Tag Archives: swing voters

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:

916,643 Swing Voters

This blog focuses on 10 swing states that will decide this year’s election.  But Paul Begala goes to an even more micro-level and estimates 916,643 swing voters spread across six states will decide the election:

Democratic strategist Paul Begala surmises in a Newsweek column that 916,643 in six swing states will be the decisive factor in the 2012 elections. Begala, best known for helping win the White House for Bill Clinton in 1992, takes an educated guess that it’ll come down to 4% of the voters in the swing states of Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, New Mexico and Colorado. “That’s it. The American president will be selected by fewer than half the number of people who paid to get into a Houston Astros home game last year,” Begala writes.

If Romney gets his act together and makes his case to the public, the election won’t be that close.  But even if he doesn’t, all of Obama’s mud slinging hasn’t moved the polls either so Begala may just be right.

Who Cares About the China Policy? Swing State Voters

Although this blog is about Battleground states, we’ve previously taken a look at Battleground counties. Today, the Financial Times (of London) takes a close look at the rhetoric and reality around the differences between the Obama Administration’s policy towards trade with China and the often blistering criticism from the Romney campaign.  The backdrop for such an analysis is the personal impact such a debate has on the swing-state manufacturing sector voter, especially in Lake County, OH — crucial to either campaign’s hopes for winning in November.

Lake County, OH was carried by George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004 but swung to Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election could be pivotal again this year. Dale Fellows – whose Cleveland, Ohio company prints everything from business cards to billboards — thinks Mr Romney’s confrontational attitude on trade will be well received in the region. Fellows is chairman of the Lake County Republican party and believes: “It’s time to push the envelope. [The Obama administration] dropped the ball big time – they’ve done just the opposite of what they talked about in 2008 and now we are more subservient and dependent on China than ever before.”

The Romney campaign has been a harsh critic of China’s currency policy as well as the Obama Administration’s trade stance:

Romney maintained a tough stance on China throughout the Republican primary contest, vowing to brand it a “currency manipulator”. Last week, his campaign made clear that he intended to double down on this message during the general election, releasing an ad that promised Mr Romney would “make China play by the rules” from his first day in office. The Romney campaign has stepped up its criticism of US President Barack Obama for being too lenient with China on its economic policies, saying the US has “little to lose” in being more confrontational with the Asian nation and brushing off concerns that this could lead to a trade war, writes James Politi in Washington. “If you go with an outstretched hand to countries that are cheating, you get the short end of the stick and we have been seeing that for some time with China,” said Oren Cass, a domestic policy adviser to Mitt Romney’s campaign. “Taking a tougher stance will not endear us to the Chinese leadership, but we have little to lose if they are already pursuing the policies that harm us.”

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Battleground States? How About Battleground Counties

Amy Walter at ABC News’ The Note drills down even further into the very topic of this blog — the limited nature of Battlegrounds in this year’s election:

We all know there are just a handful of states that will ultimately decide the election. But  it’s really just a handful of counties in a handful of states that actually matter. The two states I think will determine the outcome of the election are Colorado and Virginia.

Colorado: Jefferson and Arapahoe Counties in suburban Denver are the swing counties in the state. In 2008, those two counties contributed 565,000 votes – or 25 percent of the 2.2M cast.

Virginia: Five key counties determine the winner of the state: Henrico (Richmond suburbs), Loudoun and Prince William (suburban Washington, D.C.), Virginia Beach and Chesapeake City. Total votes cast by these five counties in 2008: 764,000 (20 percent of total votes cast in the state).

I’ve never lived in a Battleground state or even a loosely contested state, but I can imagine by election day residents in each of the above counties will loathe both campaigns due to what can be an inundation of campaign ads littering their televisions over the come five months.