The Campaign Spot

Middle Cheese: Romney Trails, But Not By Much

Many, many readers have asked for updates from my nicknamed sources from previous election cycles. Circumstances prevent communications with one of my regulars, but “Middle Cheese” — nicknamed such because he was ranked in between the “big cheeses” and the “little cheeses” of the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign – is able to reappear. Since that cycle, Middle Cheese has moved around to various positions in high-level GOP politics, and still talks to the “Big Cheeses” of the Romney campaign.

His latest thoughts:

Glad to be back at “The Kerry Spot,” as it was called in back in 2004 when I first started giving my “Middle Cheese” reports.  Time flies!

You asked about the Romney and RNC ground game– is it real?  Yes, it is and it’s a record-breaking one.  Just look at the numbers:  73,000 volunteers have made more than 26 million voter contacts.  2 million more door-knocks and six times more phone calls at this point four years ago. The Victory program has identified more than 2.2 million swing voters.

You ask:  Are any swing states looking particularly good or bad?  My sources in the Romney campaign say that they have expanded the battlefield into Obama 2008 states like Wisconsin, Colorado, and North Carolina.  The latter is clearly moving out of the Obama column, while the first two remain highly competitive (I think Paul Ryan will have significant coattails in Cheesehead land).

The hand-wringers in the GOP Beltway Establishment are fixated on the recent polling data coming out of Ohio and Florida.  To be sure, Obama is ahead in both states, but the fact the race remains close in most national polls makes it impossible for polls showing wide margins in Ohio and Florida to be accurate. 

I don’t want to be accused of sugarcoating the state of the race.  It’s very close, and Mitt is trailing slightly in a few swing states.  But it is a lifetime until Election Day, with three Presidential and one Veep debate to go.  Our ground game is strong. Overall, Romney-Ryan and the GOP has a $40 million cash on hand advantage over the Obama-Biden campaign.  More importantly, I expect to see Romney to make a larger case for how he would take our country in a fundamentally different direction than President Obama, not on on the economy, but on foreign policy as well. 


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