Romney and Obama both bullish about victory
DENVER — In a memo published Thursday, the Romney campaign’s Rich Beeson proposes that the Republican ticket is poised to win Ohio and, as a result, the White House.
Beeson, a Colorado native and political director for the Romney campaign, argues that most national polling firms over-sample Democratic voters, responding quickly to a new Time poll showing Romney leading Obama by 15 points with Ohio independents but still losing by five points overall, by a margin of 49-44 percent.
“One thing all the public surveys have in common is that Gov. Romney is winning among independent voters,” Beeson writes. “If Mitt Romney wins independent voters by 15 points, he’s going to be the next president of the United States.”
Romney, stumping across Ohio Thursday, promised “big change”, sounding similar to the Barack Obama of four years ago.
“These challenges are big challenges,” Romney said during a stop in Cincinnati Thursday morning. “This election is therefore a big choice. And America wants to see big changes, and we’re gonna bring big changes to get America stronger again.”
And, as he did during a rally Monday at Red Rocks Amphitheater outside Denver, Romney expressed confident that his campaign is surging down the stretch.
And an announcement from Boston Thursday morning, that the campaign raised $111.8 million in the first two weeks of October and now has about $169 million cash on hand for the final stretch, sought to give weight to the narrative that Romney is the candidate with momentum at the end of the race.
But the Nate Silver of the New York Times surmised Thursday that Romney’s momentum, which began after the first presidential debate in Denver on Oct. 3, has flattened out.
“Mr. Romney clearly gained ground in the polls in the week or two after the Denver debate, putting himself in a much stronger overall position in the race,” Silver writes on his blog. “However, it seems that he is no longer doing so.”
Earlier this week, President Obama’s top strategists and advisers began an effort to get the media to drop the Romney momentum narrative, with David Axelrod and Jim Messina pressing their case during a conference call Tuesday and David Plouffe gaggling with the traveling press pool on Wednesday.
“In all the battleground states that we’ve contested, every one of them, we have a credible pathway to 50 percent,” Plouffe said, saying Romney would need to pull off an “inside straight” to get to 270 himself.
“We think were doing a lot better in Ohio and Iowa and Nevada than they are in North Carolina,” he said. “So I think you’ve got to step back and take a sober view of this, which is, who is most likely to put together an electoral college coalition.”
Both campaigns acknowledge that Ohio is likely to determine the election’s outcome.
If Obama holds on to win there, and he keeps Wisconsin in his column, winning Nevada, where Romney advisers, at least privately, seem ready to concede the state, he crosses the 270 electoral vote threshold and wins a second term.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if Gov. Romney’s last trip to Nevada is this week, because it doesn’t look good for him,” Plouffe said Wednesday. “And I think in an honest moment, they would say that themselves.”
In Ohio, Obama is already leading Romney among early voters.
Links to more coverage:
Endorsements: Colin Powell tells CBS News he’s “sticking with” Obama, while newspapers continue to pick sides: Romney, winning endorsements Thursday from the Detroit News and New York Post Thursday, while Obama picked up the support of the Washington Post.
Sidebars: Both campaigns sought to stay on message, despite potential distractions for both Mitt Romney, under pressure to comment on the GOP senate candidate he’s endorsed who’s in hot water over a careless comment about rape, and President Obama, who’s still facing questions over his administration’s response to the terrorist attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya.
Romney, writes BuzzFeed’s Zeke Miller Thursday, is staying on his economic message, refusing to answer questions about Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock’s rape comment and eschewing any attacks on Obama related to Libya.
New Colorado polls: NBC News and the Wall Street Journal released a poll late Thursday showing Obama and Romney tied in Colorado with 48 percent of the vote each. Earlier Thursday, FOX31 Denver reported on two other polls of Colorado voters by Project New America and OnSight Public Affairs that both show Obama with a three-point lead over Romney in the state.
Colorado’s importance: While both campaigns maintain a laser-like focus on, and near-constant presence in, Ohio, Colorado continues to be a critical part of the safety net for both Obama and Romney should they lose the Buckeye State.
The Washington Post’s Dan Balz offers a sharp take on Colorado’s critical importance to this election and in defining the demographic shifts that will impact elections to come.
The comment came as the interview was wrapping up when the magazine’s editor told Obama that his six-year-old son asked him to tell the president ‘good luck’.
“You know, kids have good instincts,” Obama said. “They look at the other guy and say, ‘Well, that’s a bullsh—er, I can tell’.”