Monthly Archives: August 2012

Romney-Ryan Rally in Cincinnati, Ohio Saturday (Sep 1) 10:00am

America’s Comeback Team kicks things off tomorrow in Cincinnati, Ohio following Romney’s visit to flood victims in New Orleans:

Join Mitt for a Victory Rally in Cincinnati

When: September 1, 2012 – 8:30am
Where: Union Terminal, 1301 Western Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45203

Weather permitting the event will be outside.

All attendees will go through airport-like security and should bring as few personal items as possible. No bags, sharp objects, umbrellas, liquids, or signs will be allowed in the venue. Cameras are permitted.

Doors Open 8:30 AM and the event begins at 10:00 AM
To RSVP and get your ticket, please visit http://mi.tt/S2ScMH

Romney-Ryan Rally in Jacksonville, Florida Saturday (Sep 1) 4:30pm

America’s Comeback Team is expected to reunite in Jacksonville, Florida tomorrow after Romney split off to visit flood damaged New Orleans:

Rally with Mitt, Paul and the Republican Team in Jacksonville!

When: September 1, 2012 – 2:30pm
Where: Jacksonville Landing, 2 Independent Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32202

All attendees will go through airport-like security and should bring as few personal items as possible. No bags, sharp objects, umbrellas, liquids, or signs will be allowed in the venue. Cameras are permitted.

Questions: (813) 644-2493 or TeamFL@mittromney.com; For Important Campaign Updates: Text FL to GOMITT (466488)

Doors open 2:30 PM  and the event begins 4:30 PM
To RSVP and get your ticket, please click here http://mi.tt/TAcWXc

How Did Romney Do?

Opinions can vary typically across ideological lines but I thought Mark Halperin’s summation was apt:

By the standards of the Romney campaign victory imperatives, the candidate’s speech and many other elements of the truncated, three-day affair hit the mark:

  • Reduce the likelihood that voters will detest Mitt Romney by Election Day.
  • Keep the focus on the incumbent’s record on the economy, to the exclusion of everything else.
  • Message to the millions of voters who cast their lot with Obama in 2008 but are open to being for Romney this time.

By those yardsticks, much of this week’s program was very well executed, with some high-profile exceptions. Maybe Eastwood, et al, Isaac, and Obama campaign bracketing will offset Boston’s gains to some extent. But, without a doubt, the Romney campaign got a lot of business done in Tampa.

Pam Finlayson Speech for Mitt Romney RNC

RNC 2012: Church Members Share Moving Tale of Son’s Tragic Death

Mitt Romney’s Convention Speech

Marco Rubio’s Convention Speech

Mitt Romney: Introduction

Twitter Reactions throughout the Mitt Romney Speech (Reverse Order)

Twitter Reactions throughout the Marco Rubio Speech (Reverse Order)

Obama +3 in Michigan — EPIC-MRA

Here is the latest from the respected pollsters EPIC-MRA in Michigan:

A new Michigan poll shows Mitt Romney apparently closing the gap on President Barack Obama in the state. Lansing-based EPIC-MRA did an automated survey of 1,200 likely voters on Tuesday and found Obama leading Romney 49%-46% when respondents were asked who they’d vote for if they had to make a decision right then. Five percent were undecided. The poll – which has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points – was taken before 10 p.m. on Tuesday, meaning respondents had not heard Romney’s wife, Ann, finish her speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa or hear running mate Paul Ryan’s speech on Wednesday.

Romney will speak tonight and could – if past results are any indication – expect a bit of a bounce in his poll results following the convention. In its last poll, done for the Free Press and other media outlets in July, EPIC-MRA showed Obama leading Romney in the state 48%-42%. “It gives us an idea where things are before Romney makes his speech. We were at six points, now it’s three. It’s tightening up,” said EPIC-MRA pollster Bernie Porn. “It could be even after Romney’s speech tonight.” The Free Press did not commission Thursday’s poll but it was provided to the Free Press and WXYZ-TV (Channel 7). The poll showed the key bloc of independent voters swinging toward Romney by a wide margin, 51%-38% with 11% undecided. Romney held a 48%-47% lead among men while women voters preferred Obama by a 51%-44% margin.

“The Poster”

Romney-Ryan Rally in Richmond Virginia Friday (Aug 31) 1pm

Note: This rally has been cancelled.

Note: Ryan still holding the rally. Romney is in Louisiana checking on flood victims.

Following a morning rally in Florida, the Romney-Ryan team heads to one of the central Battlegrounds in Virginia:

Rally with Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and the Republican Team

When: August 31, 2012 – 11:00am
Where: Martinair, Inc. Hangar, Richmond International Airport, 5733 Huntsman Road, Richmond, VA 23250

Doors Open: 11:00 AM and the event Begins: 1:00 PM
Get your ticket and RSVP here: http://mi.tt/PQLwvM
Parking will be available at Economy Parking Lot A at the Airport, located next to Airport Drive on Eubank Road, across from the Doubletree Hotel. Beginning at 10:30 AM, shuttles will transport attendees to the rally.

All attendees will go through airport-like security and should bring as few personal items as possible. No bags, sharp objects, umbrellas, liquids, or signs will be allowed in the venue. Cameras are permitted.

Questions: (757) 279-8253 or TeamVA@mittromney.com; For Important Campaign Updates: Text VA to GOMITT (466488)

What Did Paul Ryan Say About the Janesville GM Plant?

The Obama surrogates in the mainstream media are aflutter about some things in Paul Ryan’s speech last night regarding the now-shuttered General Motors plant in his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin. Here are Ryan’s words:

When he talked about change, many people liked the sound of it, especially in Janesville, where we were about to lose a major factory.

A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: “I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years.”  That’s what he said in 2008.

Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year.  It is locked up and empty to this day.  And that’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight.

This passage says Obama promised that with government support, the plant will stay open. Full stop.

The government gave General Motors $80 billion beginning in late-2008 and the Janesville plant was still shut down. This is a critique is about broken promises and misguided government bailouts.

The mainstream media, in full Obama re-election mode, have their panties in a bunch claiming that Ryan said things that are nowhere in this speech.  So they are fact-checking things he didn’t say to manipulate his words into something they can criticize.

The media want to claim Ryan is blaming Obama for closing the plant. That is neither what Ryan said nor what is even implied.

Ryan opens by saying the factory was already in peril when Obama showed up (“where we were about to lose a major factory”). Obama then articulated his view on government supporting businesses to achieve future success (“if our government is there to support you …this plant will be here for another hundred years”). This is something Ryan has previously criticized countless times as taking taxpayer dollars and picking winners and losers. And just like the hundreds of millions wasted on now-shuttered companies like Solyndra, the government bailed out General Motors with $80 billion yet the Janesville factory was still closed within a year (“that plant didn’t last another year”).

This passage is a stinging rebuke of Obamanomics where making grand promises of government intervention as the path to prosperity gives way to the reality of shuttered factories despite unprecedented levels of tax-payer support used to prop up political constituencies of the later mentioned “central planners.”

That is not what the self-appointed fact-checkers are checking because to do so would be to admit the disconnect between the grandiose promises of the Obama 2008 campaign and the failed reality of his dismal economic record.

The Battle for Florida

Earlier I sung the praises of Michael Steele for getting the Convention in Tampa despite the bed-wetter cries about the weather at the start. Nate Silver breaks down the entire state of Florida with its partisan divide across the state concluding that the choice of Tampa for this year’s convention was a brilliant move for the GOP. As he writes: “In every election since 1960 the presidential candidate who carried Florida has also carried Tampa’s Hillsborough County.” Considering the likelihood that if Romney cannot carry Florida, he likely cannot win the election, perhaps Governor Romney should send a thank you note to the embattled but successful former Chairman if come November we are calling him President Romney:

The Republican Party has good reason to hold its national convention in Tampa, Fla. The Tampa area is the most competitive section of the most competitive region in one of the most competitive states in the nation — the perfect place to seek a glimmer of extra advantage in a closely-fought presidential contest. In many ways, the Tampa area was the weakest link in the regional coalition that Barack Obama built to win Florida in 2008. The Tampa-St. Petersburg media market is home to a quarter of Florida’s registered Republicans, and Mr. Obama carried Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties — home to Tampa and St. Petersburg — by a smaller margin than Florida’s other major population centers. If Mitt Romney wants to win the state, it represents the most attractive target.

And winning Florida is a must for Mr. Romney. Based on the simulations that the FiveThirtyEight forecast model ran on Tuesday, Mr. Romney has only a 0.3 percent chance of winning the election if he loses the state. It is hard to conceive of Mr. Romney winning the election but losing Florida because Florida is an ever-so-slightly Republican-leaning state. If he loses it, he’s probably having trouble elsewhere on the map as well. It’s quite unlikely that Mr. Romney loses Florida but wins a state like Michigan or Pennsylvania, for instance.

Democrat South Florida

Just over a third of Florida’s registered Democrats live in the Miami and West Palm Beach media markets, especially in Miami-Dade County, Broward County and Palm Beach County.

  • Broward County, in particular, is critical to Democratic margins in Florida. Without Broward County Mr. Obama would have lost Florida in 2008; his statewide margin of victory (204,577 votes) was less than his margin in Broward (252,948 votes).
  • Miami-Dade County is reliably Democratic. Its large Cuban-American population leans Republican and keeps the county from tilting all the way to the left. Miami-Dade County is home to 58 percent of Florida’s Hispanic Republicans and 34 percent of Hispanic Democrats.

The I-4 Corridor: from Tampa to Orlando

  • Orlando’s Orange County was just marginally Democratic in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. Then — partly because of an influx of non-Cuban Hispanics — Mr. Obama carried Orange County fairly easily in 2008, and the county itself is probably out of reach for Republicans now. “It’s really tipping the state,” Mr. deHaven-Smith said. A potential dream scenario for Democrats — and a nightmare for Republicans — is if the demographic shifts in this region are enough to shift Florida from being slightly Republican-leaning to strictly neutral, or slightly Democratic-leaning instead.

Continue reading

Paul Ryan’s Convention Speech

Governor Susana Martinez Speech

Secretary Condoleezza Rice’s Speech Brings the House Down

Twitter Reactions throughout the Paul Ryan Speech (Reverse Order)

Twitter Reactions throughout the Condi Speech (Reverse Order)

Dr. Condoleezza Rice Looks Great

But I wish she came out to the Emperor’s Theme wearing this:

Here is Your Unbiased Associated Press

This is a press release from the DNC, not a news story. But we have seen this before.

Why, again, should Republicans not be so distrustful of the media?

Obama +3 in Battleground State Poll — Rasmussen

Rasmussen Reports has been running a daily tracking poll for 11 Battleground States that is made up of my designated Battlegrounds (Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin) plus North Carolina:

For President Percent
Barack Obama 47
Mitt Romney 44
Other 4
Undecided 6

Obama +1 in Ohio — Gravis Marketing

The Buckeye State continues to be a slug-fest with neither candidate gaining great traction.  Hopefully the Convention give Mitt Romney momentum he can carry through election day and tap into the large Undecided vote but for now it is a neck and neck race:

For President Percent
Barack Obama 45.27
Mitt Romney 44.39
Unsure 10.34

Has Paul Ryan Already Won His Battles?

The National Journal is free during the Republican Convention so all kinds of red-meaty stories are out there regarding substantive issues.  Nancy Cook looks at how Paul Ryan has changed the entire conversation of both the Republican party and national dialogue arguing he has already won the victory he has been seeking for years in Washington:

But, Ryan has already won the political victory he craves regardless of whether the Republicans take the White House. His budget blueprints, though controversial when he first introduced them, have morphed into the intellectual backbone of the Republican Party. More significantly, he has made controversial ideas, like reforming Medicare and overhauling the tax code, less radioactive to the point where these are now central issues for discussion on the campaign trail — ones that the Obama campaign now must address, too. That’s a huge political victory in and of itself, and perhaps, the dearest win for Ryan.

Before he introduced his House budget this spring, he told National Journal that pushing forward on politically sensitive ideas such as entitlement reform was his biggest priority. More important than, say, the Republicans winning the presidency? “Yeah,” he said. “I think we have to do everything we can to change the politics of this. The way I look at it, leaders don’t follow the polls. Leaders try to change the polls, and we have an obligation to try to change the polls to get the country ready for this moment.”

Opinions are starting to shift toward Ryan’s worldview of an impending fiscal crisis, even if polls show a lack of consensus on the best way to deal with government spending.  In January 2007, just 53 percent of people polled by the Pew Research Center considered the budget deficit a top priority for lawmakers. By January 2012, that number jumped to 69 percent. “Well, in theory, people want to see something done,” says Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center. “There’s still a lot of resistance to sacrifice.”

The same goes for the polling on the popular health care program for seniors, Medicare. In February 2012, according to polling done by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 70 percent of respondents wanted to keep Medicare as is. By this summer, a Kaiser Family Foundation/Washington Post poll showed that 58 percent of adults preferred Medicare to remain the same: a shift in sentiment that the Kaiser pollster, Mollyann Brodie, attributed to a change in the way the question was asked. Still, the change in sentiment also shows an opening for both campaigns to move the dialogue on the entitlement program for the elderly based on the way they frame and message the issue. “The argument is resonating with the public more, especially those looking for a change,” Brodie says.

Survey of Insiders Say Ann Romney Bested Christ Christie

National Journal is a greatly respected magazine covering politics directed mostly at those in and around Capitol Hill. As such they have great access to opinion shapers and makers on Capitol Hill. National Journal smartly uses that access to get insider reactions and after last night there was bi-partisan agreement that Ann Romney was far and away the most effective advocate for Mitt Romney:

Ann Romney, who has grown as a forceful advocate for her husband throughout the 2012 presidential campaign, was widely seen by Republican and Democratic Party operatives and activists as having delivered the best speech of the GOP convention headliners on Tuesday night.

Those are the findings of a National Journal’s Convention Insiders Poll conducted Tuesday night immediately after Christie wrapped up his keynote address. The poll is an anonymous survey of Democratic and Republican Party and elected officials, grassroots activists, consultants, fundraisers, lobbyists, and allied interest-group leaders.

The Convention Insiders were asked: “Which speech do you think helped Mitt Romney the most–Ann Romney’s or Chris Christie’s?” Among the 100 Republican Convention Insiders who responded, more than three-quarters (80 percent) said that Romney had helped the GOP nominee the most. And among the 54 Democratic Insiders who responded, more than three-fourths (81 percent) thought that Romney’s wife had bested the Garden State GOP governor.

Many Republican Convention Insiders believed that Romney “humanized” her spouse, while others saw Christie’s speech as lacking focus.

“Ann tonight was able to tell the story about Mitt better than he can,” said one GOP Convention Insider. “She did a great job laying out the human side of him and their relationship.” Another echoed, “She put a human face on Mitt.”

Some of the reviews of Christie were rough. “Hard to think anyone will remember Chris Christie’s speech, but a lot of people won’t forget Ann Romney’s,” said one GOP Convention Insider. “It was heartfelt, quotable, and authentic.” Another asserted, “For such a big personality, Chris’s speech seemed small and unfocused–no doubt many will be disappointed.”

Democrats agreed with their GOP counterparts. “Ann Romney speech was the only one about election 72 days from now,” said one Democratic Convention Insider. “Christie was about 2016. She did a great job.” Added another, “She was a home run. His was poorly written and average delivery.”

Ann Romney: Full Speech

There is little doubt that Ann Romney stole the show tonight.  She reminded me of the mom in the neighborhood who was sweet and welcoming but you knew not to mess with her. There were so many moments in her speech that would stand out to different audience members but when she looked dead into the camera at the 19:20 mark and said: “I can’t tell you what will happen over the next four years. But I can only stand here tonight as a wife and a mother and a grandmother, an American, and make you this solemn commitment. This man will not fail” — it blew my hair back. A powerful performance:

Ann Romney, Chris Christie: Mitt Romney’s heart and spine

I blogged about how this reporter best captured what was going on during the Artur Davis speech and reading his recap of the headliners I must say Olivier Know has his finger on the pulse of the convention:

Ann Romney, resplendent in red, vouched for Mitt Romney’s heart. Chris Christie vouched for the Republican presidential candidate’s spine.

The potential future first lady and the blunt-talking New Jersey governor capped the second day of the Republican National Convention with a pair of much-anticipated speeches seemingly designed to counter two of Mitt Romney’s perceived weaknesses. Ann tackled his difficulty connecting to voters, especially women. Christie confronted head-on Romney’s flexibility on issues the party’s base regards as non-negotiable.

“I want to talk to you tonight not about politics and not about party,” said Ann Romney, long her husband’s best asset on the campaign trail. “Tonight I want to talk to you about love.”

“Tonight, we choose respect over love,” Christie said, describing how his late mother “told me there would be times in your life when you have to choose between being loved and being respected.”

Mitt Romney, who leads Obama among male voters but trails among women, is “warm and loving and patient,” a leader defined by “love of one’s fellow man,” she said. “Mitt doesn’t like to talk about how he has helped others because he sees it as a privilege, not a political talking point,” she said.

“This man will not fail. This man will not let us down. This man will lift up America!” said Ann, who first met Mitt Romney at a dance when they were teenagers. “You can trust Mitt. He loves America. He will take us to a better place, just as he took me home safely from that dance.”

Mia Love Rocks the Republican Convention

Key to the Appeal of Artur Davis’ Underrated Speech

Yes, it is somewhat of a cliche for political parties recruit high-profile members of the opposition party to speak at their conventions but what Artur Davis did tonight will have a lot more mileage than your typical “former enemy now ally” speech.  The sentiment was perfectly captured by Olivier Knox, White House correspondent for Yahoo! News:

The appeal of his speech dovetails nicely with the pro-Romney ads that has polled best with swing voters according to focus groups run by Frank Luntz:

With swing-state denizens facing 10 more weeks of campaign ad bombardment, the conservative advocacy organization Americans for Prosperity may be cutting through the clutter most effectively with its relatively low-key attacks on President Obama. That, at least, was the clear verdict offered by 23 Florida voters on Sunday during a focus group convened by Republican pollster and strategist Frank Luntz.

Almost everyone in the group said they voted for Obama in 2008, but they were about evenly split between Obama and Mitt Romney in the 2012 race, with several still undecided. Luntz showed the group more than a dozen negative TV ads funded by both presidential campaigns and outside groups and asked participants to rate on a scale of zero to 100 the impact of each ad, regardless of which candidate they are leaning toward. A majority pointed to a 60-second AFP spot — which has been running in swing states as part of a reported $27 million advertising blitz by the Koch brothers-backed group — as the most effective ad of the current cycle.

The same sentiment was captured in this ad: