Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. Gov. Mitt Romney’s campaign held a media conference call on the “State of the Race.” The call featured Romney Campaign Senior Advisor Russ Schriefer, Pollster Neil Newhouse and Political Director Rich Beeson.
President Obama leads Gov. Romney 49 to 47 percent, among likely Virginia voters in the Wednesday morning Quinnipiac University poll. The poll had former Gov. Tim Kaine leading former Sen. George Allen in the Virginia U.S. Senate race, 50-46. ” Although George Allen is carrying independents handily, he enjoys about 10-points lower support among Republicans than Kaine does among Democrats,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
In the Quinnipiac poll Virginia women likely voters back Obama 53 – 43 percent, compared to 56 – 40 percent October 11. Men go with Romney 52 – 43 percent, compared to 52 – 45 percent earlier. White voters go to Romney 59 – 37 percent while black voters back Obama 93 – 6 percent.
Roanoke College released their polling numbers Wednesday too. They had just a slight difference <sarcasm> – They have Romney leading by 5 points and Allen leading by 5 points among registered voters – more when considering likely voters.
“Today, we got another WAY OUT poll from Roanoke College,” said WSLS10 Anchor Jay Warren in his blog post. He thinks RC was way out of bounds and points to the inaccuracies in their polls through many elections. CLICK HERE FOR JAY’S BLOG.
Romney Pollster Neil Newhouse pointed to Governor Romney’s lead with independent voters. That is true but there was no mention of President Obama’s lead with women and minorities. Beeson said that though the Romney operations was smaller “we are over performing.” Phone bankers have more enthusiasm and energy. The momentum is theirs he said. “More offices doesn’t mean more contacts.”
Romney has a message and “Big Bird is no message” they all said.
Why would a campaign that claims “momentum, voter enthusiasm and confidence in victory” waste time in “informing” the media? Their confidence comes from Obama not reaching the 50% threshold. “This is a change election,” they said.
In Florida with 2.2 million early votes cast there were only 30,000 more votes for Obama. They said that those numbers show Democrats are way behind in the early voting compared to 2008. There is not much ground for them to have to make up.
When asked why Obama in Ohio was polling consistently at least 3 points ahead of Romney. They said it was because the precincts have changed with redistricting and don’t match up to 2008. Romney is 11 percent higher in early voting than John McCain was in 2008, they said.
Republicans also have a registration advantage in Iowa. “Democrats vote absentee but Republicans vote on election day,” they said. There are 70% yet to vote and they are “moving our way and we have a 100,000 vote lead with absentees.”
They said they are also ahead in Colorado absentee voting. “It is slipping away from Obama.” They said that’s because there is an “intensity advantage” and Obama lags behind Romney in job approval ratings by 8 to 10 points.
“Republicans pay more attention to the elections,” they claimed. The percentages are not comparable to George W. Bush and the 2008 election because of the market collapse during that time period.
The “cold hard math” is that Romney has led by at least 7 points with independent voters for the last 26 weeks – even in Ohio. “Obama has an image problem,” and Mitt’s image numbers are better.
The Pew Research poll has Romney and Obama tied among likely voters at 47%. This was disputed and Newhouse told the reporters on the conference call “You’ve been spun by the best.” The campaign plans to compete in Pennsylvania though they have no ground game there but claimed “We are closer in more states than ever before.”
A reporter with The Weekly Standard questioned if they were making “decisions out of weakness.” They countered saying that they were increasing resources everywhere and hitting Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Nevada. “If we win Clark County (Las Vegas) we’ll win Nevada for Romney.” They said the president was having to go there out of fear.
A question from CBS News asked when Romney would start campaigning rather than holding watered-down “Sandy Donor Events.” The answer was “We’ll start hitting Obama tomorrow” which would mean the Thursday morning campaign stop in Roanoke County. I guess no more Mr. Nice Guy.
In Florida they said they are strong in the “panhandle” and Orlando corridor and that they are doing better with the Jewish population and the Cuban community. Though Democrats hold a 30,000 lead with early voters Newhouse claimed they will win election day voters by 10 points.
USA TODAY journo asked about the Gov. Chris Christie “buddy-buddy” factor and the seemingly good vibes they are generating for the president’s handling of the Sandy Hurricane disaster on New Jersey’s eastern shore. All Newhouse would say is that, “Gov. Christie is doing his job.”
Two places to check for what multiple polls are saying with analysis are: RealClearPolitics and FiveThirtyEight.