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. The awakened

    Media rubbish. Don't let them fool ya. Or even try to school ya. Seriously, don't believe the media. They are feeding you quarter pounders.

    October 9, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  2. SMJ

    It's not the polls, folks. It's the Electoral College you poor misguided fools voting for this lying, tax-evading, not-a-clue on foreign policy, doesn't care about the middle class excuse for a candidate. Obama wins another 4 years!!!

    October 9, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  3. greenthumb78

    romney is in big trouble, the american people already see right thru him , and already know he is a flip flopping sack of fecal matter who would say or do anything to become president of the united states, mitt romney will literally eat feces if it would make him win the presidential election.

    October 9, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  4. packerfans

    Keep Vote for Mitt Romney who can save America !!! Trust him 100 per cent!!

    October 9, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  5. andysbasura

    Someone should UNSKEW this tepid cnn coverage. Let us not forget that this man is a Mormon, believer in all reasonable things. Wonder what he's wearing under that suit of his...

    October 9, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  6. Dan in Chitown

    Ah, finally polls Republicans can believe in. The hypocrisy is hilarious. So last week the Republicans are complaining that you can't trust the polls, this week a poll shows Romney in the lead and NOW all the polls are correct. You can't make this stuff up.

    October 9, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  7. JP

    Romney is only for the super wealthy and he has no plan other than, no tax increases and more military spending. That will not create jobs or bring the housing market back. If you have no middle class to consume, spend and pay taxes, there is no economy, only the extremely rich and poor, the super wealthy who owns everything and the worker class. That is no real solution to today's major problems.

    October 9, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  8. scott

    It is not surprising Romney is surging, more and more people are realizing that Obama has done NOTHING for this country, except saddle us with higher debt, out of control medical expenses, tax increases, record high unemployment. So what does Obama do he lies, call people names, takes out false ads. accuses Romney of everything he can think of. Even thou many groups and even some Democrats are sick of his constant lies. Obama is so patheic he is using Big Bird in an attack add. I loath this patheic loser Obama. The pepole of this country have said enough, go home Obama no one wants you around anymore.

    October 9, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  9. Rob in Brazil

    This sounds like a media fabricated story since Mitt seems to be far behind in the electoral college count. The popular vote is irrelevant in the USA, just ask Al Gore...hahaha.

    October 9, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  10. lucky18

    Maybe the horse will let lose and plant a stinky one on Romney!

    October 9, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  11. Audrey

    So glad to hear this. Obama is a liar, he was only a good speaker back in 2008. He fooled so many people.
    Romney/Ryan 2012!

    October 9, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  12. Rick McDaniel

    Romney may not be the most appealing, but he is the best option, at this time, as Obama has been a total disaster!

    October 9, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  13. JAK

    The middle class need to vote in huge numbers in this election...a vote for Romney is a vote for the 1%.

    No president can get anything done in one term, you get two years then you have to campaingn for two years... Let Obama have the next four of which he can focus on the task at hand, lets see what he can do. Romney will be worse than Bush, I promise you.

    October 9, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota

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

    Well, at least he still knows what his name is. Beyond that ............ ?

    October 9, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  15. Adam

    The problem for Obama is that he is now having to defend a horrible record as president. Mitt Romney is doing a great job of pointing out that record. I voted for Obama in 08. but just can't do it this year. I'm voting for Mitt.

    October 9, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  16. sayer

    If Mitt becomes President, it will be every man for himself, and I don't intend to lose. Lie, bully, cheat, and flip flop your way to the top. Follow the leader...

    October 9, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  17. Check it out

    That poll was not valid – they interviewed far less democrats that they did in previous polls

    October 9, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  18. Mkimbizi

    Let them celebrate. I cant wait for the next debate after Biden tears Mr. Cotton/Rayon apart!

    October 9, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  19. P4Perspective

    Under Obama's watch:

    An addition 6 trillion in national debt.
    An increase of those on food stamps from 20 to 47 million people
    Not one single solitary vote, even from his own party, on his proposed budgets
    our GDP has been trending down year over year
    Got us involved in 4 covert military conflicts – Egypt, Libya, Syria and soon Iran (This is Barry O's idea for an "Arab Spring")

    October 9, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  20. greasemonkey

    For the last few months we have been hearing that a 3-4 point lead by the president is a "statical tie"......that same lead by Robme is billed by the allegedly liberal media as "taking the lead"...........It seems clear that is the media that wants this to be a "horse race"....so they will see improved ratings.....

    October 9, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  21. rla

    People are looking for a reason to not vote Obama and Romney gave them one... Nice to see someone who actually knows and can articulate a position without a teleprompter and a focus group

    October 9, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  22. AMERICA1ST

    That picture reminds me of when Romney passes out pink slips at Bain Capital, and in the back of his mind he's thinking about the 5th mansion he plans to buy from the savings.

    October 9, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  23. E Asa

    So, Pew research has one poll, asking more republicans (according to cnn this morning) and the election is over ? How about,Gallup,and the rest ??? Hmmmm!!!

    October 9, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  24. N8

    National Gallup, Oct 9: Obama 50%, Romney 45%. That didn't last long. But still nice try conjuring up news where it doesn't exist.

    October 9, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  25. AMERICA1ST

    He seems so giddy. Must be a reminder of what it's like to hand up pink slips for the paeons. And he's thinking, now I can upsize my yacht from 115 feet to 135 feet long.

    October 9, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
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