In the face of a really tight presidential campaign this year, Mitt Romney’s surrogates are out on the stump, trying to spin their candidate to victory. National polls are all over the map with only 11 days remaining before the November 6th General Election; but nearly all of them showing the President and his Republican challenger essentially tied nationwide among both likely voters and registered voters.
Romney operatives, like former Speaker of the House and failed Republican presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich, are trying the age-old ploy of invoking a self-fulfilling prophecy in the final days of the campaign, to bolster the flagging momentum Romney enjoyed after the first presidential debate. But that momentum has been blunted most recently by his lackluster performances in the second and third debates, and by the continuing, mounting, controversy over shocking statements by the Republican senatorial candidate in Indiana, which may impact the female vote nationwide.
Going way out on a limb in this ‘spin’ campaign, Gingrich told Greta Van Susteren, Thursday, in a Fox News interview (Video), “I believe the minimum result will be 53-47 Romney, over 300 electoral votes, and the Republicans will pick up the Senate.” Gingrich is predicting that Romney will win in Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Virginia…in fact…in virtually all of the 2012 swing states that went for Obama in 2008.
Incredibly, Gingrich is also suggesting that Romney may even win traditionally solid Blue States such as Pennsylvania and Michigan, saying they are both now “in play.” Added into the ‘spin’ dynamics at play here, is the fact that the Gingrich Fox interview cites Fox News Polls and Rasmussen Polls, which are both Republican leaning.
Is this merely wishful thinking or actually the final push strategy by Team Romney to delude their supporters or cynically convince America at-large that Romney is a winner and, therefore, regain his stalled momentum? Especially suspicious…given the tight but solid Electoral College edge Obama enjoys, with polls showing he still holds a five point lead in critical Ohio and that the early voting models there have shown that vote going heavily to Obama (i.e., that the President has already banked a sizeable lead).
Gingrich went on to say that the pressure is getting to the President: “This is a guy who’s really rattled,” and, he claimed that “the pressure in Chicago must be extraordinary.” This is nothing new in presidential politics, as opposing campaigns notoriously try to put the very best face on their own candidate’s chances, regardless of polls that might engender ‘gloom and doom’ among their base supporters and, therefore, adversely impact election day turnout.
Clearly, that is what is at play here with the Gingrich interview; as Mitt Romney has been running and hiding from the media, failing to address the latest controversy over Indiana Republican senatorial candidate Richard Mourdock’s outrageous comments relative to his claim that pregnancy due to rape is ‘God’s intent.’ Mitt Romney has virtually stopped giving any media interviews for the duration of the campaign and has repeatedly dodged questions thrown at him over why he won’t disavow his support for Mourdock.
Absent an earthshaking ‘October Surprise,’ the only shoe that remains to drop, which may impact the election, is the October Jobs Report, due out the Friday before the election. The September Jobs Report brought the unemployment rate to 7.8%, below 8% for the first time in Obama’s term, while many key indicators have shown signs of economic recovery (e.g. consumer confidence, home sales, housing starts, etc.).
The question is, will the final pre-election day Jobs Report solidify voter sentiment that the economy is improving under the President’s leadership, or will there be a setback, which could doom his reelection chances? Doubtless, if the numbers are bad or tepid, Team Romney will continue to stress his ability to fix the economy…but, if the numbers are good—or better than expected—I fully expect those on the right to continue their unfounded attacks on the numbers as being somehow ‘cooked’ to favor the President.
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