Romney and Obama Focus on Battleground States for their Final 24 Hours Campaign

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The candidates will spend the final 24 hours of this long presidential race bouncing around the country, rallying supporters at 14 scheduled events across nine battleground states.

President Obama is set to hit urban centers in Wisconsin, Ohio and Iowa, with Bruce Springsteen tagging along as his opening act. Jay-Z is scheduled to join the campaign at a mid-afternoon gathering in the Buckeye State.

Like the president, Mitt Romney will make one last play for Ohio, arriving in Columbus four hours after Obama leaves for Iowa. It will be the Republican’s third stop in a day that sees him track north from Florida — where the wait to register an early vote this weekend lasted as long as six hours — to Virginia, ending the night with one last rally in New Hampshire.

If the Romney ticket doesn’t win enough votes to unseat President Obama on Tuesday night, it won’t be because Paul Ryan was a lazy campaigner. The vice presidential candidate will make five stops Monday, in five different states, covering four time zones. He closes out the election season back home, with a late night rally in Milwaukee, Wis.

While the candidates push their supporters to the polls and smile for the cameras in what they expect to be packed arenas, parks, and airplane hangars – at least seven of the events will be hosted at airports – there have been some rumblings from Republicans, GOP strategist Karl Rove among them, that Romney’s campaign might have been dealt an insurmountable blow by Superstorm Sandy.

“The hurricane is what broke Romney’s [post-debate] momentum,” former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said on CNN Sunday morning. “Any day that the news media is not talking about jobs and the economy, taxes and spending, deficit and debt, ‘Obamacare’ and energy, is a good day for Barack Obama.”

The Romney campaign, though, insists it is traveling steadily along a well-charted course to victory on Tuesday.

“I don’t look at what happened with the storm and how it affected so many people through a political lens,” Romney adviser Kevin Madden said Sunday. “We are focused on what we can do to make sure that the enthusiasm that we have seen in states that it’s part of helping our get out the vote efforts in all these key battlegrounds and then just focusing on the message. So I wouldn’t entertain the same notion that those folks did.”

And in Cleveland Sunday, Romney made one last argument for dismissing President Obama from office after a single term.

“He promised to do so very much, but, frankly, he fell so very short,” Romney said. “He promised to be a post-partisan president, but he’s been most partisan; he’s been divisive, blaming, attacking, dividing. And by the way, it’s not only Republicans that he refused to listen to; he also refused to listen to independent voices.”

They’ve also been asked to deliver one last round of attacks on the Republican challenger.

According to the memo, “Gov. Romney has been using his talents as a salesman to dress up the same policies that failed our country and crashed our economy, and offers them up as change.”

Source: ABC

Romney’s Campaign Furiously to Restore the Lead He once Held

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TAMPA , Fla. – The outcome to the south, in the largest swing state, now seems very much in doubt, even as the lion’s share of attention in the presidential campaign goes to the battleground of Ohio and the storm-battered states of the Mid-Atlantic.

After the first debate, Mitt Romney moved into a lead here, and since then with its 29 electoral votes sat solidly in their column as insisted by their aides. However, President Obama’s fortunes improving here with several polls results and as of Thursday morning, Democrats perform well in the early voting by leading about 59,000 out of more than 3 million absentee and in person early votes. It is a must that precious hours should be devoted by Romney to defend his position in the state.
Romney campaigned in Florida after Saturday, must returned on Wednesday for rallies in Tampa, Miami and Jacksonville due to the polls now showing in dead heat as such expecting to back over the weekend, when Obama also is scheduled to campaign here.
While victory for Obama  is a prize but of Romney it is a necessity. The win of Romney in Ohio and other Midwestern states can become a moot without a win in this state.
In these closing days of the campaign, the presidential race has tightened and the battle helps illustrate how the major swing states test Obama’s ability to hold a different part of the coalition that elected him four years ago.
To the white, working class voters in Ohio , the outcome turns on which man can they most appeal. With his bail out of the auto Industry and warnings about Romney’s background in the private equity business, Obama has wooed them with constant reminders. It will be tested how much loyalty the president still has among college-educated suburbanites, particularly women in the state of Virginia and Colorado .
They both fight for the final sliver of undecided single women on the airwaves, with dueling ads on abortion and contraception about Romney’s policies.

Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald Poll shows Mitt Romney Beating President Obama 45-51 percent in Florida

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. By enstarz.com

Mitt Romney has maintained a solid lead over President Barack Obama in the latest Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald poll of likely voters who favor the Republican by six percentage points.

Romney’s strengths: independent voters and more crossover support from Democrats relative to the Republicans who back Obama, according to the survey conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research.

Romney’s crossover appeal is fueled by strong support in rural North Florida, a conservative bastion where a relatively high percentage of Democrats often vote Republican in presidential election years.

“I’m pretty convinced Romney’s going to win Florida,” said Mason-Dixon pollster Brad Coker, who conducted the 800-likely voter survey from Tuesday through Thursday.

Romney is winning handily among men, marginally losing with women voters and has outsized support among non-Hispanic whites. He’s essentially winning on the issues as well: the economy, Medicare, foreign policy and looking out for the middle-class.

Coker noted the poll results are essentially unchanged from last month, when Romney led by a point more after he crushed Obama in their first debate.

The October poll and this one, which have error margins of 3.5 percent, were conducted for The Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald as well as the Tampa Bay Times, Bay News 9 and Central Florida News 13.

Although the latest survey shows Romney comfortably ahead 51-45 percent in Florida, the Republican can’t rest easy. Other polls show a tighter race, although they use a different method of polling than that of Mason-Dixon, a Florida-based firm.

Obama draws only 5 percent Republican support, but Romney draws 16 percent of the likely Democratic vote in the poll.

And Romney beats Obama with independents — the tie-breaker voters — by a six-point margin. That’s not necessarily a comfortable lead for Romney, who was ahead by 13 points last month among independents.

Romney jumped to an overall lead last month after the first presidential debate, in which Obama’s performance was so poor that even he joked about how bad he was.

Hispanic voters moved a total of seven points in Obama’s favor in a month, but he’s not carrying their vote with the double digits he probably needs because of his poor standing among non-Hispanic whites.

Romney is trusted more than Obama on handling the economy and leading the nation by the same amount: 53-44 percent.

By a 50-48 percent split, Romney’s trusted more to look out for the middle-class and he has another inside-the-error-margin lead over Obama of 49-47 percent when it comes to handling foreign policy.

Asked who would be worse for Medicare, 52 percent said Obama and 44 percent said Romney.

Obama’s campaign has dismissed the results of likely voter polls, such as this one, pointing to statistics that indicate they’re turning out so-called “sporadic” and new voters. In essence, they argue that likely voter polls miss their voters who, by definition, are unlikely.

But Coker said the poll was conducted with a registered voter list and “we’re not missing anybody based on our method.”

Also, the Romney campaign notes that most non-partisan polls show the Republican ahead in Florida and doing better among independents.

Source: The Miami Herald

Hurricane Sandy may Affect Romney’s Late Push to Claim 10 electoral votes

Mitt Romney. By thedailybeast.com

Frankenstorm has upended Mitt Romney’s late push to claim the Badger State ’s 10 electoral votes, though Hurricane Sandy may be a safe distance from Wisconsin.

Team Romney apparently decide to stop politicking with flooding, power outages, and even deaths on the horizon and the Republican presidential nominee was compelled Monday evening to ax an event in suburban Milwaukee, a GOP stronghold.
Wisconsin seems to have reverted to its old left-oft-center self when it comes to national politics, but Romney visit may not have made all that much difference, as just a few months removed from the conservative movement’s resounding victory over organized labor in the bitter Scott Walker recall fight.
President Obama still ahead not only polls show by far less than his 14-point margin from 4 years ago, but a liberal Democratic congresswoman Tommy Baldwin representing the college town of Madison was assumed to have an uphill battle on her hands and drawn even in the polls in her bid to take out popular former republican governor Tommy Thomson in the US Senate race.
After public-sector unions failed to recall Gov. Scott Walker, the Republicans predictions of a new era of conservative hegemony now seem more than a little premature in a state that lasted backed a Republican presidential candidate in 1984.
The possibility of a Romney upset as the Wisconsin political insiders and longtime observers of the state’s election is considering, however George W. Bush came up a thousand votes short here both in 2000 and 2004 although winning in the neighbor of Ohio . A possibility of a last minute sprint by Romney fearing the Electoral College math just isn’t adding up in some of the swing states he originally intending to win such as Ohio , Iowa , and Virginia .
Former governor Jim Doyle says, “Given the makeup of the electorate, if Romney can’t win Ohio , it’s even more unlikely that he could win Wisconsin .”

Romney Rally Converts Into Storm Relief Effort

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DAYTON, Ohio – Mitt Romney, making his only appearance of the day here today to encourage storm relief efforts, toed the tricky line of a candidate who sought to offer sympathy to a region of the country in crisis due to the violent storm Sandy while maintaining a public profile just a week ahead of the election.

Romney climbed atop a black box just before noon to address a crowd of supporters, many of whom had planned to come to a so-called “Victory Rally” at this same arena scheduled before the brunt of the storm hit and then swiftly rebranded by the campaign as a “Storm Relief Event.”

“We have heavy hearts as you know with all the suffering going on in a major part of our country,” said Romney, who stood before tables that were being filled with donations of diapers, toothpaste, canned food and flashlights.

Romney did not emerge to his campaign song “Born Free” that is blasted at every rally, emerging instead to cheers from the crowd. And gone were the Romney campaign signs that typically wallpaper the rooms where events of his are held.

But ahead of Romney’s remarks, the campaign’s biography video featuring Romney, his wife Ann, several of his children and other supporters talking about the candidate’s leadership skills did play, the screens then reverting back to a freeze-frame of a plea to donate to the Red Cross.

There were no mentions made of President Obama or the seven days left before Election Day by Romney, but the event notably took place in the battleground state of Ohio, where the candidate’s appearance here today was plugged on local news casts throughout the morning.

And the musical guest originally scheduled for the political rally still came – but Romney said that it was so those sorting the donations would have an “enjoyable work setting.”

Romney recast some of his lines from his stump speech, giving a nod to the “American spirit,” tailoring his comments it to the situation on the East Coast, much of which is not even near emerging from the damaging caused by the hurricane.

“It’s part of the American spirit, the American way to give to people who are in need, and your generosity this morning touches my heart,” said Romney. “And I appreciate what you’ve done. We have a lot of goods here, and I know there’s more coming in.”

Romney helped box and sort food before heading outside to load the items onto trucks that would take the goods to New Jersey, a site that Romney said had been determined had the ability to distribute the items where they would be most needed.

Romney repeatedly ignored questions about his intentions for FEMA if he were elected, questions that stemmed from a comment the candidate made during a debate in 2011 in which he said he’d like to see more of the responsibility of relief efforts put to the states rather than the Federal government.

Romney also ignored questions as to whether he would visit storm-ravaged areas such as New Jersey.

A spokeswoman for Romney said that Romney does not want to cut FEMA, but the candidate himself has not gone on the record on the issue since that debate.

“Gov. Romney believes that states should be in charge of emergency management in responding to storms and other natural disasters in their jurisdictions,” said Amanda Hennenberg. “As the first responders, states are in the best position to aid affected individuals and communities, and to direct resources and assistance to where they are needed most. This includes help from the federal government and FEMA.”

Source: ABC

Newspaper of Ohio Supports Mitt Romney

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On Sunday, the Cincinnati Enquirer gave its endorsement to Mitt Romney saying that the former business executive possessed the experience to lead the U.S. economy into recovery and solve the political dysfunction in Washington D.C. One of Ohio’s leading newspapers also offered a rebuke of President Barack Obama’s stewardship of the economy during his tenure in the White House.

On Monday, Rasmussen announced that Romney has finally pulled ahead of Obama 50% to 48% in Ohio, a state that carries 18 electoral votes. In its endorsement, the Cincinnati Enquirer also conveyed Romney’s success as governor of Massachusetts.

The bottom line: He erased the deficit in Massachusetts (which was required by state law) and left office with a $600 million surplus. He replenished the state’s reserve fund two years into his term, pushing it to $2 billion by the time he left office in 2007.

The newspaper discussed Obama’s failure to move the U.S. economy in the right direction despite four years in office, two of which involved a U.S. congress controlled by Democrats.

Four years later, though, we’re still at risk of backpedaling into another recession, the housing market is still suffering and we have a sense of drift, not of common purpose.

The president has touted lower unemployment rates as one argument for re-election. However,Red State reports that Ohio’s recent decrease in unemployment is due to a shrinking labor force and not due to a recovering local economy.

The unemployment rate reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) dropped from 10.6 percent in July 2009 to 7.2 percent in August 2012, but the change resulted from a shrinking labor force as opposed to strong job growth.

On Sunday, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos added his thoughts to the mix (as quoted in Playbook): “Can Obama’s swing state firewall stand up to Romney’s momentum? … [Ohio poll out today] shows Governor Romney coming on very strong in that state that matters so much. It looks like a real threat to [Obama’s] firewall.”

Source: Examiner

 

Romney and Ryan in their Final Push for Victory in Ohio

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In an effort to snatch the estate offering the keys to the White House in the final week election campaign, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan were blitzing Ohio last night.

The Republican candidates were touring the state urging the voters in its conservative rural counties to help them grow a “bountiful harvest of new jobs” thus, trailed in polls of the Midwestern bellwether all year.
“ America is more than just a piece of geography,” said Mr. Ryan to hundreds of farmers at a remote school in Sabina.
“It is more than our cornfields, our bean fields and our dairy farms. It is an idea.”
Mr. Romney promised last night at a rally in Celina. “We know where we want to lead the country to get America strong again,” a thousand supporters prompting earsplitting chants of “ USA ” .
Viewing the event in television bulletins, aiming to sway undecided moderate, he boasted also that “independent voters and some democrats” were flocking to his campaign.
In 2004, George Bush who won in a shock victory in Ohio -and reelection by sharply boosting rural turnout, the former Massachusetts governor is aiming to replicate the success of Bush.
In every election since 1968, the state has backed the winning presidential candidate and is poised yet again to be the “tipping point” that indicates which man has succeeded in the Electoral College.
For a average of just 1.9 percent, Mr Obama lead in the polls of Ohio which was from 5.5 before his defeat in the Oct. 3 first presidential debate.
The national lead of Romney holds an average of 0.9 percent but still the republicans concede Ohio is critical.
“I don’t buy that there’s a path without Ohio for Romney,” Nicolle Wallace, a former aide to Mr. Bush, told ABC News yesterday
Areas such as Celina and Sabina is easily won by Romney, these areas backed John McCain over Mr. Obama in 2008 by 30 points.

Tennessee Voters Give Romney a Wide Lead

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For the first time in history in American History, if Tennessee voters had concerns about electing a Mormon to the White House, they’ve apparently gotten over it in the last few days.

A lead of about 59 percent to 34 percent by the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney against President Barack Obama in Tennessee , according to the Middle Tennessee State University poll released on Saturday. About 74 percent of the white evangelical Christians surveyed support Romney in the poll result.
Ken Blake, director of the MTSU Poll said, “The once-strained relationship between Gov. Romney and religious Tennesseans seems to have improved markedly since the spring’s primary election.”
Just before the March primary, a poll taken and found church-going Republicans favored former Sen. Rick Santorum nearly 6-to-1 over Romney, while the split was balanced who attended church less often for the Tennessee Republicans, Blake said.
Of the GOP primary vote, Santorum won 37 percent to Romney’s 28 percent and Newt Gingrich’s 24 percent in the overall.
Several things that have happened in Romney’s favor as noted by Jason Reineke, associate director of the poll. “It’s OK for an evangelical to vote for a Mormon,” they included a meeting with the Rev. Billy Graham and a USA Today column by Franklin Graham saying.
Voters, who identified themselves as evangelical Christians, ultimately may be driven ‘more by opposition to Obama than direct support to Romney,” Reineke said.
“It is also important to note that is far from uncommon for partisans who didn’t vote for the winner in their primary to come home to the party, almost regardless of the candidate selected, in these highly polarized times.”
After casting early votes Friday, voters leaving the Rutherford County Election Commission Office weren’t surprised the white evangelical Christian vote that Romney is dominating.
Romney’s Mormonism for the most part did not affect their votes, those leaving the polls said.

Mitt Romney Promises to Revive the Economy in his Speech

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AMES, Iowa — Mitt Romney is promising to revitalize the nation’s economy with “bold ideas” and a senior aide said the Republican presidential candidate would not cut ties with an Indiana Senate candidate who said pregnancy resulting from rape is “something God intended.”

As President Barack Obama took a break from the campaign trail, Romney delivered what his campaign billed as a major economic address in swing state Iowa on Friday to help win the dwindling number of voters yet to make up their minds. While the speech did not break new ground, it was designed to help crystalize the differences between his and Obama’s economic approaches less than two weeks before Election Day.

“If Paul Ryan and I are elected as your president and vice president, we will endeavor with all our hearts and energy to restore America,” Romney said. “Instead of more spending, more borrowing from China and higher taxes from Washington, we’ll renew our faith in the power of free people pursuing their dreams.”

Minutes before the speech, senior strategist Eric Fehrnstrom said Romney would not call on Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock to remove TV ads featuring Romney’s endorsement. Fehrnstrom said Romney disagrees with the Indiana Republican’s recent comment about rape, but would not interfere with Mourdock’s advertising.

“That’s his decision,” Fehrnstrom said when asked whether the campaign wants Mourdock to remove the ads. He added that Romney feels he has addressed the matter and doesn’t plan to discuss it further.

Romney has not spoken about Mourdock’s comments directly, despite repeated questions from reporters about it in recent days.

The candidate was focused on the economy as he addressed several hundred supporters on a cold autumn day outside a local construction company.

Romney argued that Obama has no proposals that can meet “the challenges of the times.” He dismissed the president’s signature legislative achievement, a health care law, as “his vaunted Obamacare” and said he would instead focus on saving Medicare and Social Security.

He repeated many of his standard campaign themes: that Obama is focusing on small issues like “characters on Sesame Street and silly word games” and that Romney will improve kitchen-table concerns like health care, job creation and school choice. His signature refrain is that America can’t afford another four years like the last four years.

The speech came hours after the government reported a slight pickup in economic growth in the final such report before the Nov. 6 election.

The pickup to 2 percent from July to September from the 1.3 percent in the second quarter may help Obama’s message that the economy is improving. Still, growth remains too weak to rapidly boost hiring. And the 1.74 percent rate for 2012 trails last year’s 1.8 percent growth. Romney called the news “discouraging.”

“Slow economic growth means slow job growth and declining take-home pay,” Romney said in a statement. “This is what four years of President Obama’s policies have produced.”

The White House had a more positive take on the news in a blog post by Alan Krueger, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. “While we have more work to do, together with other economic indicators, this report provides further evidence that the economy is moving in the right direction,” he wrote. Obama got better news from a survey out of the University of Michigan showing consumer confidence rising to its highest level in five years.

An Associated Press-GfK poll out this week shows Romney overtaking Obama as the candidate that likely voters trust more to handle the economy. The poll found 51 percent of those voters surveyed Oct. 19-23 picking Romney, compared to 44 percent for Obama. The two candidates were tied among likely voters on that issue in the previous poll in mid-September.

Still, the two are locked in a dead heat in the nationwide poll. Other surveys show a tight race in the swing states that will decide the election, with the winning candidate needing 270 Electoral College votes. With Hurricane Sandy threatening the East Coast during the final full week of the campaign, Romney canceled a rally in Virginia scheduled for Sunday. Obama aides said they were watching the storm’s path before deciding whether to call off any of his events.

Obama was pushing back on Romney’s criticism on another front — relations with Israel, which could have an impact particularly with Jewish voters in swing state Florida. The Republican has repeatedly criticized Obama for not traveling to Israel as president. Obama visited as a candidate in 2008.

A new ad shows images of Obama’s trip and video of his pledge during his final debate with Romney that Iran will not get a nuclear weapon while he’s president and that “our bond with Israel will be unbreakable.”

Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg responded that Obama’s Middle East policy “has been a failure.”

“As president, Mitt Romney’s first overseas trip will be to Jerusalem, and under a Romney Administration, the world will never question America’s solidarity with Israel,” she said in a statement.

Souce: Deseret News

Mitt Romney Predicted He Will Win this Election

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Mitt Romney predicted a win for himself on Election Day 12 days away. His campaign plane just landed yards away from a hangar full of supporters in the Hawkeye State .

“The Obama campaign is slipping because it can’t find an agenda to help the American families, but our campaign is growing into a movement across this country that says we’re going to get America back, we’re going to get America strong, we’re going to provide for our families,” Romney said. “And I’m optimistic. I’m optimistic not just about winning. We are going to win by the way. And we’re going to do that.”
Romney and Obama are neck-and-neck in the recent polls. Among likely voters, 49 to 48 percent Romney eked out and a slight edge nationally in the latest ABC News/Washington Poll.
“I’m not just optimistic about winning, said Romney. “I’m more optimistic about the future of America .”
Romney prediction of his ticket to win was the second time today, with his first prediction was earlier in the day in Reno , Nev.
“He doesn’t have a plan to get jobs for Americans,” Romney said of President Obama in Reno during a rally. “I do, and that’s why I’m gonna win.”