28 days to go: After weeks of struggles, a horse race for Mitt Romney
October 9th, 2012
07:35 AM ET
2 years ago

28 days to go: After weeks of struggles, a horse race for Mitt Romney

Editor's Note: This is the first in an occasional series, "The Home Stretch," counting down to Election Day with Mitt Romney.

Newport News, Virginia (CNN) – With 28 days to go, conventional wisdom is all wet. After a day of dodging buckets of rain at events across Virginia, Mitt Romney may have turned the corner in what's fast becoming a remarkable horse race to the finish with President Barack Obama.

The Romney campaign received word that a new national poll indicated he had pulled ahead of the president just before a rally Monday under a torrential downpour in Newport News.

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"People wonder why it is I'm so confident we're going to win. I'm confident because I see you here on a day like this. This is unbelievable," Romney told a drenched and understandably small crowd of supporters. Soaking wet, the GOP nominee was all smiles.

Just about an hour after Romney personally delivered McDonald's Quarter Pounders to members of the media riding in the back of his campaign charter Monday, his top advisers were handed the super-sized poll numbers from the Pew Research Center.

READ MORE: Two very different polls in battle for White House

The survey of likely voters conducted between October 4 and October 7 showed Romney taking a 4 percentage edge over Obama – a clear sign of the bounce he received from his strong debate performance last week.

After weeks of setbacks for the campaign, ranging from Romney's controversial reaction to the diplomatic attacks in Libya to the hidden camera video of his regrettable remarks at a May fundraiser, the Republican contender believes the first debate has given him a fresh chance to break through with voters.

Campaign officials are "encouraged by the enthusiasm we are seeing from supporters who are energized, as well as undecided voters who are now giving the governor a new look," a senior Romney adviser said.

Romney is "continuing to work hard to bring home persuadable voters," the adviser added.

Reporters traveling with the candidate witnessed this effort firsthand as Romney's motorcade made a U-turn for an impromptu visit with schoolchildren standing alongside the route to the airport in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley on Monday.

By the time Romney and his campaign staff arrived at the school, the students had already returned to their classrooms. Minutes later, however, a Romney aide was leading the children back outside to shake hands with the GOP nominee and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.

"Are you Mitt Romney?" one student asked. "I am Mitt Romney," he answered.

The surprise visit came after Romney's foreign policy address to a group of supporters and cadets at the Virginia Military Institute. In the home stretch of Romney's long run for the White House, the campaign discovered that pictures can matter almost as much as policies.

– Watch CNN at 6 p.m. ET Tuesday for Wolf Blitzer’s live interview with Mitt Romney.

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Virginia
soundoff (185 Responses)
  1. jcl

    The headline of the article should read: "28 days to go: After weeks of mainstream media fabricated struggles, a horse race for Mitt Romney"

    October 9, 2012 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Heads up Democrats, too close to call, don't let them steal this election because all polls don't show Obama losing. Heads up.

    October 9, 2012 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  3. EJBMadison

    I still don't see Romney winning. Based on the electoral college forecasts, Obama can lose Florida and still win the election. Still 28 days to go, though, and stranger things have happened.

    October 9, 2012 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  4. Ron

    The more I get to know about the guy, the more I like him..... Perhaps he is the hope and change we were hoping for in 08.

    October 9, 2012 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  5. Jt_flyer

    Frankly I liked most of what Romney said in the first debate. It comes down to 2 issues for me:

    1. Will Romney honor our requirement to maintain the separation of church and state?
    2. Will Romney waste more of our tax dollars will unnecessary military defense spemding?

    October 9, 2012 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  6. Ed

    Mittens is 90 EC votes behind, the press want to make this seem close but it's not.

    October 9, 2012 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  7. citizenmn

    This isn't a horse race. All the indicators point to an Obama victory. The media wants every race to be close even when it isn't.

    October 9, 2012 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  8. Volcano0201

    A person from the country of Israel who live in United States Of America should not be consider a president of this country of the United States Of America because they like to start problem with the middle east to send African,Latino and White America to WAR around that region to give safety to their country of Israel where I dont see that right of them doing so when they dont even participate as much in their own WAR that is done by them in that continent

    October 9, 2012 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  9. ku4twz

    Romney = jobs, Obama = no jobs and welfare!!

    October 9, 2012 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  10. Sarah Newman

    I'm voting a straight Republican ticket this time because I believe Mitt Romney cares more for me than Obama!

    October 9, 2012 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  11. andypants

    Mittens feeding the media garbage.

    October 9, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  12. RW

    October 09, 2012

    Gallup Poll

    Obama 50

    Romney 45

    October 9, 2012 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  13. liberal disease

    I can feel it, the country is coming back!

    October 9, 2012 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  14. Ralph

    How is this race even close, after the worst economic collapse since the great depression. After that one we didn't have another Republican president for 20 years (Ike in 1952). So if the American people follow the same logic after thr great recession it will be 2028 before we have another Republican in the white house.

    October 9, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  15. Chick-a-dee

    Pictures only matter as much as policies to those who exist in an intellectual void.

    October 9, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  16. Gabbo

    Finally – a President the entire nation can respect and cheer on !!

    October 9, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  17. Sez She

    Yeah! GO MITT!!!!

    October 9, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  18. Washington Con

    Ah..The same VA schools that couple of weeks ago said Michelle Obama cannot speak to students because it would be a political statement...LOL...

    October 9, 2012 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  19. commonsense

    And last week the polls did not matter to the Republicans.

    October 9, 2012 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  20. Brandon

    Just keep on spitting lies Mittens, the gullible will keep eating them up like they're cotton candy.

    October 9, 2012 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  21. RS

    "Just about an hour after Romney personally delivered McDonald's Quarter Pounders to members of the media riding in the back of his campaign charter Monday, his top advisers were handed the super-sized poll numbers from the Pew Research Center."

    My god the media grinders who follow campaigns around are so sad. A McDonalds quarter pounder? That's what you all need to write a mindless puff piece about the Romney campaign? Ha. Well no, I take that back, that's not fair. To laugh at the media for oohing and ahhing over a quarter pounder and some attention is like kicking a dog.

    October 9, 2012 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  22. Jesse Spina

    Mitt, I think you're 20 times smarter than Obama and I think you would do great things for this courntry however drilling for more oil and more war in the middle east is enough to not earn my vote. IMPROVE YOUR ENVIRONMENTAL POLICIES.

    October 9, 2012 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  23. Don

    If Romney were to win, it would be disasterous for the country, pulling us right back to where Dubya left us, or even worse!

    October 9, 2012 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  24. jimbo

    Horse race? Hah, Rom Rom can take a ride on the old baloney pony for all I care.

    October 9, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  25. Charles

    Sure, as far as popular vote, it's close. But this will be an electoral landslide for Obama. I find it comical that in states where Obama has an 8 point lead, the polls are still calling it a "toss-up".

    October 9, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
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