Thursday, October 11, 2012

Oops, Maybe It's Time To Panic, Says Barry.....

The FT puts it all in perspective.
A week ago, going into the first presidential debates, Mr Obama held a healthy lead in both the national surveys and in all the battleground states in the 2012 election, bar one. In the hours before the president spoke to the 10,000-plus university crowd, however, Mitt Romney inched ahead in the RealClearPolitics aggregate of national polls for the first time this year. Just as Mr Romney was forced to quell panic in Republican ranks before the debate, now it is Mr Obama’s turn. David Plouffe, a senior presidential adviser, blames such periodic outbreaks of panic on the “bed-wetters” in the Democratic party. In an interview with Time, unnamed Obama campaign officials gave a detailed prognosis of the race which appeared to be directly aimed at quelling such concerns. “We weren’t geniuses last week and we’re not stupid this week. It’s going to be a tight race. We’ve always said that,” one official said. A second Obama adviser said: “We are not seeing a dramatic shift. We are seeing what we always thought, which is a small consolidation with him but we continue to lead in every battleground state.” An Obama official at the rally in Ohio said the campaign had never believed polls this month that had the president in the lead in the state by up to 10 points. “If you had told us six months ago that we would be up by two points in Ohio at this stage of the campaign, we would have been thrilled,” he said.
As Obama's Chicago Mafiosi whistle past the graveyard, Mitt retains momentum and is executing a vast turn toward the center.
As it was in the 2004 election, Ohio is the key swing state, and it is also the one that Mr Romney has struggled most to crack. The challenger is spending days there this week barnstorming the state. In the days after his dominating debate performance, Mr Romney has been attracting large and enthusiastic crowds to his rallies. He has also continued his tack back to the middle ground, something that got him into trouble over abortion, an issue sensitive to the Republican party’s conservative base. After telling the Des Moines Register in Iowa that “there’s no legislation with regards to abortion . . . that would become part of my agenda”, he backtracked on Wednesday. As president, Mr Romney said, he would “immediately remove funding for Planned Parenthood,” the healthcare service provider for women which offers abortion services.
Obama is getting his all-star front man B.J. Clinton to whip up a contempt for Romney, who Clinton deep down inside may think is peaking too soon.
Even as critics circle, the Obama campaign continues to place faith in its nationwide grassroots organisation registering voters and getting them to the polls. It was the issue that dominated the opening of Mr Obama’s speech, after the crowd had been warmed up by, the rap star. “Grab your friends, everybody in your dorm, your fraternity or sorority,, right after this event,” he said, on what was the last day for registering voters in Ohio. “because he’s heading to an early vote location where you can register and vote right now.”
Good luck, Barry, before the independents' train leaves the station.

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