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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Romney Camp Memo: Obama’s Tide Has Peaked



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The Romney camp just issued a memo from their pollster, Neil Newhouse, discussing the state of the race:

MEMORANDUM

To:    Interested Parties

From:       Neil Newhouse – Romney Campaign Pollster

Re:   The State Of The Race: Ballot Narrowing Despite Obama Attack Ads

1.    Barack Obama V. 2012 is not keeping up with Barack Obama V. 2008. 

Four years ago today, candidate Barack Obama led John McCain 47.0%–42.5% (+4.5%) in the Real Clear Politics average of polls. Today, the race is even tighter for now President Obama. The most recent Real Clear Politics average puts the race at 46.8% Obama – 44.4% Romney (+2.4%). And, for the incumbent President to be polling well below the 50% mark does not bode well for his re-election prospects.

2.    The ballot is narrowing despite the Obama $28.7 million ad advantage.

According to The Washington Post, since the unofficial start of the general election campaign on April 10 (when Senator Santorum suspended his campaign), President Obama’s campaign has run $51.4 million in paid television advertising, while the Romney campaign has run $22.7 million (after having spent $87 million in winning the GOP primary). Of Obama’s $51.4 million, more than half of it has been in negative advertising.

What has that bought the Democrats? A closer race — Obama has slipped and support for Gov. Romney has increased.

Real Clear Politics Average:
Date    Romney    Obama    Advantage
4/10/12    43.2       48.5          -5.3
7/15/12    44.4        46.8         -2.4

3.    After weeks of negativity from the Obama campaign, the ballot is within the margin of error.

The three most recent national polls (released since Friday afternoon), show the Presidential race to be a dead heat — Rasmussen has the race tied, while both the Gallup tracking and the recent McClatchy/Marist poll show President Obama with a two-point margin.

Most Recent National Ballots:

Date              Poll                       Romney    Obama    Advantage

7/12-14/12   Rasmussen          45%            45%         0

7/8-14/12     Gallup                    45%            47%        -2

7/9-11/12     McClatchy/Marist  46%            48%         -2

Further, if the point of the Obama negative onslaught is to undercut the Governor’s advantage on handling the economy, recent polling would indicate it has fallen short. In the most recently released Washington Post/ABC News Poll (conducted July 5–8), Governor Romney leads President Obama 48%–45% on which candidate would better handle the economy.

Bottom Line

President Obama’s campaign will never have a more substantial advertising advantage than it has had over the past few weeks, yet there is no evidence to suggest that the ballot has moved. If throwing the kitchen sink at Gov. Romney while leveraging a two-to-one ad-spending advantage doesn’t move numbers for the President, that’s got to tell you something about the state of the electorate: Voters are frustrated with President Obama’s failure to keep his promises from the 2008 campaign and don’t truly believe the next four years will be any different from the last three and a half. The Obama campaign’s misleading advertising can’t make up for the failed policies of this Administration.


Tags: Barack Obama , Mitt Romney , Polling


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