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. MaryM

    Gabbo, not a chance in hell

    October 9, 2012 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  2. ForGoodOfAll

    Romney is not only dodging the rain, but he is also constantly dodging the issues via lying and flip-flopping. Also, what poll is he talking about, b/c the current CNN poll shows Obama with a slight lead.

    October 9, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  3. MaryM

    Ryan/Romney 2012– Because one Republican Economic Crash and two Republican wars per decade is no where near enough!

    October 9, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  4. Craig in Pa.

    Don't bet on it Mitt...Obama in a landslide........believe it!

    October 9, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  5. Don

    I feel bad for the school children that were standing on the street to see Romoney....if he gets elected the children will be on the street permanently. He stated publicly that we dont need any more teachers.

    October 9, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  6. Mancrush

    But, hey, Barack Obama can sure play some basketball hoops, can't he?

    October 9, 2012 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  7. ed

    Excuse me Main Stream Media? I have a question for all of you. What are you going to say when Romney wins the election by a landslide? All your phoney polls you put out with obama ahead or only a one point difference. Have you thought what you'll do to save face when Romney routes obama and it's NOT a close horse race as you keep saying.

    October 9, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  8. TheTraveler

    Check the facts folks, Obama still has a significant lead over Romney and there are 2 more Presidential and 1 Vice-Presidential debate to go. I'd expect the gap to widen further in Obama's favor.

    October 9, 2012 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  9. beevee

    Romney changing stands on almost every issue from economy to foreign policy from day-to-day makes me think of him as a monkey with ropes being danced by his handlers. Ted kennedy said of him aptly about this behavior. De we really want this guy as president?

    October 9, 2012 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  10. realtalker1

    Folks seriously need to chill out. This excitement about a little momentum coming off the first debate is rediculous. There is still a 75% chance that Obama will remain in the white house and there are still 3 more debates to go. Would you rather get momentum at the beggining of october when there is time for it to die down, or at the end when it carries over to election day? Do you all really think Obama is that bad of a debator. He isn't interesting in getting a boost right now. He is already leading in key states and don't start yapping about Florida. Obama is barely even campaigning there and that state isn't even in any of his electoral scenarios to victory. He doesn't need or care about Florida.

    October 9, 2012 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  11. lynn

    only his horse dances , around the truth .

    October 9, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  12. winky

    Obama/Biden 2012!

    October 9, 2012 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  13. 2tor

    If he puts the UN back in their place, and tosses the 5 new UN taxes that OBama's about to sign on to, he'd get my vote.

    October 9, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  14. HorseWithNoName

    A vote for Romney is a vote for WW3.

    October 9, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  15. mike

    Romney is still getting crushed in electoral college projections. It's hilarious how the corporate media (liberal my rear) is trying to make this seem closer than it is, just to boost their ratings/readership.

    October 9, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  16. winky

    Mitt Romney is a shape shifting vampire who will suck the life out of this country.

    October 9, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  17. K Mitchell

    I think people that do these polls who r they talking 2, i dont believe these polls at all. They show what they want. I dont think all American people falling 4 mitt lies. I dont care how good he did n the debate. Thats crazy.

    October 9, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  18. penny wright

    "This is a man without a core, a man without substance, a man that will say anything to become president of the United States."

    Republican Rudy Giuliani on Romney

    October 9, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  19. Ancient Texan

    The lies are still pouring out in abundance...but they are NOT coming from Romney and Ryan. The media and the administration is finally seeing the handwriting on the wall...panic time.

    October 9, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  20. Ron

    "continuing to work hard to bring home persuadable voters," Like giving them a Big Mac? As if. I expect Romney's servants, and vassels, normally bring his food, but I very much doubt it's a hamburger.

    October 9, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  21. jb1963

    National polls mean nothing. It is state by state polling. Twitt has to win seven swing states and he has maybe three.

    Once again the right looking in the wrong direction.

    October 9, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  22. mtnclimb

    Let me get this straight.   We just got one single consecutive month jobs report that is slightly less disastrous than the past 45 months of 8.1+% while obama is in office; We get 360,000+ NEW jobless benefits claims each week for the last 185 weeks; durable goods orders plunge by 13% and disposable income is down across the country by .3%  and libtards claim a glorious victory from a single month jobs report that is slightly less than the last 45 months?   Are you serious?  A single consecutive month? That's it?  one  month?  Really?  a month?  You can;t be serious....one month and libtards claim a victory?  

    Well, these problems are the least of obama's worries.  Plugs Biden is about to top his most embarrassing moment in front of 60M+ voters!

    October 9, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  23. charles

    go Romney! Obama faced the music about his failked policies.

    October 9, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  24. mtnclimb

    Pew Poll:
    Romney/Ryan 49%
    obama/Plugs 44%

    October 9, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  25. Sriraa

    I think people should vote alternatively. Once democrat and once republican. It keeps them on their toes.

    October 9, 2012 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
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