his lead over President Barack Obama to an astounding 6 points among likely voters. Today’s results reflect polling from last Wednesday through yesterday, so there is no data in the aftermath of last night’s debate, which went much better for the president. But Romney also took a 2-point lead among registered voters, a measure that has been more favorable to the president in Gallup’s polling. That means Romney has swung the race 7 points in that measure — before the first debate, Obama led Romney by 5 points among registered voters. On Tuesday, Romney led Obama 50-46 among likely voters, hitting the crucial 50-percent mark for the first time in the race. Obama’s approval rating stayed at 49 percent, which is below the “safe” 50 percent threshold for an incumbent’s re-election.
Charlotte Observer: Battle on for N.C. early votes
North Carolina’s early voting period begins at 8 a.m. today in Mecklenburg County and elsewhere across the state, with Democrats hoping to build on their 2008 pre-Election Day performance and Republicans trying to turn it to their advantage. Four years ago Barack Obama became the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry North Carolina in 32 years. And he won it before Election Day. Early voters that year gave Obama a 305,000-vote cushion heading into Election Day, helping him squeeze out a narrow 14,000-vote victory in the state. “Every indication to me is that the Republicans learned their lesson,” political science professor Michael Bitzer of Catawba College said Wednesday. “Republicans looked at what happened in ’08 … and said, ‘This is a new game we have to play.’”… “Obama jumped out to a huge lead in 2008, and … in order for them to have any chance in North Carolina, they’re going to have to replicate that,” said Rick Wiley, political director for the Republican National Committee. “They’re going to have a rude awakening … (and) a really hard time re-creating the magic.”
Roanoke Times, Has Obama Just Given Up On Virginia?
The National Journal has a story out looking at what’s next in the presidential race. Of particular interest: It says the Obama campaign is “circling the wagons around Ohio, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada” as states it has to win and where the campaign insists it’s ahead. Left off that list, obviously, is Virginia. The National Journal says: “It is uncharacteristic of Team Obama to concede any terrain, but [ Obama campaign manager David ] Plouffe offered no such assurances about Obama’s position in North Carolina, Virginia, or Florida.” One way to tell, of course, is to look at the candidates’ travel schedules. The less we see of Obama (or Biden) here, the more likely this scenario is.
President Obama’s double-digit lead in Wisconsin has vanished in the critical battleground state of Wisconsin, according to a Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday. Obama leads with 49 percent support over Romney at 48, according to the poll. The same poll from mid-September, before the first momentum-shifting presidential debate, showed Obama with a 53 to 42 lead over Romney.Obama leads by two percentage points in Wisconsin, according to the Real Clear Politics average of polls.The latest Marquette poll was conducted before Tuesday night’s town hall debate, but shows how much Romney gained on the president on the strength of his overwhelming debate victory earlier this month in Denver.Marquette University polling director Charles Franklin said over Twitter that the race in Wisconsin is “as close as it could possibly be.” Obama’s lead among women in Wisconsin was 25 percentage points in the previous poll, and Romney has since cut that lead to 4.
Washington Examiner, Firewall In Ruins?
Major Garrett at National Journal has a good post-second debate column in which he reports that the Obama campaign seems to have abandoned most of its three-state (Florida-Ohio-Virginia) firewall. Those are the three states with 60 electoral votes—Obama’s weakest 2008 states except for Indiana and North Carolina—which the Obama campaign has been pummeling for months with anti-Romney TV spots. The idea is that if they could hold these three states and all those Obama carried with higher percentages in 2008 Obama would have 332 electoral votes, and could afford to lose a small state here or there. That’s why they were constantly saying that Romney had only a narrow window to get to 270. My Oct. 7 Examiner column. written after the first presidential debate, I said that early post-debate polls suggested the firewall may be crumbling. Now Major…suggests that the Obama strategists have reached the same conclusion. Here are the key paragraphs: “What also became clear after the dust began to settle from the rumble on Long Island was the electoral map has narrowed and Obama’s team, while conceding nothing publicly, is circling the wagons around Ohio, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada. Plouffe said that Obama remains strong in all four states, but he would not discuss the specifics of internal polling or voter-contact analytics, saying only that Obama has ‘significant leads’ in all four places.
Raleigh News & Observer, Flagging Support For Obama Puts More Of Youth Vote In Play
A wave of excited young voters helped lift President Barack Obama to a narrow victory in the state four years ago, but flagging support is now putting a repeat win in jeopardy. If Obama does end up losing North Carolina this election, it could be because of voters like Jennifer Bachelor. An Elon University graduate, Bachelor cast her first vote for president for Obama, but she has agreed with his positions less and less as his term wore on. Her assessment of the president’s performance is so negative that the Raleigh resident watched the vice-presidential debate last week with other staunch backers of the Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan ticket at a GOP-sponsored party. Bachelor, 24, has a job as a software tester but her friends have struggled to find work. Obama campaigned on bringing people together and on cutting the deficit in half, and he failed at both, she said. “It came to me,” Bachelor said, “it’s my money he’s borrowing.”
National Journal, The Four Ls and Four States: What’s Next in the Obama-Romney Duel
What also became clear after the dust began to settle from the rumble on Long Island was the electoral map has narrowed and Obama’s team, while conceding nothing publicly, is circling the wagons around Ohio, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada. Plouffe said that Obama remains strong in all four states, but he would not discuss the specifics of internal polling or voter-contact analytics, saying only that Obama has “significant leads” in all four places. It is uncharacteristic of Team Obama to concede any terrain, but Plouffe offered no such assurances about Obama’s position in North Carolina, Virginia, or Florida. Romney advisers have seen big gains in all three states and now consider wins likely, although not guaranteed, in all three. They are similarly upbeat about prospects in Colorado but not confident enough to predict victory. That Plouffe left Colorado off his list of states where Obama’s leading and can withstand a Romney surge might be telling.
Washington Post, Mitt Romney Is Winning The White Vote — By A Lot
GOP closes early vote deficit in Iowa: Early vote numbers continue to trickle in in Iowa — the only major swing state that currently has in-person early voting and party registration numbers — and they’re looking better for Republicans. While Iowa Democrats were voting almost three times as often as Republicans early this month, the GOP has steadily closed the gap. At present, 50 percent of ballots cast are from Democrats and 30 percent are from Republicans. The GOP lost early voting 47 percent to 29 percent in Iowa in 2008 and lost the state by nine points. So they’ll want to continue closing that gap. But they’re headed in the right direction right now. Meanwhile, the GOP is also gaining on absentee ballots in Florida (in-person early voting hasn’t begun there), though its current five-point edge is still shy of its 16 percentage point win on absentees in 2008.
CBS News, Polls Give More Good News To Romney
Mitt Romney has seen his lead over President Obama increase slightly in a new national poll of likely voters. The Gallup Daily Tracking poll gives Romney a six point advantage over Mr. Obama, with 51 percent of respondents saying they’d vote for Romney and 45 percent backing the president. This is the third day Romney has seen a slight increase in his lead in the poll, which surveyed 2,700 likely voters and has a 2-point margin of error. The survey was taken before last night’s presidential debate. A new poll in Wisconsin, meanwhile, shows the race between Mr. Obama and Romney tied. The president garnered 49 percent among likely voters compared to Romney’s 48 percent in the Marquette Law School poll. The survey shows a tightening race between the two candidates: Mr. Obama had an 11 point lead in the same poll just two weeks ago, prior to the first presidential debate. The results echo a CBS News poll released last week, where Mr. Obama had a three point lead in the Badger State — smaller than the 6 point lead he had in the state in September. Marquette’s survey suggests that the first presidential debate, which Romney is widely considered to have won, had an impact on Wisconsinites. Romney led by two points among those who watched the debate, while Mr. Obama led by 12 points among those who did not.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Romney’s October Surge Heightens The Drama In Wisconsin
Wisconsin is back to a very familiar place in the partisan political wars, according to the latest poll by Marquette Law School: almost perfect parity. President Obama leads Mitt Romney 49% to 48% in a survey of 870 likely voters taken Oct. 11-14. Two weeks earlier, Obama led by 11 points in Marquette’s polling. The story in this state is the same as elsewhere: Romney’s gains since the first presidential debate Oct. 3 have erased Obama’s post-convention bounce and made the race as close and unpredictable as it has been at any point in this election year…In four Wisconsin surveys since Oct. 3 (by Rasmussen, Quinnipiac, Public Policy Polling and Marquette), Obama’s leads are two, three, two and one point. The fact that the US Senate race is also a virtual tie in Marquette’s poll (46% Thompson, 45% Baldwin) underscores the state’s current competitiveness, far more reminiscent of 2000 and 2004 than 2008.
Mitt Romney opened up his biggest lead yet in a national Gallup survey, with the latest results showing the Republican nominee up 6 points over President Obama — with less than three weeks and just one debate left on the calendar before Election Day. The Gallup survey, which is based on a seven-day rolling average, showed Romney leading 51-45 percent. At the start of October, he was tied with Obama at 48 percent each. The poll measures likely voters, with the latest results spanning interviews from Oct. 10-16…But the poll shows Romney’s numbers continuing to rise on the heels of the first debate, a trend that was apparently not blunted by Vice President Biden’s aggressive debate performance one week ago. The RealClearPolitics average of polls has the race much closer, with Romney’s lead at less than half a point. In some of the key battlegrounds, Romney has also either drawn closer to Obama or surpassed him. The RCP average of polls in Ohio shows Obama up by a little over 2 points, with the average in Florida showing Romney up by the same margin.
The Left seemed pretty pleased with Barack Obama’s performance in Tuesday night’s debate, cheering his renewed energy and aggressiveness. How did it play with voters overall? The spot polls produced mixed results, generally agreeing with most pundits that it had been a draw. Today’s Rasmussen tracking poll shows Obama falling slightly further behind as the first post-debate data gets added to the mix: The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows Mitt Romney attracting support from 49% of voters nationwide, while President Obama earns the vote from 47%. Two percent (2%) prefer some other candidate, and another two percent (2%) are undecided.
Mitt Romney opened up his biggest lead yet in a national Gallup survey, with the latest results showing the Republican nominee up 6 points over President Obama — with less than three weeks and just one debate left on the calendar before Election Day. The Gallup survey, which is based on a seven-day rolling average, showed Romney leading 51-45 percent. At the start of October, he was tied with Obama at 48 percent each. The poll measures likely voters, with the latest results spanning interviews from Oct. 10-16. The poll would not yet have factored in voters’ views after the second presidential debate, which was held Tuesday. But the poll shows Romney’s numbers continuing to rise on the heels of the first debate, a trend that was apparently not blunted by Vice President Biden’s aggressive debate performance one week ago. The RealClearPolitics average of polls has the race much closer, with Romney’s lead at less than half a point. In some of the key battlegrounds, Romney has also either drawn closer to Obama or surpassed him.
Mitt Romney picked up two points overnight among likely voters, according to Gallup’s daily tracking poll. Romney now holds a strong 6-percentage-point lead nationally over President Obama, taking 51 percent support against 45 percent. The survey is a rolling seven-day average through Oct. 16 and does not include post-debate polling data. Gallup only began tracking likely voters earlier this month, and this is Romney’s largest lead in the survey. Gallup polls only survey registered voters early in the cycle, but as Election Day nears, it prods for more information from voters to determine the likelihood that a registered voter will end up casting a ballot. Many believe surveys of likely voters are more accurate than those that only survey registered voters. However, Gallup noted that sometimes, as in 2008, “there was only a marginal difference between the vote choices of registered voters and likely voters,” while other times, as in 1996, “there was a much more substantial difference.” Romney also leads 48 to 46 among registered voters.
Weekly Standard, Gallup: Romney 51, Obama 45
Gallup’s week-long tracking poll of likely voters finds that Mitt Romney is leading Barack Obama by 6 percentage points, 51-45. Among registered voters, the lead is more narrow. Romney has 48 percent of registered voters, while Obama receives 46 percent. The trend line of voters, especially likely voters, clearly is in Romney’s direction
National Journal, Poll: Race Tied In Wisconsin
A new poll released Wednesday shows President Obama and Mitt Romney tied in Wisconsin Wisconsin Population (2010): 5,686,986Registered Voters: 0.00% R, 0.00% D, 0.00% I Governor: Gov. Scott Walker (R)Senators: Sen. Herb Kohl (D), Sen. Ron Johnson (R) Read Full Almanac Profile », erasing the significant lead that Obama had built following the Democratic convention and putting the state’s 10 electoral votes firmly in play. The Marquette Law School poll shows Obama leading Romney, 49 percent to 48 percent, well within the poll’s margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.4 percentage points. Only 2 percent of voters remain undecided. In late September, just before Romney’s impressive performance in the first presidential debate, Obama held an 11-point lead, 53 percent to 42 percent.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Obama, Romney Race A Dead Heat In State, New Poll Says
President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are in a virtual tie in Wisconsin, a new poll shows. The Marquette University Law School poll showed the Democratic president leading his Republican rival 49% to 48%. The poll’s director, Charles Franklin, called it “a dead tie.”
Rasmussen, New Hampshire: Obama 50%, Romney 49%
The race for New Hampshire’s Electoral College votes remains a toss-up. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely New Hampshire Voters finds the president with 50% support to Mitt Romney’s 49%. Only one percent (1%) remains undecided. A week ago, the candidates were tied at 48% apiece. Romney had a slight edge last month and Obama held a modest lead in June The state remains a Toss-Up in the Rasmussen Reports Electoral College projections.
Rasmussen, Ohio: Obama 49%, Romney 48%
The second presidential debate doesn’t appear to have made a difference in Rasmussen Reports’ first post-debate look at the race in Ohio. It’s still a toss-up. The latest telephone survey of Likely Ohio Voters, taken last night, shows President Obama with 49% support to Mitt Romney’s 48%. One percent (1%) prefers another candidate, and two percent (2%) are still undecided…A week ago, it was Obama 48%, Romney 47% in the Buckeye State. The week before that, it was Obama 50%, Romney 49%. The candidates have been running within two points or less of each other in the state in surveys since February.