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. GOP hate America

    Just because Mitts lies sounded pretty in the debates will not make me vote for him. Unfortunately there are plenty of racist conservatards in this country that think differently.

    October 9, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  2. zaphed

    We have tried those guys before and they screwed the country. I will consider voting for some one else but not for a republican.

    October 9, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  3. GOP hate America

    OK so now the GOP sees the polls are legit? wow there is really no limits to the stupidity that is the conservative.

    October 9, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  4. End the two parties

    Folks no matter who wins the Middle Class will lose. Neither man has any real plans to reduce the size of Government, they will do nothing to stop the out of control spending, our health care costs will continue to rise, we will be arrested for buying soda pop above 16 OZ, Finoa Apple will still be a felon facing life in prison for 4 grams of pot and Gays will still not be allowed to marry those they love.
    We are a long way off the path set by our founding fathers. The conditions we live under today are far worse than that of England when we first rebelled for our freedom.
    These people think they are our rulers not our representatives.

    October 9, 2012 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  5. lauradet

    Romney says, "People wonder why it is I'm so confident we're going to win."

    He is confident because his Republican friends have tampered with the voting system that includes: forcing people to get voter IDs, prohibiting early voting, questioning seniors who've been voting for over 50 years, intimidating people at the polls, ensuring that Republicans can vote early in Ohio and not Democrats, redistricting the electoral votes, plopping down large sums of cash to run distorted commercial about his challenger.......shall I continue?

    We all know exactly why Romney is so confident he is going to win...it's called cheating and Republicans are good at it.

    October 9, 2012 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  6. Cmdr. Krunch

    I'm a bit confused now. Why does Romney beleive the earth is only 12,000 years old?

    Is he for real?

    I can't forget how GWB who's party was part of our family's belief for generations, let Wall Street manipulate commodities to the point where gasoline was being purchased by speculators who forced the prices up. If I remember correctly, it is this according to Forbes magazine that caused an escalation is costs around the nation. Subsequently by the end of 2007, the markets collapsed and the company that I worked for in the midwest for almost 20 years found itself unable to get deferral loans to buy raw materials. I will always remember when almost 1000 of us lost our job that day. About six months later and unable to find work locally, I took out a GI loan to be able to keep the smal bungalow we worked so hard to buy. The local housing market collapsed so we had hardly any equity left in our home. My kids are finishing high school soon and sadly we can't send them to college. They can't even find work since many of my co-workers took those minimum wage jobs to make ends meet. My wife and I work about 70 hours a week combined for $12 hr.

    Romney's tax bill last year was more than I would earn my whole life working.

    While many might disagree, Obama makes more sense to me. After three generations, we're voting democrats.

    Jim in Illinois

    October 9, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  7. commenter2222

    Wonder if he will catch a cold.

    October 9, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  8. jbm66

    I doubt Romney will win, but if he does it will show that the American people have the shortest attention span in the world. Did they forget the utter devistation a republican president brought us after 8 years? Also this draft dodging chicken hawk named Romney will start a new war with Iran. Do we really want to send another 5000 soldiers to their deaths? Think America Think...

    October 9, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  9. zach

    obama has made us look weak on the world stage countries push us around and threaten to attack our troops and obama never says anything back we need a strong president who will stand up for us.i dont want any new wars but at the same time the world sees us as cowards. obama should not take credit for bin ladens death the seals are the ones who deserve the credit not obama. i think its stupid for people to blame the last 4 years on george bush when obama is to blame for the last 4 years not bush. obama is scared of russia remember the open mic incident? our allies can not trust us anymore because of obama. obama care needs to go its time for change. ROMNEY 2012!!

    October 9, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  10. treblemaker

    Meet the new boss-same as the old boss!! Neither candidate will improve things, because both believe in the same "voodoo economics". The only difference is how and where the money is spent. The Supreme Court's decision to allow corporations the same status as persons when it comes to political donations has opened up a Pandora's Box from which this country may not recover from. More later.

    October 9, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  11. Hallmark

    A race you say.... Romney is starting to look more like Secretariat... offspring of "Bold Ruler"! Running against.. Who else SHAM.


    October 9, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  12. Tree

    Sarah Newman

    I'm voting a straight Republican ticket this time because I believe Mitt Romney cares more for me than Obama!

    You sound foolish, please answer way you think that ? Just one reason Sarah, because Romney don't give a damn about you, he don't feel your pain because he has never experience the pain that most are feeling. Go again a vote against your best interest......... Lord help us.

    October 9, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  13. bee

    Wow, some of you just do not get it. Mittens wants to send your children to WAR

    October 9, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  14. notachance

    Romney doesn't have a legitimate chance. He opened his mouth and put his foot in it with the 47% comment. Everyone knows who he really is and what his intentions are now. This election will be one of the most one sided in history. GOP is truly a dying breed and as much as I disagree with most of their rhetoric, I am not sure their demise will be good for the U.S. in the long run.

    October 9, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  15. Newmalthus

    Yep, you have a Debate where voters get to see the candidates without the liberal media filter and spin and look what happens.

    October 9, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  16. Dan

    Obama has set race relations back thirty years...four more years of that?...... NO!
    A president who does not value our most basic freedoms.....NOT AGAIN!
    A president who calls legislation with NO bipartisan votes AT ALL a victory for the people...I don't think so.
    Is the country better off and headed in the right direction..NOT..civil war more likely than ever.
    In the end, in the privacy of the voting booth, people will vote their gut and their pocketbook....some thought Jimmy Carter was winning the day before the election...lost by a landslide.
    obama=Jimmy Carter
    One term president.....YES!

    October 9, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  17. Ludwig

    National polls are completely meaningless in the Presidential election. State by state polls are the ones that matter, and really only a handful of states at that. Ohio and Florida are going to decided the election, so it doesn't matter what the rest of the country thinks. Way to go Electoral College!

    October 9, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  18. mark

    All you Mittens supporters put your money where you mouth is Obama is a 2-1 favorite here in the US and all across the world to get re- elected.

    October 9, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  19. Joi Gibson

    Well I hope he enjoys it. President Obama has a bad night, Willard has a good one, there is a bounce in the polls. That's how it goes. However, it is mind boggling to me that anyone believes anything Willard says – the man changes positions every other hour. How is he to be trusted with this nation's welfare! Polls up, polls down. Personally, I will not give up on President Obama just because he had one bad night. The man is only human. And after listening to Willard yesterday, I firmly believe he will have us in another war in the Middle East. And how are we going to pay for those 15 extra battleships he wants to build every year. And the thought of him possibly nominating someone to the Supreme Court makes me shiver.


    October 9, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  20. first time republican

    I have been Democrat all my life. I voted Republican for the first time in 2010, and this will be my second. Democrats are not the same as they used to be... we need a party that is pro life, pro guns, and not a runaway debt creater. Repubicans are the closest thing we have to that now. Get on the correct side of those issues Dems, and you will have my vote back.

    Romney 2012!

    October 9, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  21. ForGoodOfAll

    Yes, I agree that Romney's face resembles a horse in this photo! LOL

    October 9, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  22. Erik

    How can people respect a man that constantly changes his positions and who has written off half of the country? It takes time to build an economy after a collapse especially in a global slow down. One thing is for sure if Mitt did win he would be getting the country in much better shape than when Obama got it.....thanks to Obama.

    October 9, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  23. Anonymous

    I honestly don't think President Obama is all too interested in doing the actual day to day work of learning the issues and working with Congress to put our best foot forward. I think he would like to be that guy, but it is just not in his skill set. I thought he was very inexperienced 4 years ago and unfortunately for everyone really, Democrat and Republican and Independents, we need to start all over and see if we can get a leader who is willing to get into the boring detials for the next 8 years and make some decisions which will not be easy for everyone to swallow, decisions which Congress refuses to make so Romney is going to have to ostricize Congress in public and force them to make the right decisions for America in the long term. No more fuzzy math, blaming eveyone, this and that. Just get the job done. It is not rocket science but it is going to take a strong person who is willing to kick congress around and unfortunately, President Obama is not the guy.

    October 9, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  24. ghostriter

    Is this the guy still complaining about 8% unemployment? Nice......

    October 9, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  25. ricardo1968

    Republicans are energized because most of them really want a moderate candidate, and Mitt showed that he's willing to be that. The problem they choose to ignore is that he is willing to be anything... Anything!

    October 9, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
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