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 Mad Guesser

    Obama's handlers and jockey like Kerry and Axlerod are to blame for doping their horse when if only Obama's debate handlers put a jockey on his shoulders to whip him with a riding crop like "Mad Max Beyond Thunder Dome", then their debate-animal would pay attention and run well even in the mud but instead Obama was blinded when the other horse slung the mud in his eyes. Also, Romney spent the night feeding with that bag of oats around his neck, while Obama worried about his mare, and that scratchy horse blanket and liniment didn't help. If only they'd sent in that "Debate-Horse Whisperer" to groom his mane, then the Gallup Poll would have him a furlong ahead.

    October 9, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  2. Mass. Resident

    Nation..! How did you feel at the end of the last republican president's reign of power in the white house?? How did it feel to hear Dubya say he "wasn't concerned" about Bin Laden?? How did it feel to see millions of people lose nearly everything while people like Mittens recorded record profits?? How did it feel to be lied to and duped into fighting two unpaid-for wars?? How did it feel to see your America bankrupted by greedy and power-mad neocons who are the lint in the pockets of Wall Street's elite??
    Bring the rupuglican reign of lunacy to an end! Vote Democrat!

    October 9, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  3. Michael

    Yes, yes, after the media spends weeks screaming Obama is winning, they suddenly decide to start screaming Romney is winning, after a dumb debate. Uh huh.

    October 9, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  4. George Cook

    The REAL STOREY, unbiased, is now starting to come out and Guess he is either ahead or gaining fast...yep MITT...Mitt is rolling down the stretch and will be a clear winner at the finish line. Suck it up DEMS

    October 9, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  5. Explain

    So explain how all that money stashed in those Cayman accounts creates jobs here in the USA.....And couldn't those same banks be lending that money to people working against US interests......Just wondering.

    October 9, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  6. Michael

    @gabbo.. is that code for a white presidential candidate? Just curious.

    October 9, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  7. inadvovet

    It's still hard to tell what Romney believes. He told a lot of lies in that debate and contradicted firm positions he'd held for many months. He's running as a liberal now like he governed in Massachusetts, so maybe that's the ticket. Frankly, there's not much difference between his proposed policies and Obama's policies except Obama seems better at making sure his programs are paid for.

    October 9, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  8. Charlie

    Romney will just transfer money from social programs and funnel it into the military. It won't be a budget cut, just transferring money from one bucket into another.

    October 9, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  9. SCOTO

    The guy acts aggressive in one debate presenting all kind of nonsense and now he is suddenly Presidential material?
    Never mind "not my job to worry about 47 percent of Americans" remark. never mind his foreign trip shambles or that he changes his mid from morning to evening. What a country.

    October 9, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  10. Jim in PA

    Hmmmm. It seems that the "horribly inaccurate and biased" polls have mysteriously become solid and truthful by virtue of Mitt Romney doing better. Funny how the Republican brain works.

    October 9, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  11. SuperD

    I honestly think Obama has been behind since day 1. You don't overcome hyper Liberalism when you've destroyed the economy in the process.

    God Speed Romney to the Whitehouse!

    October 9, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  12. bostondan

    I think the choice is simple: If you believe in Big Government, and the concurrent loss of personal freedoms, and if you are a True Believer in centrally controlled (i.e., government controlled) economies (despite all evidence of abject failure of centrally planned and controlled economies), then vote for Obama.
    If you don't, and you think the founding fathers had a pretty good approach of maximizing personal freedoms and responsibilities by limited government, vote for Romney (he isn't perfect about this, but better than Obama).
    By the way, Volcano 0201, thanks for the best example of gibberish I have heard in a very long time! Must be tough to be illiterate.

    October 9, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  13. disgusted

    If I wanted to watch grown men cat fight I would tune in to Rupauls drag race on monday nights.

    October 9, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  14. Kent

    Mitt is riding a temporary post debate high. It says a lot when only some of the polls show that he's ahead or even with Obama. When one poll said Obama was leading they all said that Obama was leading. Until they (polls) all say that Mittens is leading, as far as I'm concerned Obama is still leading. This is good for the media. Romney will not be elected president of these United States.

    October 9, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  15. angryed

    People have realized that lies, blame, and excuses are not what the country needs...4 yrs of Obama was more than enough...we need a real leader

    October 9, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  16. BobG(Milwaukee)

    Romney in a landslide! Obama Must Go (OMG) Obama has given us no hope and a change to the worse. Teleprompter Bama is not what this country needs.

    October 9, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  17. SuperD

    @ Lefty Avenger

    We are ants and worms beneath his wealthy corporate outsourcing feet. If Romney wins the hunger games begin.

    Bravo! I personally wish that we could starve all the Liberal pigs from this country, that would be an excellent start!

    October 9, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  18. Paul

    Clearly we need to invest in education if any Republicans can believe the constant lies that Romney is telling. Talk about desperate.

    October 9, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  19. wolfpackbob

    It is The Economy, Mr. President. Your Economy, Mr. President. You built that.

    October 9, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  20. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    If Romney gets into office, then Democrats don't have a thing to worry about. All we have to do is sit back and watch the country be destroyed and we won't take the blame for it. The American people have such short memories and they're so easily brainwashed, manipulated and misled by fear mongering, lies and propaganda that they would fall for anything. GWB and the GOP have ruined this country for 8 years but its amazing how so many Americans have forgotten what the right wingers have done to this country while they turn around and blame the Obama administration for the garbage it inherited. But go ahead and vote for Romney. At least I won't have to worry about this country being destroyed anymore.

    October 9, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  21. Sheesh

    Just wait & see after this election how much the price of gas will fall! Then we will know something is up! They are POCKETING THE PROFITS FOR THEIR campaigns!!

    October 9, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  22. tiggerswoodsy

    LOL
    go and watch his historic interviews or campaign speeches and you will see his mission has always been to proselytize, recently he has learned to tone it down BUT it always rears its head veiled in his speeches.
    We in the free world do not deserve him and his future policies, is his religion even even considered christian?
    dangerous time ahead if he is voted in

    October 9, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  23. Jill

    Frankly, I cannot vote for Romney no matter what. When I think back over the past year, all he has said, done, not said and then changed his mind or lied. I don't care if he is on a sugar high right now and how well he did in a debate he will never get my vote. He lied to veterans and told them he longed to be in Vietnam though he didn't serve there. He failed to tell them that while he was "longing" he applied for and got 3 deferments from service where he spent 3 years in France. Why do I care? I lost my best friend in Vietnam. He said he loves the Ryan budget – fully completely along with its privatization of social security and vouchers for seniors to try and go out each year and buy health care. He said he wants to continue the Bush tax cuts for the extremely wealthy and even give them more tax cuts. He stood silent when the far right media attacked women who were speaking up for their own health care decisions; he stood silent when the Republican party has overtly attempted to suppress the vote; he spoke his true heart in prepared speech to wealthy contributors at a $50,000 plate fundraiser in May when he spoke of his disgust for the 47% (really more than that) who are not like them. He refuses to share his tax returns as he only pays taxes on the money he has parked in the U.S. I could go on and on. He lies every day and smiles – he is a wolf in sheep's clothing.

    October 9, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  24. freelance

    That debate will go down in history as the debate that changed the course of an election – ever!!

    October 9, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  25. Opinionator

    Interesting fact, Paul Ryan, on top of working hard to cut benefits to disabled soldiers (saying they deserve nothing) has also requested less funds for the center of disease controll, which is him saying he could care less if his child contacts meningitus. He says his love for party is more than his family

    October 9, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
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