Registered voters' preferences for president are evenly split in the first three days of Gallup tracking since last Wednesday's presidential debate. In the three days prior to the debate, Barack Obama had a five-percentage-point edge among registered voters.
Posted by Political Quarterback · October 08, 2012 8:30 AM
Republican nominee Mitt Romney will accuse President Obama of "passive" leadership in the Middle East in what aides are calling a major foreign-policy address Monday at Virginia Military Institute. "Hope is not a strategy," he will say, according to excerpts released in advance of the late-morning address.
Romney plans to call for more direct intervention in Syria, including making sure anti-government opposition forces have weapons. He also plans to criticize the Obama administration for its initial focus on an anti-Islamic video as the trigger for an attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, including U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens.
The renewed focus on foreign policy comes after several weeks of unrest in the Middle East resulting in widespread protests, attacks on multiple American embassies, and the deadly attacks in Benghzai. Romney plans to call the recent attacks "expressions of a larger struggle that is playing out across the broader Middle East" and argue for changing course in the region.
The VMI speech gives Romney an opportunity to make "voters comfortable with Romney as commander in chief," said Republican strategist and former McCain adviser Ford O'Connell. He pointed to a recent Gallup poll that shows Mr. Obama with higher foreign policy approval ratings than Romney and said the goal of the speech is also to "close that gap a little bit."
Posted by Political Quarterback · October 07, 2012 11:00 PM
With 30 days to go until Election Day 2012, Ford O'Connell and Democratic strategist Julie Roginsky join Fox News' Eric Shawn on America's News HQ to discuss whether Mitt Romney can capitalize on his winning presidential debate performance in Denver in the wake of stronger than expected September jobs numbers, and what voters want to hear from both Mitt Romney and President Obama going forward.
Posted by Political Quarterback · October 05, 2012 8:30 PM
The new job numbers released on Friday morning provided balm for the frazzled nerves of President Obama’s supporters at the end of his worst week of the 2012 campaign.
The national unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent, the lowest rate of Obama’s presidency.
The headline figure buttressed Obama’s argument that his economic policies were working, albeit more slowly than he would like.
It could also help the president and his aides turn the page after his soporific and meandering performance at the first televised debate on Wednesday.
Republican strategist Ford O’Connell said that the new jobs numbers were “a kick in the pants” for the Romney campaign, even though he stressed that conservatives were not in the business of welcoming bad news.
He argued that the employment report had served to provide Obama respite, and came less than 36 hours after Romney had landed his most effective punches of the general election contest.
“Everyone wants America to recover faster but, at the same time, it’s like Romney just can’t catch a break,” he said. “He was on a roll here and this is a talking point that [the Obama team] is going to use.”
Posted by Political Quarterback · October 05, 2012 2:00 AM
While Republican candidate Mitt Romney dominated Wednesday night's first U.S. presidential debate, he must bring that energy to the next round amid an election where he is trailing President Barack Obama in the polls, analysts said Thursday.
Romney's unexpected strong performance in the debate breathed new life into his campaign, but he must continue to build on his victory, Republican strategist Ford O'Connell said.
"This was a good start, but Romney's got a long way to go," O'Connell said. "He's got to keep going, keep selling himself as a principled but practical candidate who is willing to work across party lines to fix America's problems."
Boding well for the challenger is that 67 percent of viewers said Romney won the face-off, according to a CNN poll. No candidate has topped the 60 percent mark since that question was first asked in 1984, CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said.
Posted by Political Quarterback · October 04, 2012 10:00 PM
Mitt Romney’s campaign was noticeably more confident on Thursday, a day after the Republican candidate was widely judged to have beaten President Obama in the first presidential debate.
Aides and surrogates seemed invigorated by Romney's performance, and were more combative in public.
“Romney really breathed new life into his campaign, that’s for sure — it's too bad we didn't see this Romney sooner because he could have been leading in the polls,” said Republican strategist Ford O'Connell. “This was the Massachusetts moderate that Democrats feared, and he showed that he was a principled but practical conservative willing to reach across party lines.”
Posted by Political Quarterback · October 04, 2012 1:30 PM
Tingling feeling? Not so much for Chris Matthews. The MSNBC commentator was like a parent whose kid brought home a bad report card after President Obama delivered a lackluster performance in the first of the three presidential debates last night in Denver.
"Where was Obama tonight," asked Matthews, who has carried the president's water--with a tingling feeling up his leg--for going on five years now. "What was he doing?"
What he was doing was letting his challenger back in the race. The fading Mitt Romney, the one who can't get out of his own way, whose campaign seemed to be reeling, particularly in battleground states, is no more. Today, he is surging, and the wind is clearly at his back.
Make no mistake, this was a game-changer. CNN said 67 percent of those who watched thought challenger Mitt Romney won--the highest percentage since the question was first asked in 1984. He won among independents and the undecided. On taxes, the economy, the budget deficit, and the reach of government, he outperformed the president by double-digit margins.
Posted by Political Quarterback · October 04, 2012 9:30 AM
The final month of the 2012 presidential race just got more interesting.
By turning in a stronger debate performance than President Obama – the instant post-game consensus of Republicans, Democrats, and voters themselves – GOP nominee Mitt Romney has injected new life into a campaign that had nearly been given up for dead, despite only a slim deficit in polls.
Indeed, Romney had to do well in Wednesday’s debate, or the half-written obituaries on his campaign would likely have been completed. Perhaps Romney’s biggest regret will be that the debates started so late in the campaign. Early voting has already started in some states, including Ohio, arguably the most crucial battleground in the country, which opened its polls on Tuesday. No Republican has ever won the presidency without winning Ohio.
“It's too bad that voters didn't see this Romney sooner,” says Republican strategist Ford O’Connell, suggesting that the former governor showed glimpses of the "reasonable, practical" Massachusetts moderate whom Democrats feared. “The only person who had a worse night than President Obama was Sesame Street's Big Bird.”