Some Republican lawmakers are worried about Mitt Romney’s standing in swing-state polls, which show President Obama leading in a majority of the states that will decide the election.
“If I were Obama I’d be nervous about the economy, but if I were Romney I’d be nervous about demographics,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told The Hill on Tuesday. “The economic condition of the nation cries out for a change in leadership, but when you look at the map, demographics, they do matter. If this is an economic election, we’ll win, but if it’s a demographic election, we’re in trouble.”
Some Republican strategists were blunter about their worries.
GOP strategist Ford O’Connell agreed.
“Romney has to win Ohio, Virginia and Florida, and there’s a bit of a concern the electoral map is narrowing on them,” he said.
Read more from Cameron Joseph at The Hill
Given most domestic issues are off the table because either voters haven't responded or President Obama's record leaves much to be desired, the president's re-election team has identified a new target: Mitt Romney as foreign-policy cipher.
He has no experience, the president's men charge. He had nothing to do with killing Osama bin Laden. His overseas exposure amounts to living two years in France during his Latter Day Saints Mission and a whirlwind tour of Europe and the Middle East this summer. And he didn't even mention foreign policy or the troops in his speech two weeks ago in Tampa.
Polls show President Obama leads by 14 points on the question of who better to handle foreign policy. About the only way he can blow this lead is to pursue this line of attack. The more voters learn what President Obama has "accomplished," the better Romney's blank slate will look.
Romney will have some opportunity to educate voters during the debates. But his strategy should be to rope in foreign policy with other policy areas in which the president has acted unwisely and to build a narrative that says, "We let the kids have a chance. The mess got worse. Time for the adults to clean it up."
Read more from Ford O'Connell at U.S. News & World Report
President Obama raised more money in August than Mitt Romney — the first time since April — in what some analysts say is a sign that the president finally has energized his most loyal supporters.
The Obama campaign announced early Monday that it raised $114 million in August, eclipsing the $100-million mark for the first time this election cycle and edging out the $111 million raised last month by the Republican presidential nominee.
While Mr. Obama’s $3 million advantage appears negligible, experts say his real edge lies in the higher percentage of small donations that he received, which could signal that his supporters are paying more attention heading into the final eight weeks of the campaign.
Republican strategist Ford O’Connell said the Romney campaign will have more than enough money to last through Election Day, but said it should be concerned that Mr. Obama has not only held his position in the race but has achieved a fundraising breakthrough this close to Election Day.
Mr. O’Connell predicted that Mr. Romney must win Florida, Ohio, Virginia and Iowa — all swing states where recent polls have shown him tied or trailing — if he wants to become president, and said the GOP nominee is running out of time to sway voters.
He said Mr. Romney’s success or failure will lie in how well he is able to reach moderate voters who typically don’t give to campaigns.
“The money right now is not as big an issue for the Romney guys,” he said. “What’s really concerning them more is that the electoral map is narrowing by the day.”
Read more from David Hill at The Washington Times
Team Obama beat Team Romney in fundraising for August, $114 million to $112 million, according to figures released by both campaigns early Monday.
It’s the first time the Obama campaign and the various Democratic committees with whom they jointly fundraise have brought in more money than their opponents since April. And the Obama campaign is shouting from the rooftops.
Team Romney was also no slouch in the fundraising department. In fact, both campaigns posted record-high monthly fundraising totals.
“I’m not that concerned about the money, because a large percentage of ad buys has already been made in the battleground states by the presidential campaigns and the third-party interest groups,” meaning the political action committees, says Republican strategist Ford O’Connell.
The point, he says, is that fundraising is more critical for Obama at this stage than for Romney.
“What is cause for concern, if you are a Republican, is that with 57 days to go in the election, Team Romney has not found a way to break through in the battleground states, especially Ohio,Virginia, and Florida,” Mr. O’Connell says. “And they can't lose any one of those states and win the White House. The electoral map is narrowing by the day, hence the ad buy in Wisconsin.”
Early voting begins in Iowa on Sept. 27 and Ohio on Oct. 2. So when the first presidential debate – Romney’s best chance to shake up a race that now tilts in Obama’s direction – takes place on Oct. 3, some voters will have already cast ballots.
Read more from Linda Feldmann at The Christian Science Monitor
A metric is a fancy way of asking what you want to count. The right metrics for your campaign are the ones that count activities that matter. Metrics that measure what you are doing are a good place to start. Metrics that measure what your supporters and potential voters are doing are even more valuable. Think of metrics like using a map. You’ll start out needing to know whether you are headed generally in the right direction, but ultimately you want to get to a specific point.
Your website is a two-way street. Think about what you want to measure before you even launch your website. You know what you want to say to visitors, but think about what they can tell you—about themselves, about their intensity for your issues, about their commitment to your campaign.
If you look to your website as a measuring tool, you can begin to think about how you’ll need to slice it up to capture data beyond just basic page view counts. Think of it as a survey, where your visitors tell you what questions they want you to answer and what problems they want you to solve through the links they click and the actions they take.
Read more from Steve Pearson and Ford O'Connell at Campaigns & Elections magazine
Mitt Romney’s campaign is hoping that a cash advantage and a laser-like focus on economic messaging targeted at disaffected blue-collar voters can help the Republican candidate erase President Obama’s small but persistent lead in the last two months before Election Day.
The Republican hopeful and the incumbent Democrat seem destined for trench warfare over the final weeks of the campaign — looking for a breakthrough that could dramatically upend the race, but preparing for a likely battle of attrition.
Romney was dealt favorable news last week when disappointing jobs numbers looked to halt Obama’s momentum after a strong week for Democrats at their national convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Romney has created a scenario where he has little margin for error — and needs to find ways to further dampen enthusiasm for the president.
“They’ve decided to roll the dice and run a base-on-base election,” said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell.
“He’s going to have to put a little bit more specifics on his economic plans in general,” O’Connell said. “The onus is going to be on [Romney] to articulate what the president is doing wrong and not letting him spin it any way he can to make it look not as bad as it is.”
Read more from Justin Sink at The Hill
GOP lawmakers say that former Rep. Artur Davis, the Democrat-turned-Republican who ripped President Obama late last month, has a bright future.
The ex-Alabama legislator earned superstar status with his “lessons learned” oration directed at independent voters on day one of the Republican convention in Tampa.
He called the address a “second chance” aimed at “the estimated 6 million of us who know we got it wrong in 2008 and want to fix it,” a reference to voters who supported Obama but may not do so this election.
For Davis, a recent Virginia resident, it was a major step toward a return to politics in a different state and under a different party affiliation.
Virginia Republican officials are pleased that Davis relocated to the Commonwealth and joined them in the fight to elect the GOP presidential ticket in the battleground state.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told The Hill that Davis has a “bright future” in Virginia politics.
Before making such a leap to GOP congressional candidate however, Davis needs to “earn his stripes,” and continue making the case for Mitt Romney, according to a Republican analyst.
“Artur’s very attuned to not just what people think but how people think, given their busy lives. He’s a fantastic political talent. There’s no question about it and he has an opportunity here,” Virginia political operative Ford O’Connell said.
Read more from Molly K. Hooper at The Hill
Americans will choose their next president in less than two months and the race is a statistical dead heat as it enters the season that matters most: The one where Americans who are not political geeks start paying attention.
The race will turn on how voters feel about the economy. Should President Obama be re-elected because it is headed in the right direction - 30 consecutive months of private sector job growth after precipitous losses during the George W. Bush presidency - or should GOP nominee Mitt Romney take the wheel because unemployment has been above 8 percent for more than three years, the longest stretch since the Great Depression?
"The Democrats are rolling the dice that they can win a base-on-base election," said Republican strategist Ford O'Connell, who worked for the 2008 GOP presidential ticket.
As the electoral map stands now, O'Connell said, Obama could be re-elected if he wins only one of three tightly contested battleground states where the race is tied: Florida, Virginia and Ohio. The race is also tight in Colorado, New Hampshire, Nevada, Iowa and North Carolina.
Read more from Joe Garofoli at the San Francisco Chronicle
Given the goal of the 2012 Democratic National Convention was to rip Mitt Romney and the Republican Party, duck economic reality, and energize and solidify the base, the gathering in Charlotte was a success for President Barack Obama.
But if the president dreamt of moving beyond the base and putting distance between himself and Romney, or even simply laying out a vision for the future, he fell short.
This did not seem to be an accident. President Obama, it seems, has decided to roll the dice on a base-on-base election. He doesn't want to create voters, as he did in 2008. He won't get much of a bump, according to Reuters, but he neither expected one nor held out much hope for one. He doesn't want to steal from Romney's base with anything that could be called a broad-based appeal. He merely wants to hold on to what he has and hope it adds up to 50 + 1.
So, was Charlotte a success? If all the niche voters to whom the convention appealed to turn out, probably so. But if not, we could well be discussing a President Romney in the near future.
Read more from Ford O'Connell at U.S. News & World Reort