Romney Pulls Ahead of Obama in Ohio

   Bookmark and Share   President Obama’s failure to stop the continued momentum of Mitt Romney in the final days of the election has now allowed Romney to pull ahead of the President in the battleground state of Ohio where according to a new Rasmussen poll, Governor Romney now has a two-point advantage.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely Ohio voters shows Romney with 50 percent support to President Obama’s 48 percent. According to the poll, 1 percent likes a third party candidate, while another one percent remains undecided.

Rasmussen also finds that among all Ohio voters, Romney now has a 12-point lead over the President in voter trust – 53 percent to 41 percent – when it comes to the economy. Last week, Romney had just a seven-point advantage among voters in the state when they were asked which candidate they trusted more to deal with the economy.

Romney’s also trusted more by eight points in the areas of job creation and energy policy but leads Obama by just two when it comes to housing
issues.  And when it comes to national security Governor Romney now has a 52 percent to 42 percent advantage on the issue.

All of this is evidence of the fact that Romney continues to ride a wave of momentum which is tipping the election in his favor more and more with the passage of each day.

While White House 2012 knows that Ohio is relatively close, our own analysis of polls, data, and circumstances on the ground in each state and nationally, has projected that Mitt Romney will in fact ultimately see Ohio’s 18 electoral votes go to Romney.  Interestingly, that same analysis produced evidence that upended the existing narrative that Mitt Romney can’t win the presidency without Ohio. WH12’s newest analysis showed just the opposite.

For President Obama, while he has three paths to victory two less than Romney, each of one them requires that to win the election, the President must win Ohio.

For Mitt Romney, of the five routes to victory available to him, only one of them requires that he wins Ohio, and as seen in the graphic below, that path is the one which he needs only if he losses each of the other remaining tossup states.

This latest Rasmussen poll is of course a mere snapshot of opinions at the moment and while there is room for error in the poll and the possibility for  voter sentiments to change within the next 7 days, existing evidence indicates that such a reversal of fortunes for Romney is unlikely.Bookmark and Share

Iowa Debate Saw Candidates Take Off the Gloves, Romney Trip Himself Up and Newt Prove He Can Go the Distance

Bookmark and Share   Before we go in to the details of the debate, let us first hand out a few awards based on each debate participant’s performance:
 

The Awards

 
Candidate with the Worst Debate MomentMitt Romney;
 
Romney’s attempt to prove that Rick Perry was wrong about Mitt’s past position on a federal healthcare mandate, prompted Mitt to make a bet of $10,000 with Perry over the issue.
 
Candidate with the Best Debate MomentNewt Gingrich;
 
When Newt was asked to defend his remarks about Palestinians being an invented people, he launched in to an articulate discussion about there being a need for a leader who will speak the truth.  He added that it was about time we called the Palestinian leaders what they really are…”terrorists” and stated, “Reagan believed in the power of truth. I’m a Reaganite, I’m proud to be a Reaganite, I will tell the truth,” .  Gingrich’s response on this issue demonstrated a sense of resolve and boldness that many voters find refreshing and appealing.
 
Candidate with the Best Defense LineNewt Gingrich;
 
When Mitt Romney tried to characterize Newt as a career politician Newt defended his record by looking at Mitt and telling him that the only reason he is not considered a career politician is because he lost to Teddy Kennedy in 1994.  In this case Newt proved that the best defense is often a good offense.
 
Most Aggressive CandidateMichele Bachmann;
 
Bachman coined the name “Newt Romney” when during one answer she repeatedly refereed to Gingrich and Romney in a line of attack that classified them as political insiders who were weak on conservative issues and flip flopped on everything from a federal healthcare mandate to global warming. 
 
Candidate Who Was the Most Appealing to Iowa’s Important Evangelical Vote: Rick Santorum;
 
Rick Santorum took every possible opportunity there was to give answers that allowed him to wrap up   his responses up with references to values and the importance of a traditional family.  Santorum did this better than either Perry or Bachmann, and while the other candidates on the stage addressed charges thrown at them, Santorum successfully courted evangelicals and appealed to this very important and powerful Iowa Caucus voting bloc.
 
Worst Overall PerformanceMitt Romney;
Romney had hoped to put Newt Gingrich on the defensive, but instead, Newt successfully kept Mitt on the defensive, and for the first time in these debates, Romney looked and sounded a bit rattled at times.  Romney also failed to achieve any of the things he needed to in this debate such as shore up his conservative bona fides.  But what really earned Mitt last place in this debate was his $10,000 bet.  It is a bet that he lost even though he wasn’t taken up on it and it will come back to haunt him in the months ahead.
 
Best Overall PerformanceNewt Gingrich;
 
Gingrich took the heat and proved he can take it.  He remained calm, cool, collected, and quick-witted, turned several attacks on him in to lines that he successfully used against his opponents, and demonstrated that he has some of that discipline that many claim he lacks.  Overall, Newt did all  he could in this debate.  He looked presidential, demonstrated that he can handle attacks, and did nothing that could have hurt him.
 

 The Debate

 In what was one of two critical debates before voting in Iowa commences in 24 days, the Republicans presidential candidates put the focus more on one another and less on the issues.  Instead of the candidates focussing on how they could affect the issues, the candidates used the issues to affect the frontrunners chances of winning. 

Most focussed on of all was Newt Gingrich.  Newt was tarred and feathered by his opponents for interpretations of his past positions on healthcare mandates, his approach to the explosive Israel vs. Palestine debate, marital infidelity, and his careers in and and out of politics. But the former Speaker of the House held his own and corrected mischaracterizations of his record by Romney, Perry, and Bachmann, setting the record straight concerning Ron Paul’s interpretation of the consulting that Gingrich did for Fannie Mae, and when it came to his personal life, admitting that he made mistakes and had to repent for those mistakes.

Gingrich’s personal life, specifically in the case of marital infidelity, came to the forefront after moderators asked the other candidate’s to address subtle innuendos in various campaign ads which tout their stable, longstanding marriages and suggest that their marriages are a sign of their good character, while the affairs of Newt are sign of his lack of character.

Many of the candidates admitted that Newt’s failed marriages were in fact signs of Newt’s serious character flaws and to his credit, Rick Perry showed some courage when he spoke words in front of Newt’s face that others would have only said behind his back.   The Texas Governor said;

“I’ve always been of the opinion that if you cheat on your wife you’ll cheat on your business partner, so I think that issue of fidelity is important,”

Mr. Perry the went on to say;

“It’s a characteristic of which people look at other individuals, whether it’s in their business lives, or in their personal lives, or picking someone to serve in public office for them.”

On this issue, after all his rivals had their say, Newt agreed it was a legitimate issue and simply admitted that he has made mistakes and asked God to forgive him.  He then went on to state that he hopes that now as a 68  year old grandfather,  people will judge him on his entire record.
 
“People have to measure who I am and whether I’m a person they can trust,” he said.
 
As the new king of the Republican hill, Newt took most of the punches, but in doing so, he also proved that not only can he withstand them, he can pack  a good “issue based” punch of his own.
 
When a question about a recent statement Gingrich made about Palestinians being a made up people, Congressman Ron Paul was the first to pounce on Newt and said of the statement; 

“That’s just stirring up trouble,”

He then added;

“This is how we get into so many messes. I think it just fails us on a little bit of diplomacy.”

Romney also tried to take advantage of what he had hoped would be an opportunity to make Gingrich seem irrational,  He told the assembled Republicans that “we’re not going to throw incendiary words into a place which is a boiling pot.” Romney then went on to imply that Newt was a bombthrower.

But attempts to nail Newt to cross on that issue failed, and in the end Newt handled the question about his statement in a wat that won him the debate.  He stated that he was merely doing what Ronald Reagan used to do, which was to have the courage to tell the truth no matter how unpleasant.

“Reagan believed in the power of truth. I’m a Reaganite, I’m proud to be a Reaganite, I will tell the truth,” he said.

While Newt took the heat, withstood it, and won the debate, former frontrunner Mitt Romney was not nearly as nimble in defending himself as Newt Gingrich was and to make matters worse, he had his first major debate stumble of this election. It was a stumble caused by Mitt’s mouth forcing him to trip over his own feet.

When trying to prove to Rick Perry that he never never supported a federal mandate  regarding the issue of healthcare, Romney turned Perry, put out his hand, and bet the Texas Governor $10,000 that he was  wrong.

Way to go Mitt!

After three years of going sans tie to prove that he was in touch with the average voter, he successfully pulled a stunt that proved to those voters that he lived in a world that was not anything like their’s.  Few Americans can fathom making a spur of the moment bet for $10,000 just to prove a point.  For his part, Rick Perry did not shake the hand extended to him by Romney for such a bet.   Instead Perry said he was “not a betting man”.  Romney reacted with a shrug and throwing up of his hands as if to indicate, he won because Perry was not  willing to put his money where his mouth is.  But in truth, it was Romney who lost many points for that stunt.

Romney’s $10,000 bet not only gave voters the impression that he had a much more carefree attitude with finances than they do, he also demonstrated that he is out of touch with their plight during these tough economic times.

While his opponents on the stage did not immediately pick up on Romney’s gaffe and run with it, you can bet (pun intended) that there is now a race going on to see which one can turn the moment in to an ad and use it against Romney.

As for the rest of the candidates on the stage, Perry had a few decent moments and no embarrassing moments, but a few awkward ones.  Ron Paul was Ron Paul and he did little to demonstrate that was either more electable or more competent than any of his rivals.

Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum did however perform quite well and make some powerful points that proved themselves  to be the most consistent conservatives on the stage.  That will go a long way in insuring that they remain viable alternatives to Gingrich and Romney in the remaining three weeks of the campaign  leading up to the Iowa Caucuses and it is safe to say that after last night’s performance by Santorum and Bachmann, not only will undecided voters be considering the two of them, the two of them can and will pick up any support that Romney and Gingrich ose in the coming wakes.  That means that you should not be surprised to see one or both of them finish far better than expected when the Caucus is over.

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Trunkline 2012: Friday’s Campaign Trail News Wrap-Up from White House 2012– 11/11/11

Bookmark and Share Friday’s Trunkline serves up a smorgasbord of campaign trail tales, tips, and tallies with new poll standings, split decisions, how dreams may be dashed, how some may write-in history, how Mitt Romney seeks to use South Carolina, a new conservative dreamboat, movie tastes and a tribute to out Veterans on this Veterans Day, and as always, much more.

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If you haven’t done so yet, we at White House 2012 ask you to use this day as a good excuse for finally donating to the worthy Wounded Warrior Project.

Founded in 2003, WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured service members aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs.

Always remember that the brave and selfless men and women who have defended our nation, its interests, and our freedom, and our way of life, have sacrificed much for us all. Now it is time for all of us to sacrifice just a little to thank, honor and help those Veterans who now need the help of others to rebuild their own lives.

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