According to Reuters, Mitt Romney’s campaign plans to kick off a weeklong campaign blitz this Monday with stops in Ohio and Colorado, two states which Barack Obama took in 2008, and which are considered essential to winning the election. As Romney’s campaign appears to be jamming its gears, the President’s campaign is once again harnessing social media to get young, upwardly mobile voters active, with Twitter posts encouraging everything from voter registration to sending out campaign eCards bashing Romney.
“Tell Grandma you have her back,” a weekend Twitter post by Obama’s Florida campaign office reads, “send an eCard to spread the word about Mitt Romney’s plan to raise taxes on seniors.”
The bounce which Romney enjoyed following the Republican National Convention completely vaporized, with President Obama enjoying a significant one of his own. The latest poll numbers show that President Obama leads Mitt Romney by at least two percent, with Fox News and Bloomberg polls each showing the President leading by five. While this could be considered a statistical tie, what spells trouble for Romney is the latest tracking data suggests that the attitude of voters towards the direction the country is heading in may be softening, with most polls indicating, at the very least, a statistical tie. For Romney, whose platform is based almost exclusively on the direction the nation and the economy is heading, this means trouble. Even Romney, speaking to reporters on his campaign plane last week, admitted he has not spent enough time on the stump.
“I think the fundraising season is probably getting a bit quieter. I would rather spend the time in key states,” Romney said.
While Romney’s campaign has been on the attack with mailers and campaign ads about how Obama’s health care plan will gut Medicare funding, President Obama’s campaign has been quick to counterattack, claiming the former governor, while at Bain Capital, helped shipped jobs to China. It would seem for every piece of mud that the GOP slings at Obama, the Democrats have an answer for it. Even more troublesome for Romney is that his campaign appears to be failing to capitalize on a “throw the bums out” mentality manifested in the recent polling data showing a Congressional job approval rating just south of 15%, among the lowest ratings in history.
Romney’s single biggest hurdle appears to be with the voting bloc his campaign is desperate to court: middle class voters. A Gallup Poll survey released Monday shows that middle class voters consider the President better for them. More surprising is that small business owners, who the GOP considers to be their bread-and-butter bloc, are split even in the poll between Obama and Romney. Only in the demographics of males, investors and upper-income middle class voters does Romney enjoy an advantage.
Rumors about infighting within the Romney campaign surfaced earlier this month with Politico’s Mike Allen and Jim Vandehie reported that Stuart Stevens, Romney’s chief strategist, commissioned speechwriter Peter Wehner to write Romney’s acceptance speech, only to junk it later. Wehner, considered one of the party’s best speechwriterse, was quiet happy with his draft, which included a line some considered to be a “game winner.”
“The incumbent president is trying to lower the expectations of our nation to the sorry level of his own achievement,” the line from the junked speech reads. “He only wins if you settle.”
According to Politico, not a single word of the draft ever made it into Romney’s hands. In fact, Wehner was never even granted access to Romney himself.
While many are quick to blame Stevens and the campaign staff, some believe that the issue for the GOP in this election cycle isn’t the campaign staff, but the nominee himself. Romney has been cited as being a bit stiff, aloof, and even detached from the campaign. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who has become a GOP star after locking horns with the unions representing state employees, was quick to call on Romney to show some passion on the campaign trail on a recent edition of “Fox News Sunday.”
“I want to see fire in the belly,” Governor Walker said of Romney. “You’ve got to get off the heels and get out and charge forward.”
The election just over a month away, both candidates appear to be putting their campaigns into high gear. Ann Romney, Paul Ryan and others have been hitting the stump for the Republican nominee with mixed results, a Wednesday night debate between Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama appears to have all the buzz of a college chess match. With many people will be watching Governor Romney to see what sort of gaffe he pulls this time around, there is little room for error on the part of Romney. Between his now oft-quoted “47 percent” comment and the whole Bain Capital albatross, the former governor, and the GOP as a whole, has an uphill battle ahead.