Pulse of the Romney Campaign

National Review’s Robert Costa has done some of the best reporting this cycle and his latest dispatch from inside the Romney base is no different.  I’ll grab grab a few highlights:

Earlier today, I spoke with several Romney advisers. They continue to shrug off the put-downs from critics who are calling for a shake-up. For example, they see Peggy Noonan’s column, which calls for Romney to bring in a Republican grandee as campaign manager, as mistaken. As one adviser says: “We have so many veteran Republicans already on the team,” citing former White House chief of staff John Sununu, former White House political director Ron Kaufman, and former Bush counselor Ed Gillespie.

The Press

They’re tired of hearing about how things are disastrous, and they’re tired of hearing that Romney is stumbling and losing a winnable election. There is an ominous consensus among many advisers that between now and the election, they’ll never win great coverage, so it’s more important for Romney to spend time preparing for the debates, cutting ads, and holding rallies — not currying favor with pundits.


Romney’s aides know that they are lagging behind in a handful of swing states. More than a few of them are especially concerned about Ohio, where Romney has struggled in the polls all year. But they point to Gallup’s national tracking poll, which shows the race tied, as evidence that things are fine, for the most part. They think the president is on the ropes since he’s not above 50 percent. “Voters are focused on different issues than the media,” a second adviser says.

Debate prep

Paul Ryan’s prep sessions are apparently going well. Unlike Romney, who has hosted mock debates at a Vermont estate, Ryan is mostly practicing on the plane and in hotels. Attorney Ted Olson is playing Biden in the mock debates, and adviser Dan Senor is playing a prominent role in helping Ryan get ready on foreign policy. As the veep debate nears, Romney advisers expect Ryan to head home to practice in Janesville, Wis.


  1. AussieMarcus
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 1:22 am | Permalink | Reply

    I wouldn’t get too hung up on swing state polls. If Romney (or Obama) wins the national vote, the swing states will all line up behind him. They’re a microcosm of America, and will behave the same way as the nation overall.

    Last time, people were picking apart polls saying Obama was going to struggle to win Florida or Ohio…..in the end he won them by LESS than his national margin, but he still won them. Might be the same for, say, Ohio for Romney this year.

  2. No Tribe
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 5:15 am | Permalink | Reply

    Well, Obama has outspent Romney 2:1 in Ohio this year. It’s definitely where the Democrats have a final barrier. A huge miscalculation on their part to choose Charlotte over Cleveland for the DNC– massive miscue as they are going to forfeit NC now, and if they lose Ohio by a close margin, this is a big factor.

    On polls, Jay Cost is right on: http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/morning-jay-historically-speaking-obama-isnt-strong-shape_652813.html

    There is so much poll noise in the states every cycle. They just don’t matter that much and wind up being about half right and half wrong. But the ones that are usually right, Rasmussen and Gallup, are worth following.

    I tend to believe that Plouffe is onto something with his assertion that if Obama is at 48-49 in a state, he’s likely going to win it. However, if its a bunch of RDI =+8 polling that it’s based on, then that could be wrong too.

  3. No Tribe
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 5:26 am | Permalink | Reply

    Obama must sense some trouble in New Hampshire. He’s outspent Romney 10:1 in the state thus far, and just put in a weeks worth of $1.5M, compared with $200K by Romney. Crossroads put in $850K. Quite an escalation. They will see Romney again there soon.

    I live in Virginia, and Obama has just blanketed the ads this past week, and it shows. $3.4M in ads, dwarfing his other weeks by far. That equals what Romney and Crossroads spent.

  4. No Tribe
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 5:53 am | Permalink | Reply

    Obama heading back up to Wisconsin today. Now, if you’d said, 6 months ago, that Obama would be heading up to Wisconsin to campaign in September, would anyone believe that was a sign of a campaign that has everything under control?

    On the whole tax issue. The best comeback the Democrats could muster is the claim that Romney paid too much taxes in 2011, or gave too much to charity, for political reasons. Ah, ok. That’s done. Pretty good job shutting that down by Romney imo. Castellanos shot out his first wad without a good sense. He’s washed up, showed it with McCain.

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  1. […] Romney campaign from calling the Ryan selection before anyone to fantastic insider accounts from Romney campaign headquarters.  Now he sits distills the debate prep with preview of what to expect from Romney on Wednesday: […]

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