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

    Next debate topic

    Libya cover up and why security at the US consulate was down graded by the Obama administration.
    They got some explaining to do.

    October 9, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  2. hmw011

    Romney/Ryan Landslide by 10 points Vegas odds. This country can't take another 4 years of Obama. He is planning to give a tax from American Workers paychecks to the UN for redistribution, beside what this country already contributes. WAKE UP you Obama LEMMINGS! This will be Obam'sa American Dream if he is re-elected.

    October 9, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  3. GOP hate America

    Im voting for Obama

    October 9, 2012 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  4. RW

    Funny how "Christians" are the only group evil enough to embrace lies, this is why Atheism is the fastest growing religion.

    We need a group willing to embrace evil if the Antichrist is to reign, the Republicans are just that group.

    October 9, 2012 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  5. Owen

    Can the real Mitt Romney stand up please?

    October 9, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  6. Dink Gerbers

    Horse race? More like a dog race. Romney's gonna win decisively on election day. Obama's campaign is collapsing like a house of cards. Watch and learn, Obama is toast. Thank you.

    October 9, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  7. RAL

    It's good to see both sides represented here in comments Finally You can tell this countries People care more this time then last.. We had to fall to our Knees and arrive on the Brink of faling our kids future to realize it takes more than a golden throated orator who has no substance but a big EGO and ME additude to finally listen and deceide for ourselves which person will do his/her best for this country. i remember when we listen to speeches on the radio didn't see thecandidates only in the Newspaper when Journalisum was fair and a Pulitzer ment a outstanding Journalist did somethign great. Like go out and get the news and research what he founf to be the truth back then They called biased journalisum Yellow Journalisum meaning to state the meaning today it was colored in one persons favor or the others or it was downright Wrong.
    Today because of the loss of pride in thier work we have Media spouting favoritisum and damn the TRUTH. Thats how we got here Obama was never vetted he was coddled and we got a A Leader who couldn't lead a horse to water or a country to prosparity let alone work towards jobs low gas prices and debt releif! . Obamacare he likes it called? because Obama anything strokes his big ego. Well PRIDE STILL GOWETH BEFORE THE FALL!! And with Obama America is falling on hard times.

    October 9, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  8. Rick Lawson

    No thanks, Mitt is a rich white guy with a frankly weird religion. He will help other rich white guys and other Mormons. I am neither so he doesn't get my vote.

    October 9, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  9. Joe the Plumber

    Romney looks so freaking fake in this picture.

    October 9, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  10. John Tighe

    The half of my brain that's paranoid keeps thinking that Obama is a puppet of someone on the right.
    That's why he helped the GOP back to life in 2009 by asking them for their help. That's why he let them make him look bad by not getting important work done. That's how he could blow a debate although he's an excellent debater.

    October 9, 2012 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  11. Anne

    The today's Gallup polls showing Obama ahead for 5 points includes several days before the debate, October 1st to Oct 7th. When Gallup calculated it post debate Oct 4th to Oct 7th they were tied. It is funny that Gallup immediately switched for a pre-debate calculation so Obama looks better on the polls.

    October 9, 2012 09:05 am at 9:05 am |

    gallup released 2 polls yesterday

    their 7 day running average which obama is up but counts a numbers of days before the debate in its average
    and shows obama leading

    a poll done after the debate without the 7 day running average shows romney leading

    gallup wont update the 7 day running poll again until this early afternoon

    but itll still include some days before the debate in its average

    and ohio isnt a lock for obama

    October 9, 2012 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  13. Reasonable man

    There was not one thing that Mitt the twit said in the debate which was believable, there is not detail to his plan there is no logic to his plan. He is playing with the emotions of the public … in one of the statements he said that he will add 12 million new jobs over the next four years and people are buying it, I can guarantee that he does not have any magic wand? If Mittens get elected, it will be a disaster, since he will spend a boatload of time trying to fight in the congress with the democrats. In my opinion the economy is turning around, and we need to give the policies more time for them to take effect.

    October 9, 2012 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  14. Dan

    How is Romney going to lower the deficit and pay for the war ships that he promised yesterday? America already spends more on the military than the rest of the world combined.

    When will he answer Americans as to why he will spend on things that do not help small businesses?

    In last weeks debate, Romney promised he would cut the deficit by lowering taxes 20% lower than President Obama's current levels. Supposedly paying for them by eliminating tax deductions. However, Romney never answered how he would pay for President Bush' tax cuts that the Congressional Budget Office says add $4 trillion to the deficit.

    Now Romney promises more spending on the military to levels not seen even during the height of fighting two wars. Why? What war are we in? Who is the enemy that we must send 15 new war ships and 3 nuclear subs to attack immediately? Clearly it's not China, because China would not lend Romney money so he could attack them. Clearly it's not Iran, after all a couple nuclear missiles could take them out. Who is Romney willing to borrow money to attack?

    October 9, 2012 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  15. rand

    Obama really is transforming America............. taking so much power away from the 3 branches of government designed to keep check on our elected officials.................unbelievable.........

    October 9, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  16. Jeff Smith

    I'm amazed at how people blindly believe the lies spun by today's mainstream media, idiot celebreties and the dem party. Wake up and get the facts people! Obama has done NOTHING to stimulate jobs or drive down the deficit. It's time for a change. This guy deserves to be fired after 4 years of nothing but "ideas", so-called hope and zero action.

    October 9, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  17. Mark E

    After weeks and weeks of struggeling to really put my support behind a candidate, and wavering back and forth between the two candidates, I have decided that I am now leaning towards Romney post debate. He offers a clear alternative and hope for an economic recovery. I was disgusted by the potentially fabricated and exacerbated job figures from Friday. 800k plus new jobs would have had to be added in the month of Sept. Not plausible. 400k workers suddenly decided to seek searching for employment. All of a sudden? Pent up?

    October 9, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  18. dave

    Romney equals go jobs for Chinese workers, pizza delivery jobs for Americans.

    The good news for Romney is a horse race is tax deductible for him. Remember Romney is Pro – Choice and pro universal health care - at least he was until he saw he could get more votes by changing his mind

    October 9, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  19. Anthony

    Can Obama bounce back? Of course he can. Remember the 47% tape? Nobody thought Romney could bounce back from that. Well, after a good debate nobody remembers the 47% tape. If Romney can bounce back from a thoroughly incompetent campaign, Obama can bounce back from a bad debate. Hint to Obama: the 47% tape is still here. Use it. People should remember that Romney has done nothing right before the debate, which undermines the whole argument for his candidacy: his competence. It is up to Obama to remind people of the tape, as well as the rest of Romney's campaign. Winning debates is not everything. Kerry won all of his debates against Bush, and we all know who won at the end.

    October 9, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  20. smartaz

    I am just so relieved that our country is in such great shape that our biggest concern to debate over is government funding of PBS.

    October 9, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  21. ExRepublican

    Romney flip flop and lying all through the debate.
    Obama ask Romney what he think about the republican party has not pass any job bills.
    Obama ask Romney why it took him 17 days to say he was wrong about the 47% comment.
    Obama ask Romney why he attack women health issues.
    Obama ask Romney why he trying to take PBS and Big Bird from children.
    Romney you are not ready to be president.
    Romney why did you send jobs to china.
    Romney why you have money in Cayman island.
    Romney you are a disgrace to our country.

    October 9, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  22. Garry

    Horse race? RIGHT! A used car salesman in a expensive suit spewing one lie after another.. If THIS man is what America wants and his super ultra conservative side kick then we are in more serious trouble than we know! NO WAY!!

    October 9, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  23. mklsgl

    What race? The poll stats don't fit this particular context, which is one reason why it seems like there a chance for Romney but common sense and the KISS Principle dictate otherwise. How can Romney win when he won't garner the female vote, the minority vote, or the Independent vote?

    October 9, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  24. bobdevo

    The Pew numbers are as ephemeral as they can get. The polling was done immediately following the debate. Mitt's bump has already done come and gone . . . but they have to write about something

    October 9, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  25. Sassa

    @sarah....yep they sure do. Starting with the GOP platform that seeks to strip your rights.

    October 9, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
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