CNN’s GUT CHECK for September 20, 2012
Mitt Romney addresses a crowd in North Las Vegas, Nevada.
September 20th, 2012
05:06 PM ET
6 years ago

CNN’s GUT CHECK for September 20, 2012

CNN's GUT CHECK | for September 20, 2012| 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle


And in the battleground state of Nevada, a new CNN/ORC Poll tells us: Obama 49% - Romney 46%, well within the margin of error. Our take below.

OBAMA: NO WE CAN'T, BUT YOU CAN... President Barack Obama at a forum hosted by Univision: "I've learned some lessons... Most important is you can't change Washington from inside, only from the outside. That's how some of our biggest accomplishments like health care got done – mobilizing the American people."

ROMNEY POUNCES ON "SURRENDER" OF MANTLE OF CHANGE... Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney seized on the comments at a campaign event in Sarasota, Florida: "The president today threw in the white flag of surrender again. He said he can't change Washington from inside; he can only change it from outside. Well, we're going to give him that chance in November, we're going to send him outside... He went from the president of change to the president who can't get change."

DOWN BALLOT DRAG? GOP SENATE CANDIDATE BLAMES ROMNEY FOR HIS BAD POLL NUMBERS… Wisconsin Republican senate candidate Tommy Thompson in an interview with WKOW: “The presidential thing is bound to have an impact on every election… You know, whether you're a Democrat or Republican. If you're a standard-bearer for the presidency is not doing well, it's going to reflect on the down ballot."

(Answer below)
What Nixon administration decision on this week in history was aimed at appeasing anti-Vietnam War protests?

MARK (@PrestonCNN) & MICHELLE (@MJaconiCNN)
What caught our eye today in politics

Since mid-April, close to $30 million has been spent on television ads trying to influence the outcome of the presidential race in Nevada.

At stake: six electoral votes.

So much money for just a handful of votes is illustrative of how the candidates and their allies are fighting dollar-for-dollar in every battleground state. The spending is likely only going to increase in the Silver State in the closing weeks of this campaign.

A just released CNN/ORC International Poll of likely voters in Nevada shows President Barack Obama has a slight edge over Mitt Romney, 49% to 46%, but Obama’s advantage falls well within the survey’s 3.5 point margin of error.

The state is up for grabs.

In addition to the TV ad spending, the Republican National Committee is now moving staffers out of New Mexico and sending them to Nevada and Colorado – two states the GOP thinks Romney has a better chance of winning.

No wonder Obama’s campaign has spent more than $1.1 million and the Democratic-friendly labor group SEIU COPE an additional $98,400 on TV ads in the past two weeks, according to Campaign Media Analysis Group, CNN’s consultant on political television advertising.

Romney has spent roughly half of what Obama has on TV ads in this period in Nevada, but his conservative allies are filling the void. Five third-party groups have spent nearly $1.7 million in this two-week period, according to Campaign Media Analysis Group. The biggest spenders: Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies: $755,000, American Crossroads: $538,000, Americans for Prosperity: $320,000, Republican Jewish Coalition: $66,000, and American Principles in Action: $10,000.

Who are the candidates and outside groups trying to reach? A very small number of people, according to the CNN/ORC poll. A whopping 90% of likely voters have made up their minds about whom they will vote for president, according to the survey.

The candidates’ current target: 8% who say they could change their minds.

The Nevada poll is very consistent with what we would expect to see in the other battleground states in terms of support for each candidate. Obama does better with women, 57%; Romney with men, 53%; Obama gets 57% of support from voters who earn less than $50,000, while Romney receives 53% of support from voters who make more than $50,000; and Obama does better with voters younger than 50, while Romney does better with voters older than 50.

Romney does hold a 2 point edge with independents, but that is basically nullified by the 6 point margin of error for that demographic.

This leads us to a very simple conclusion: More and more TV ads will begin to appear on the Nevada airwaves, which will only mean that Campaign Media Analysis Group’s $30 million estimate of TV ads for the state is only going to increase. Sorry John Ralston (@ralstonreports).

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNN Politics: Romney campaign aims to recalibrate campaign around economic message
In response to sagging battleground polls and criticism from some Republican party insiders, the Romney campaign – as part of its recalibration – intends to get more specific with its economic message, trying to reach out to the increasing number of voters who believe Mitt Romney doesn't understand their problems. – Gloria Borger

Leading Drudge: Gallup O 47% M 47%
These are the results when registered voters are asked: "Suppose the presidential election were held today. If Barack Obama were the Democratic Party's candidate and Mitt Romney were the Republican Party's candidate, who would you vote for, Barack Obama, the Democrat or Mitt Romney, the Republican?" – From Gallup

Leading HuffPo: Head For The Hills
Senate Republicans insist that Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” comment won’t hurt them in their campaigns, but that didn’t stop them from running for the hills when the subject came up. – Jennifer Bendery and Michal McAuliff

Leading Politico: Dems surge in key Senate campaigns
Democratic candidates in some of the most critical Senate races in the country are surging, putting the party in the best position of the election cycle to keep its majority in November. – John Bresnahan, Manu Raju and David Catanese

Leading The New York Times: In a Tight Race, Obama Draws on the Levers of His Power
For months, government lawyers and economists worked behind the scenes to develop a trade case against China. Then last month came a eureka moment: They confirmed the existence of a Chinese subsidy program for automobiles and parts that in their view violated international trade rules. They finished a complaint, circulated it among agencies and proposed a time frame for filing. – Peter Baker and Eric Lipton

The political bites of the day

- Allen on 47%: ‘I have my own point of view’ -
VIRGINIA REPUBLICAN SENATE CANDIDATE GEORGE ALLEN IN A TELEVISED DEBATE THURSDAY: “I have my own point of view… My point of view is the people of America still believe in the American dream… everyone has that equal opportunity to compete and pursue their dreams.”
– Kaine says he is open to a minimum tax -
VIRGINIA DEMOCRATIC SENATE CANDIDATE TIM KAINE IN A TELEVISED DEBATE: “Everyone pays taxes… I would be open to a proposal that would have some minimum tax level for everyone. But I do insist - many of the 47% that Gov. Romney was going after pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than he does.”

- Boehner says Romney’s 47% comments ‘off the message’ -
SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE JOHN BOEHNER IN A NEWS CONFERENCE ON CAPITOL HILL: “You're going to have candidates –both campaigns on both sides - say things that get off the message. The message is: Let's stay focused on jobs because that's what the American people want us to stay focused on.”

- Romney ‘takes’ compliment from Obama’ -
MITT ROMNEY IN A MEET THE CANDIDATES EVENT ON TELEMUNDO: “First of all, I would repeal all of Obamacare and replace it with I think the kinds of reforms we really need. And I have experience in healthcare reform. Now and then the president says I’m the grandfather of Obamacare. I don’t think he meant that as a compliment, but I’ll take it.”

- Changing 47% to 100% -
MITT ROMNEY IN A MEET THE CANDIDATES EVENT ON TELEMUNDO: “This is a campaign about the 100 percent. And over the last several years you’ve seen greater and greater divisiveness in this country. We had hoped to come back together, but instead you’ve seen us pull apart. And politics has driven us apart in some respect. So my campaign is about the 100 percent of America. And I’m concerned about them. I’m concerned about the fact that over the past four years life has become harder for Americans. More people have fallen into poverty. More people we just learned have had to go onto food stamps.”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less


During summer 1969, the Nixon administration was concerned that anti-Vietnam War protests would escalate as students returned to college campuses around the country. So on September 19, 1969, Nixon announced that he would be canceling the draft calls for November and December of 1969.

“These actions have been made possible by the reduction in our forces of 60,000 in Vietnam which I announced on Tuesday and by other actions taken by the Department of Defense under the manpower program,” Nixon said in Roosevelt Room of the White House. LINK

With 32,000 young men set to ship out in November and another 18,000 in December, the decision kept more than 50,000 soldiers from being drafted.

Both theses moves – the cancellation of the draft and the force reduction legislation – were part of Nixon’s efforts to turn the war over to the South Vietnamese.

Looking back, though, these changes did little to quell the fervor of anti-war protests.

In November 1969, an estimated 500,000 people participated in an anti-war March on Washington. These protests culminated on the steps of the Capitol, where a group of protesters held a candlelight vigil and sang songs long into the night.

(why aren’t you in it)

Both Bernard Lin (@blin11592) and Steve Liguori (@SteveL3877) were close to the correct answer in today’s Gut Check Trivia question. Their answer: the deferment of 35,000 troops. Correct answer: the deferment of 50,000 troops.

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Tips or comments? Send them to Michelle; send complaints to Preston, because he is already in a bad mood. We also want to give a shout out to Dan Merica, who runs our Twitter account @gutCheckCNN and enriches this product every single day.

Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    CNN still refusing to report on Murray Energy in Ohio telling its employees (coal miners, etc) that it was MANDATORY to appear at a Mittens campaign event and let him use them for his ads, etc., thereby likley violating all sorts of civil rights and federal employment law. Story at never.

    September 20, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "'Battle for conservative soul is one of most interesting things happening, there is no counterpart on left.' "

    HAHAHAHA...she thinks they have souls. How cute.

    September 20, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Sniffit – Murray also refused to pay the miners for showing up. Republicans treat workers like crap.

    September 20, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "Sniffit – Murray also refused to pay the miners for showing up. Republicans treat workers like crap.'

    Oh yeah haha...keep forgetting to add that part. They didn't get that day's pay (nor did they get paid for their faces being used in his campaign) because the mine had to be closed down that day for safety know...seeing as how there was nobody there to man it.

    The owner (Murray, obviously) has given $450K to GOPers/Teatrolls and is one of the biggest backers/pushers of Ohio's "right to work" legislation that the GOP/Teatrolls are trying to use to kill the unions.

    September 20, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "Sniffit – Murray also refused to pay the miners for showing up. Republicans treat workers like crap.'

    Oh yeah haha...keep forgetting to add that part. They didn't get that day's pay (nor did they get paid for their faces being used in his campaign) because the mine had to be closed down that day for safety know...seeing as how there was nobody there to man it.

    The owner (Murray, obviously) has given $450K to GOPers/Teatrolls and is one of the biggest backers/pushers of Ohio's "right to work" legislation that the GOP/Teatrolls are trying to use to kill the unions.

    So, just to be clear: $450K to GOPers/Tetrolls...ZERO day's pay for mine workers. In the GOP/Teatrolls plutocratic corporate dystopia, this is perfectly ok and how it's supposed to work. Nothing says "freedom" like "massa told me to support this candidate."

    September 20, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  6. Thomas

    The Romney them song " Tomorrow , Tomorrow Tomorrow , It's only a day away .

    I'm sorry , and I don't want to sound crual . I'm sure from Romney's up bringing , and the causes and effects in his life made him . He's a good person . But he is not , nor has never been presidential material !

    You have to know your limitations !

    September 20, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  7. marie99

    We need Mitt Romney more than eve. We need a leader. We need someone to help us get out this desert that we have wandering in the past 31/2 years. As it turns out Obama was not the annointed one afterall.

    September 20, 2012 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  8. Gurgyl

    GOP is gone dead– no sane consider this gop idiots.

    September 20, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  9. CBR

    Changing Washington from the inside is something that will never happen. Too many of the people elected to the House or Senate are elected over and over again. They have taken up permanent residence and do not take too kindly to newcomers. Others believe that they always have the correct answer. They will hold out even if it means that legislation goes nowhere. They all receive excellent salaries. free office space, administrative and legislative assistance, two tips home to their own states each month, funds for maintaining an office and purchasing supplies, etc., etc, etc. Would you do anything to rock the boat or to get Congress cooperating with the President.

    Mr. Obama is absolutely correct. Until the American people force the issue many in Washington will not budge. They certainly do not believe that they need to work with anyone else. Just listen to people like Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Harry Reid and others. They believe they will determine when their terms will end. Perhaps we need to let them know we pay their salary and we will send them packing if they will not or can not do the country's business.

    September 20, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  10. GI Joe

    Ryan and Romney are pathological liars.

    I don't trust either one.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    September 20, 2012 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  11. Pete

    I think someone should call OSHA on this Murray company and drop a dime on him.We union brothers can play plenty dirty ourselves too ,remember NY polices blue flu,they had a no strike cause but it didn't say anything about getting sick did it!!They got what they wanted and NY hasn't screwed with them again.We did the same in Boston,Massachusetts years ago also with over 2000 union tradesmen mysteriously got sick after a union brother got fired by a " Rat Superintendent",this dispute was settled in less than half a day!So it can be done to straighten out nonunion management,they only know extremism like taking away their bonuses because of work stoppages,it definitly wakes them up and makes them more aware of the power of unity.These republicans know they'll never beat unions Bush tried but failed and most of Wall Streets investments are run with union pension fund money,we do rule their roost!!

    September 20, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  12. DENNA

    MItt so clearly resents the 47%. Well, we are not too fond of you either. You have the nerve to equate all of us as government mooches. Retirees and vets are not mooches. For that matter, with the mess made by Republican policies during the Bush era, even the unemployed getting government help are not to be considered dependent on welfare. Seriously, if there were enough jobs, our taxes could all be lowered by the sheer number of employed people. The 2010 congress promised jobs, jobs, jobs and have spent to years opposing the president on everything. Talk about government mooches, all you GOP congressmen are collecting salaries for which you have not worked.

    September 20, 2012 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |