Posted by Political Quarterback · September 24, 2012 11:01 AM
Ford O'Connell and Democratic pollster Margie Omero join Fox News' Heather Childers on America's News HQ to discuss Vice President Joe Biden's role as the Obama campaign's "dispenser of propaganda" in an effort to intentionally mislead the public about the policies and intentions of Republican White House challengers Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
Posted by Political Quarterback · September 24, 2012 10:07 AM
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To win the White House a presidential candidate needs to capture 270 electoral votes. Currently, the rough electoral college count is: Romney - 206 electoral voters (includes North Carolina) and Obama - 237 electoral votes. With less than 50 days until Election Day, this means that eight states are still in play: Florida (29 EV), Ohio (18 EV), Virginia (13 EV), Wisconsin (10 EV), Colorado (9 EV), Iowa (6 EV), Nevada (6 EV) and New Hampshire (4 EV). ABC News Amy Walter has more:
–Wisconsin, Nevada, and Ohio are the toughest states for Romney to win. If he loses all three he can’t win. Even if he swept all the other toss up states he’d end up with just 267 to Obama’s 271.
–Florida, Colorado, and New Hampshire are the best opportunities for Romney.
–Democrats feel very bullish about Iowa — a state Obama has invested in heavily with both time and money. Republicans still consider it a good opportunity.
–Despite recent polling showing Obama up by as many as eight points in Virginia, operatives on both sides think the state is much more competitive than that.
Posted by Political Quarterback · September 21, 2012 8:00 AM
Mitt Romney shifted his campaign strategy this week, intensifying his swing-state schedule and hammering President Obama with his own campaign slogans.
The GOP presidential nominee needs to turn the page from recent stumbles as the campaign season heads into October, a month that features either a presidential or vice presidential debate every week. Furthermore, Romney is primed to take advantage of obligations that will keep Obama largely away from the swing states.
Republican strategists agree that Romney needs to find a new way to connect with swing voters. Although his campaign has been marked by missteps in recent weeks, the polls remain relatively close and internal polls show a surprising number of voters remain persuadable.
"He's got to relentlessly barnstorm and put shoe leather on the ground," said Republican strategist Ford O'Connell. "Part of that is getting on the local affiliate news, which for many voters is the only couple of minutes a day they'll spend gathering information."
Posted by Political Quarterback · September 20, 2012 2:55 PM
With less than seven weeks to go until Election Day 2012, Ford O'Connell and Democratic operative Kristian Ramos join Fox News' Chris Stirewalt on Fox News Live's "Power Play w/Chris Stirewalt" to discuss the electoral significance of Florida, the role of Hispanic voters, and the current state of the battle for the White House between President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Posted by Political Quarterback · September 20, 2012 8:00 AM
Mitt Romney’s struggle to deal with the “47 percent” problem has so far left his campaign — and fellow Republicans — flat-footed, but the GOP nominee could still use the tough talk to his advantage in battleground states with the right strategy, pundits told the Herald.
“It does certainly put them in an uncomfortable position, but that’s only if they continue to act as if this isn’t an obvious fact about the world,” said Dennis Hale, a political science professor at Boston College.
“It has come up occasionally in other contexts that it’s not healthy, the fact that just under half of the public pays no income taxes.”
Republican operative Ford O’Connell said there’s still time, but the window is closing: “They’re not making inroads to win Ohio and Virginia. They just have not found that compelling narrative.”
Posted by Political Quarterback · September 19, 2012 4:50 PM
Now that the dark clouds have begun forming over GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney's campaign just 48 days ahead of the election, political experts say there are historically proven keys to making a comeback from all the campaigns they've been through that he should be taking note of.
Political obituaries have been premature before--they struck Bill Clinton during his primary, as well as his wife in hers. Same with John McCain in 2008 and Rick Santorum this primary cycle. George H.W. Bush was written off both during his primary and the general election in 1988 before successfully winning the White House.
"The [Romney] campaign is a little bit like a car that hasn't been able to stay between the white lines. They've veered off into the ditch a little bit," says Ford O'Connell, a Republican political strategist who worked on the McCain-Palin campaign in 2008. "But there is still time."
O'Connell says that for both McCain and Hillary Clinton in 2008, who appeared to be losers heading into the New Hampshire primary, surprise successes were fueled by striking the right themes with voters after a bit of struggling.
Clinton and McCain "did one thing in common--they found the right narrative, they owned it, and then they didn't take the foot off the gas," he says. "What really has to be troubling for the Romney campaign is that they haven't found a message to break through to the battleground state voters, particularly in Ohio and Virginia. That is their biggest problem."
Posted by Political Quarterback · September 19, 2012 2:30 PM
Hindsight is 20/20 and presidential campaign strategy will always be second-guessed, even when you win.
Mitt Romney has one job between now and Election Day: Convince a majority of voters in the swing states, particularly Florida, Ohio and Virginia, that he can make America recover faster than President Obama and that his policies will improve the lives of all Americans.
And believe it or not, there is still time for Romney to make that case even though he consistently loses sight of this mission.
Posted by Political Quarterback · September 19, 2012 10:30 AM
Republicans believe Mitt Romney’s mistakes could prevent them from winning back the Senate.
Romney’s failure to close the gap with President Obama less than 50 days before the election, as well as a variety of high-profile gaffes, have raised concerns that the GOP nominee will strand candidates in close swing-states races.
GOP strategist Ford O’Connell agreed, warning that Romney’s remark could excite the Democratic base and hurt down-ticket Republicans.
“Republican Senate candidates in moderate-to-left-leaning states who need to keep the Democratic base pacified and still pull a sizable portion of independents in order to win could very well be hurt by this,” he said.
“These folks are predominantly running on their own brand and cannot afford to have the perceived negative aspects of the GOP label affixed to their candidacy. And if the Republican Party is to retake the Senate in 2012, their hopes rest largely on the success of many of these candidates,” he added.
Posted by Political Quarterback · September 19, 2012 8:00 AM
As Mitt Romney struggles to put a cascade of missteps behind him, the Republican presidential nominee faces a twofold challenge: first, to steer the conversation back to the economy, and second, to prevent his recent difficulties from curdling into a perception that the race is becoming unwinnable.
Republicans, although anxious, point out that polls show their nominee remains within striking distance of President Obama and that seven weeks remain before Election Day.
But Romney’s stumbles, if they continue, could jeopardize his party’s prospects down the ballot. Already, the GOP is facing a steeper climb in its efforts to retake the Senate and the prospect of losing seats in the House.
The latest controversy — over a leaked videoin which Romney disparaged nearly half the country as Obama-supporting, government-dependent slackers — is at a minimum preventing his campaign from presenting a clear set of proposals for fixing the economy that it hoped would close the deal with the electorate.
“Republican candidates who reside in moderate-to-left-leaning districts who need to keep the Democratic base pacified and still have to pull a sizable portion of independents to win: That is precisely who is hurt by this,” said GOP strategist Ford O’Connell.