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.”
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.
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 .”
President Obama will try to pull himself — and his campaign — off the mat Tuesday night when he debates rival Mitt Romney again, this time at Hofstra University.
Obama got his bell rung hard during their first debate in Denver — and he knows that another defeat could be devastating.
“It’s as important as a Game 7 in the World Series even though there’s a third debate,” Democratic strategist Chris Lehane said. “The pressure will be on the President to step up to the plate and deliver.”
Romney heads into Hempstead buoyed by a post-debate surge in the polls.
Adding to the enthusiasm: The Romney camp reported Monday it had raised more than $170 million last month. While that was less than the $181 million the Obama campaign raised in September, the windfall came during a rough month for Romney that quickly became a bad memory after the first face-off with Obama.
“The debate was huge and we’ve seen our numbers move across the country,” Romney’s wife, Ann, said. “That’s what you call momentum.”
Obama and Romney spent Monday preparing for Tuesday’s clash. Obama huddled with aides at a resort in Virginia; Romney did likewise near his Massachusetts home.
The 90-minute debate begins at 9 p.m. and will have a town hall format.
Eighty Nassau County residents, selected by the Gallup Organization from a random sample of registered voters, will have an opportunity to question the candidates. They were chosen because they haven’t picked a candidate or are not firmly committed to voting for either one.
They submitted their questions in advance to the moderator, Candy Crowley of CNN; she will decide who gets to ask which question.
Three hundred Hofstra students will be in the audience, but they will not take part in the town hall. They were selected from more than 6,500 students who entered a lottery.
Nonetheless, the real estate appraiser spends hours chatting with his 900 Facebook friends and talking with fellow church members about Romney, all part of his effort to convince evangelicals who have qualms about Mormonism that they should support the former Massachusetts governor. Many other evangelicals are making similar efforts across the country.
Therein lies one of the more unlikely stories of this year’s presidential campaign: evangelicals, some of whom played a role in Romney’s defeat in 2008, and nearly upset his effort in 2012, are now a vital part of Romney’s hope to win in Virginia and several other swing states where evangelicals are a major constituency.
“Romney is counting on evangelicals. The irony is that this is a shotgun marriage between two very different religions but they are completely dependent upon one another for victory,” said Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.
Romney’s increasing reliance on evangelicals is on display across Virginia. Earlier this year, Romney spoke before 32,000 people in the evangelical heart of the state, Liberty University in Lynchburg. That appearance reverberated at evangelical churches across Virginia, including the one that Moberley attends.
Moberley’s decision to promote Romney is a telling slice of the story about efforts to win over evangelicals.Moberley, who is married and has two small children, said he has problems with what he called some of Mormonism’s “far-fetched” teachings. Members of his family, and some of his friends, told him earlier this year they couldn’t vote for a Mormon for president. But he said there has been an evolution over the last four or five months, with most of those one-time opponents deciding to support Romney.
The motivating force is to defeat President Obama, whom Moberley criticized for supporting abortion rights and gay marriage, among other issues.
Moberley’s religious life and his views are shaped, in part, by his place of worship, Grace Church of Frederickburg. He drives 30 minutes from his comfortable home in a copse of woods outside Culpeper to travel to the church, a sprawling set of buildings behind a strip of shopping malls.
The senior pastor is Ernest Custalow, who grew up on a nearby Indian reservation and traces his ancestry to Pocahontas, who is said to have been converted to Christianity by English settlers in the 1600s.
As an evangelical, Custalow feels he is carrying on that element of his ancestor’s heritage. He built the church from a dozen members to a large complex of buildings and a congregation of more than 800 worshipers.
On recent Sundays, Custalow said, he has preached to his congregation the importance of voting for a candidate who opposes abortion and gay marriage, leaving no doubt he backed Romney and opposed Obama. While he said many evangelicals believe Mormonism is a cult, he said the relevant question is which candidate supports what he called “biblical values.”
“I said, in this election, there is one candidate who stands for biblical values and there is one that is opposed to biblical values, and you are called as Christians to vote for the people who stand for biblical values,” Custalow said.
After the service, Custalow sends congregants to the foyer, where a desk with voter registration materials awaits them. It is a scene, he said, that is repeated in many churches across Virginia and the country.
Custalow said that he, like Moberley, has noticed that evangelicals have grown increasingly comfortable in recent months with the prospect of a Mormon as president. The turning point, he said, came when Romney spoke at Liberty University in May.
“That was like, shock of shocks,” Custalow said. “It sent a strong signal to evangelicals.”
It was a turning point years in the making.
Liberty University was founded by the late Reverend Jerry Falwell Sr., who in 2006 was part of a group of evangelical leaders who visited Romney as his home in Belmont, Mass. The meeting was held as Romney was pondering his first run for president and was making an effort to win over skeptical social conservatives.
Some of the evangelical leaders bluntly told Romney at that meeting that Mormonism was not considered part of traditional Christianity, but many also said they were more concerned about where Romney stood on social issues such as abortion. Romney was subsequently defeated in the 2008 Iowa caucuses, due in part to opposition from evangelicals, and he later dropped out of the race.
He avoided a similar fate in the primaries this time, in part because he focused more on economic issues than social ones and evangelicals divided their votes among several candidates. But as Romney hit the reset button for the general election, he again began an aggressive outreach effort to evangelicals. His senior adviser on evangelical issues, Atlanta public relations agent Mark DeMoss, had served as chief of staff to Falwell and had helped set up the 2006 meeting.
DeMoss was in position to help reconnect Romney to evangelicals: he also is chairman of the board of the executive committee of Liberty University, which is now run by the late Falwell’s son, Jerry Falwell Jr. The younger Falwell, who had never met Romney, asked DeMoss if Romney would be interested in speaking at the school’s graduation ceremony.
“I was very excited about it from every angle,” DeMoss said. “I was really wearing several hats. I’m a graduate of Liberty. I had worked previously for [the senior] Falwell, I am on the board of trustees of Liberty and I’m involved in the Romney campaign. From every angle I was thrilled he was speaking there. I certainly encouraged it.”
Falwell Jr. said the speech was an important moment for evangelicals in Virginia and elsewhere in terms of putting aside their conflicts with Mormonism. He said he rejected the view of some evangelicals who view Mormonism as a “cult.”
“I don’t even know what the definition of cult is,” Falwell said. “Everybody has got a different definition of what a cult is. I do believe the theology is very different from traditional Christianity but my definition of cult would not include Mormonism. I certainly have a different set of beliefs but I don’t believe that is an issue in a political campaign.”
Romney may not be the first choice of evangelicals, Falwell said, but “so much is at stake in this election they see that Romney is on the right side of the issues. I’ve seen that here.” He said there were a lot of students “who had nothing good about Romney in the spring” who now are among his most vociferous supporters.
Falwell estimated that 80 percent of the school’s 12,000 students are registered to vote — Liberty has its own precinct — and surveys have found that the vast majority support Romney. Many students joined registration efforts across the state, amplifying Liberty’s influence.
A national survey released earlier this month by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found that white evangelical registered voters favor Romney over President Obama by 73 percent to 21 percent.
Charles Dunn, a professor of government at Regent University who has written extensively about religion and politics, said Romney appears to be succeeding in an attempt to bridge a divide between Mormons and evangelicals.
Moberley understands the skepticism of evangelicals, as well as their political power. Last April, after it was clear Romney was going to be the GOP nominee, he posted an essay on Facebook titled, “Time to Rally.”
As an evangelical, he wrote, “the sound of rallying behind Mitt Romney doesn’t get me excited. It’s true . . . RomneyCare, abortion flip flopping and Mormonism were all problems for me.” But, he continued, “like it or lunk it, our conservative for the foreseeable future is Mitt Romney.”
Conventional wisdom is all wet with 28 days to go for the election. Mitt Romney may have turned the corner in what’s fast becoming a remarkable horse race to the finish with President Barack Obama, after a day of dodging buckets of rain at events across Virginia .
Just before a rally Monday under a torrential downpour in Newport News , the Romney campaign received word that a new national poll indicated he had pulled ahead of the president.
Romney told a drenched and understandably by small crowd of supporters, “People wonder why it is I’m confident because I see you here on a day like this. This is unbelievable.” The GOP nominee smiles soaking wet.
Top advisers were handed the super-sized poll numbers from the Pew Research Center , just about an hour after Romney personally delivered McDonald’s Quarter Pounders to members of the media riding in the back of his campaign charter Monday.
Romney taking a 4 percentage edge over Obama of the survey of likely voters conducted between October 4 and October 7 which is clear sign of the bounce he received from his strong debate performance last week.
The Republican contender believes the first debate has given him a fresh chance to break through with voters, after weeks of setbacks for the campaign ranging from Romney’s controversial reaction to the diplomatic attacks in Libya to the hidden camera video of his regrettable remarks at a May fundraiser.
A senior Romney adviser said, campaign officials are “encourage by the enthusiasm we are seeing from supporters who are energized, as well as undecided, voters who are now giving the governor a new look.”
The adviser added, Romney is “continuing to work hard to bring home persuadable voters.”
This effort firsthand as Romney’s motorcade made a U-turn for an impromptu visit with schoolchildren standing along side the route to the airport in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley on Monday as witnessed by the reporters traveling with the candidate.
A Massachusetts health care law being cited by the Republican Mitt Romney which he backed showing his empathy then later reiterated his pledge to repeal national legislation modeled after the state’s measure as he and President Barack Obama crisscrossed Ohio yesterday.
The presidential campaign dominates in confronting China on trade and lack plans to create jobs as each returned to focusing on the economy after several days during turmoil in the middle east, where the two candidates accuse each other of being too weak.
In Virginia , Obama and Romney will shadow each other in this critical battle ground state.
Romney Broached the issue of the health care figured in yesterday’s back and forth during an interview with NBC News.
A question sparked by the recent release of a video recorded at a private fundraiser in May where he had been asked about ways he could better show that he understand challenges facing most Americans at which Romney said 47 percent of voters view themselves as victims dependent on government help.
Help passed health care law in Massachusetts as state governor was Romney response to the question. The measure which served as a blueprint for the national health care which Obama failed where the Republican including Romney consistently criticize and should be repealed.
“Don’t forget, I got everybody in my state insured,” said by Romney in an interview conducted before a rally in Toledo . “One hundred percent of the kids in our state had health insurance.. I don’t think there’s anything that shows more empathy and care about the people of this country than that kind of record.”
Romney vow to repeal the health care law if he wins in the White House and repeated this at the rally and made this as “exhibit No. 1of the president’s political philosophy and that is that government knows better than people how to run their lives.”
The debate stage next week at Pennsylvania may possibly help slow President Barack Obama’s momentum ahead of this high-stakes meeting making his path to victory narrowing.
The campaign of Romney at Philadelphia area on Friday was at first courting donors at a high dollar fundraiser then at midday rally, he will be meeting with the voters.
A state that has not supported a Republican presidential candidate in nearly a quarter-century, Romney will pass much of the day as he promised to spend more time in the swing states that matter most. An aides privately concede that Obama has significant advantage just 40 days before Election Day, thus his campaign is not running any television ads in Pennsylvania .
Romney’s visit suggested by them for two months is designed to raise the money needed to narrow Obama’s edge in more competitive states. At Washington event on Saturday, Romney raised $5million and expecting more than $1million in Philadelphia and an additional $7million at a Boston fundraiser later Friday.
“We’re going to have to make the right choice on Nov. 6, and your going to make that happen,” Romney told cheering donors in Washington .
Obama has three fundraising events schedule and will also focus on raising cash Friday as he keeps his camp[iagn close to Washington .
At a finance event at the Capital Hilton in Washington , he is set to deliver remarks where tickets atart at $250 but go on as high as $10,000 per couple. Obama before returning to the Capital Hilton for a third event will attend a smaller fundraiser at a private residence.
Both Obama and Romney is campaigning a few hundred miles of Virginia on Thursday.
Romney focused on threats beyond American shores, accusing Obama of backing dangerous cuts in defense spending while Obama pledge to create many more jobs and make the middle class secure again.
Winning in Ohio is very necessary for a Republican to win the election. That would appear to be true with Romney because his path to the White House is exceedingly narrow without Ohio ’s Electoral College votes. President Obama up by 8 percentage points in a new Washington Post poll in the Buckeye State , and while “that’s on the high end of recent margins,” says Alexander Burns at Politico, “the trend is unambiguously in the president’s favor.” It won’t be easy for Romney however even with early voting moving up the vote-casting starting gun, he can still win in Ohio . Things can turn around by the following 5 ways to solve his big “ Ohio problem:”
The candidate and running mate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) are on a three day bus tour of Ohio , as it turns this is one week campaign for Romney. The two who are the favorite of the conservatives have appeared together and the first time in three weeks time. The last and best chance for Romney to win.
The Ohio voters aren’t just for him and this is the biggest obstacle for Romney. What Romney is going to do is to turn around his image over the next month.
Romney faces a notable “ Ohio enthusiasm gap” with Obama, says Chris Cilliza at the Washington Post. You see some differences emerge, 56 percent of Obama voters are very enthusiastic, versus 46 percent for Romney. That’s not an insignificant difference when it comes to the likeliest of likely voters.. To win, Romney has to make an electorate look more like 2010 than 2008.
The campaign’s internal poll numbers are much tighter than the public polls, putting Romney within the margin of error as what Romney strategists say. Politico’s Burns says, “Team Romney hope is that they can tighten the rest just a couple of points heading into the first debate.”
Romney has to give up Ohio and focus on other sates like Florida , Virginia and other states that he can absolutely win.
On Sunday, Mitt Romney will be in Colorado to begin a critical, five day run that will likely decide the outcome of the presidential race through states.
Romney hope to bolster voter support in a state where polls show him losing ground to President Obama, thus he will attend an evening rally at a Denver-area high school.
In a three day bus tour in Ohio , the GOP presidential candidate continues his swing state run, followed by a stop in Virginia .
After the Republicans won them four years earlier, Obama won all three of those states in 2008.
Romney has not been specific enough that this campaign has veered off amid criticism; as such he is expected to provide more details about his economic plans for America .
With the presidential debate one week away and Election Day about six week away, the Sunday event ends up a busy weekend of campaigning for both parties.
In Florida on Saturday Paul Ryan, the GOP vice presidential candidate made two stops, telling Cuban-Americans voters at a stop in Miami that he and Romney will restore the American Dream that brought them to this country.
Ryan said, “People pick up and they go for a better life in this country,” he said further in the city’s Little Havana neighborhood, “Mitt Romney and I are trying to restore that.”
In past few days, Romney has endured rocky including reports of internal struggle and a secretly recorded video has surfacing the he says half of the Americans don’t pay taxes and dependent upon the government.
The Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus says the surfacing of the video was “not the best moment of the campaign,” but still the party had a good week, in a “cry stalling” moment.
He said on ABC’s “This Week”, “We were able to frame up the debate last week in the sense of what future do we want and do you want out there for your kids and grandkids?”