Romney leads President Obama by four percentage points among likely voters in the nation's top battlegrounds, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, and he has growing enthusiasm among women to thank.
As the presidential campaign heads into its final weeks, the survey of voters in 12 crucial swing states finds female voters much more engaged in the election and increasingly concerned about the deficit and debt issues that favor Romney. The Republican nominee now ties the president among women who are likely voters, 48%-48%, while he leads by 12 points among men.
The battle for women, which was apparent in the speakers spotlighted at both political conventions this summer, is likely to help define messages the candidates deliver at the presidential debate Tuesday night and in the TV ads they air during the final 21 days of the campaign. As a group, women tend to start paying attention to election contests later and remain more open to persuasion by the candidates and their ads.
That makes women, especially blue-collar "waitress moms" whose families have been hard-hit by the nation's economic woes, the quintessential swing voters in 2012's close race.
In a stark warning on the eve of the second presidential debate, veteran Democratic strategists Stanley B. Greenberg and James Carville write in a newly released memo that the campaign “has reached a tipping point” that could cost President Obama reelection if he does not present a more compelling vision for the next four years.
“The first debate really did disrupt the race and presents a painful real-time test of what happens when the president tries to convince people of progress and offer[s] a very modest vision of future change,” the two say in a Democracy Corps memo cowritten with Erica Seifert, a senior associate at Greenberg’s polling firm. “Voters are not looking for continuity, but changes that help the average Joe.”
A new POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Poll of likely voters puts Obama ahead of Romney 49 percent to 48 percent, a statistical tie and the same as the week before. Across the 10 states identified by POLITICO as competitive, Romney leads 50 percent to 48 percent.
Even as the head-to-head number held stubbornly steady for the past month, Romney improved his likability numbers. A slim majority, 51 percent, now views Romney favorably as a person, while 44 percent views him unfavorably.
The former Massachusetts governor had been underwater on this measure. In mid-September, 49 percent of respondents viewed him unfavorably. Going into the first presidential debate in Denver on Oct. 3, the electorate was evenly split 47 percent to 47 percent on what to make of Romney.
Posted by Political Quarterback · October 14, 2012 2:00 AM
With Mitt Romney drawing larger crowds at campaign events and rising in the polls, Ford O'Connell and Democratic strategist Alexis McGill Johnson join Fox News' Gregg Jarrett to discuss where the battle for the White House between President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney stands with 24 days to go until Election Day - November 6.
Posted by Political Quarterback · October 12, 2012 6:00 PM
Ford O'Connell and Democratic strategist David Dimartino join Fox News' Chris Stirewalt on Fox News Live's "Power Play w/Chris Stirewalt" to discuss the Obama Administration's questionable handling of the terrorist attack in Libya that left four Americans dead, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, and what role the issue could play in the remaining weeks of the 2012 Presidential Election.
Posted by Political Quarterback · October 12, 2012 3:14 PM
Think: Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, Iowa and New Hampshire. From Gallup:
That underscores the importance of turnout by the party groups in the Nov. 6 election, given that views of the president are largely fixed. Another key in determining Obama's electoral fate may be which side of the 50% approval mark independent voters wind up on; they have been very near 50% approval in recent weeks.
Posted by Political Quarterback · October 12, 2012 2:09 PM
Charles Krauthammer said if you read a transcript of last night's vice-presidential debate, it was dead even. If you listened on the radio, Vice-President Joe Biden won. If you watched on TV and could see the smirks and sighs of the vice-president, Republican challenger Paul Ryan won.
Posted by Political Quarterback · October 12, 2012 12:00 PM
Mitt Romney won in Danville, KY, because Paul Ryan held serve.
Ryan accomplished his goal of doing no harm, getting in a few zingers and buttressing the Republican arguments for limited government, reduced spending and entitlement reform. But Biden accomplished his as well. He argued forcefully for the Democratic way. He fired up the base. He made the case for President Obama’s policies far better than the president himself.
And what happened in Danville will largely stay in Danville. It’s lasting effects will be to erase Al Gore from the record book as “most exasperated debater ever” and to set up what should be two enormous clashes between the presidential candidates next week and the week after.
There are, however, still voters to be convinced … particularly in battleground states. The presidential candidate who best connects with them from this point on is the one who will be celebrating after Nov. 6.
Ohio remains a special challenge for the Republicans; Romney and Paul Ryan are both spending time there this weekend and they can’t afford to give up on the state.
But sensible GOPers are looking for a route to victory that doesn’t involve a Buckeye State revival.
Here’s the most likely path for Romney, sans Ohio: He wins the McCain states, plus Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, Nevada, and Iowa — losing New Hampshire and Wisconsin, along with Ohio.
Obviously, that means winning six of the nine battleground states, many of which still show significant deficits for the challenger, who also does not boast the same long-built ground game machinery as the incumbent.