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. Mass. Resident

    Romney is a habitual liar who will say anything to get what He wants. And, because most of the country knows this, there is No way he'll be elected. It's such a shame that the "job creators" decided to waste their ill-gotten wealth/inheritances on trying to further destroy this great nation by trying to buy yet another moronic republican president, instead of "creating" jobs!

    October 9, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  2. sun

    For democrats everyone other then democrats are lying! Sorry guys, fortunately for this country not everyone is a democrat fanatic , time for the proven layer in whitehouse has to go, 4 years of lying is over there was no hope and change and if you continue America will be a disaster . I am voting for Romney , a capable, wise, tough and businessmen who can move this economy forward.

    October 9, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  3. scott

    @RW gets your facts rights you act like Obama spreading false information.

    According to Gallup's latest seven-day tracking poll, President Barack Obama has a slight 49%-46% edge over Romney among registered voters nationwide, which is within the survey's sampling error.

    October 9, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  4. Patrick Lewis

    Behold, the power of lies. Mitt has either been lying on the stump or lied enough to set his pants alight at the debate. Quite simply, we are seeing a person who has no vision for the country aside from "Obama Bad" who will say anything to become president.

    It's sickening.

    October 9, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  5. Casey Collins

    Clinton – surplus
    Bush – sqandered it
    Obama – the flood gate opened and the Republican mess spilled out.

    I do not want to go back! Do you?

    October 9, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  6. abazner

    commonsense

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

    And this week they don't matter to liberals.....

    October 9, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  7. I've

    I've flushed things down the toilet that have move "values" than a republican.

    October 9, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  8. como1

    You libs are bitter sore losers. All you can do is call Romney a liar, deceiver or other names. Obama lost because Obama was inept, slow to respond, poor responses, arrogant, out of touch, aloof, and on and on. The excuses from libs are apalling. Go read the vile garbage Major Brown offered up, Obama not wanting to go after a "lessor man". Can you imagine if a Romney supporter offered such trash!! Lib media would be rabid.

    October 9, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  9. tinkansas

    Caption for the photo above should read "I'm the king of the world!"

    October 9, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  10. newage42

    I certainly hope Romney wins this election. He is the only hope we have right now of changing the direction to a better country. The USA must remain the leader of the Free world. We have maintain a very strong Military for security of not only the US, but of those countries that share our views. Msgt USAF Retired.

    October 9, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  11. Bruce

    Love the Democratic posts in here. Talk about sour grapes. If Republicans say they don't believe the polls we're called liars but if Democrats say they don't believe polls then it's ok. Hypocrites!

    October 9, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  12. Bob

    I can't believe Romney will pull this off. If Obama killed and ate his children he would still carry 99% of the black vote and 95% of the Latino vote. That is really difficult to overcome.

    October 9, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  13. Connie

    I don't understand how anyone could consciously vote for someone who doesn't even give a plan of how to cut the deficit. Ppl just focus on his debate performance, yet did they not listen to his words? Do ppl forget Mitt doesn't want to show his taxes before 2010? Or, how he said in a video the 47% remark about the middle class, yet didn't back down until several weeks later and then claimed he misspoke? He is back and forth and only says what ppl want to hear. I also don't understand how anyone could vote for someone who wants to buff up the military and show the world some muscles knowing full well it could lead into another war. Do we want to lose more family and friends just because another Republican president wants the glory of saying he overcame (fill in the blank) country?

    October 9, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  14. ffc

    i am a democrat. we need jobs.

    October 9, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  15. Dean

    "Weeks of struggles?" Only Obama has struggled, trying to spin the constant bad news that results from his policies. Clint was right...empty chair.

    October 9, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  16. ga.democrat

    Mitt Romney couldn't run the state of Massachusetts and clearly told the country how he feels about 47% of Americans. Returning to the failed policies that caused the recession is simply not an option. The thought of Romney as President is frightening.

    October 9, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  17. familybusiness2012

    Respectfully, can someone please list the 'lies' that Romney is supposedly telling? Has anyone challenged BO on his 'lies' about the Bengazi Embassy attack being spontaneous...that his admin abandoned four people with insufficient security...to be murdered in the streets? Watch the next debate. Watch and learn.

    October 9, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  18. OMG

    How can september payroll tax and jobless number decrease same time? Obama is full of Lies, kind a Lying King or Tzar if you like it.

    October 9, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  19. ttipton

    If he gets into office! I will bet a dollar to a doughnut that he will have us in a war again!

    October 9, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  20. melvin painter

    The big difference between Romney and the kenyan clown is that Romney is doing it for the American People, the kenyan clown is doing it for himself. oclueless wants to continue partying on YOUR dime.

    October 9, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  21. john

    I am an independent voter with zero allegiance to any political party. My family and friends, at least for the most part, are center, center left or center right. In 08 they were pretty evenly split. Today, I don't know a single person voting for Obama. Mitts going to sweep the independents.

    October 9, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  22. lefty avenger

    The Mittster only cares about the Top 1% banking aristocratic corporate oligarchy, If you are not part of that group you are delusional thinking that he cares about you. We are ants and worms beneath his wealthy corporate outsourcing feet. If Romney wins the hunger games begin.

    October 9, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  23. Matt

    Mitt will say whatever he has to. Absolutely no moral compass on this man who is as fake as fake can be. At this point I'm still wondering what he'd do if he were president. Honestly. He's changed his position so many times that it's really hard to pin down what his position on an issue actually is. For this, he should be disqualified.

    October 9, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  24. resawven

    GOP brought a trick Pony to a horse race how cute.

    October 9, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  25. Phil

    Can't wait for the next Debate on Foreign Policy. Obama wants to cut military spending while North Korea announces they have long range missles capable of reaching the U.S. mainland. Just what I love to read first thing in the morning. N. Korean long range missles capable of reaching U.S. GO MITT Make our country strong again! ROMNEY/RYAN 2012

    October 9, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
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