100 Day Sprint: A big night for Mitt Romney

Running out the clock? Barack Obama has a tough night against Mitt Romney. (Photo: Wikipedia)

So I’d say Mitt Romney got a head start on winning the final month of the campaign.  He has a ton of ground to make up, but if he pieces together a lot of performances like tonight, it’ll be competitive.

Romney was clearly having fun, making arguments with passion.  Even in the areas where his numbers will get a tough grade from the fact-checkers, he sounded plausible.

Obama, meanwhile, was running out the clock, trying to avoid major screw-ups, hoping not to appear arrogant.   But the key for a politician is to do those things without appearing to do this things, and hefailed.

Bottom line?  Romney came in hungry, prepared, energetic and he dominated.  Wake-up moment for Team Obama?  Turning point for Team Romney?

Romney will need to translate last night’s win into some clear momentum in states where he is now lagging by 5% or more.

Most important is Ohio where the latest NBC-Wall Street Journal poll has the Republican down 8% among likely voters.

Obama, meanwhile, has some days of damage control ahead, and I suspect that this time he won’t be able to rely on surrogates like Bill Clinton and Michelle Obama to lift the energy level of his campaign.

One final thought:  John Kerry used a big debate night in 2004 to lift himself into serious contention with George Bush.  Romney clearly hoped to do the same.

But as we’ve been reporting, the underlying structural dynamics of this race are very different.  In 2004, Kerry could count reliably on winning 250 electoral college votes.  His challenge was to close the deal in one or two additional states.

In 2012, Romney can only count with absolute certainty on between 180 and 191 electoral college votes.  Even North Carolina remains sort of squidgy (though after last night, I’m guessing it will drift further into Romney’s column).

So Romney has to make closing arguments over the next 30 days in at least a half dozen big and very different states where he currently trails.  Very difficult to do, but last night offered his supporters some hope that it might just be doable.

 

 

 

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139 Responses to “100 Day Sprint: A big night for Mitt Romney”

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  1. Kathy says:

    But basically, Kathy, Larry, what you’re saying is that your rights as a free individuals are unchanged after four long years of the heavy hand of Obama. Interesting.

    Basically, Walker, I am saying that my right as a free individual is changed.
    Obamacare is right around the corner, isn’t it? Do I have to wait until the truck runs me over before I say I’ve been hit?

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  2. Walker says:

    “Do I have to wait until the truck runs me over before I say I’ve been hit?”

    Uh, generally yes.

    What effect do you think Obamacare is going to have on you, Kathy? What will change in your life?

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  3. JDM says:

    I’ll take a shot at the Obamacare question.

    It will affect my life to have to wait 3 months to see my doctor for a broken leg.

    It will affect my life to pay $6,000 more than I currently am in premiums.

    It will affect my life to be by some accounting clerk to pay my income tax before calling for a doctor’s appointment.

    It will affect my life to be told that the clinic in my hometown was shut down to save money, and that everyone’s premiums are now going up by $12,000 per year.

    It will affect my life to be examined first by some TSA agent before going into the doctor’s office.

    Just what don’t you get about the Federal Government and efficiency, Walker? We do not want them running health care.

    They can’t run the post office.

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  4. JDM says:

    Taking Obamacare to its logical end, everyone wanting to see their doctor will first have to vote Democrat and pay union dues.

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  5. hermit thrush says:

    jdm, with all due respect, i think the only effect obamacare is having on you is that it’s giving you an outlet for that fantasy novel you’ve had kicking around in your head for a while.

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  6. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Forget the debate, I think Rancid Crabtree is the best blog name I’ve seen in a long time.

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  7. Walker says:

    “It will affect my life to have to wait 3 months to see my doctor for a broken leg.”

    JDM, is this what you honestly believe?! Do you have any idea how Obamacare works?

    You get to keep your existing health insurance. Period.

    It really only affects people who don’t presently have health insurance.

    Absolutely nothing about your description of Obamacare is true.

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  8. hermit thrush says:

    Absolutely nothing about your description of Obamacare is true.

    jdm has just been taking a page from mitt’s debating handbook. although it’s not like this is anything new for jdm, so maybe it’s the other way around?

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  9. PNElba says:

    PNElba, why wait until Romney is elected to show him respect?

    Ok Larry, you’ve got me. I don’t respect Mitt Romney at all. But, if he is elected president, I promise I will give him the respect any American president deserves, even though Mitt admits he doesn’t respect almost half of Americans.

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  10. Larry says:

    Right, under Obamacare we’ll get to keep our existing insurance until the idiotic provisions of the law drive premiums up to unaffordable levels or until private insurance companies are all bankrupted. The we’ll all have to pay whatever the government charges for the coverage it provides under the terms it dictates, which is the whole intent of the law in the first place. And that will be how the government restricts our freedom.

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  11. oa says:

    Walker, First of all, shutupshutupshutupshutup!!!!
    Larry and Kathy have been harmed because they know they’re about to be harmed. Perception is reality. Reality is not reality. How can you not get that?
    And Rancid, glad you’ve joined me, Larry and JDM! Welcome!

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  12. Larry says:

    PNElba,
    Why bother? You can’t even accord a person basic human respect without adding an insult, not to mention that it’s an insult that had its origin entirely in your overheated imagination. He was talking about the culture of entitlement and the allegiance people who believe in it have for Barack.

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  13. Walker says:

    “They can’t run the post office.”

    I often get my Netflix movies the day after I get the email telling me they’ve mailed it.

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  14. Kathy says:

    It really only affects people who don’t presently have health insurance

    (Kathy raises her hand)

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  15. JDM says:

    Sorry, guys. I was talking about planet “earth”.

    You know. Where we pat-down grandma and let the muslims get on free.

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  16. Walker says:

    Ah, a strange place the planet “earth.”

    I’ve never seen anything like it. Sounds like some kind of right wing Lala land.

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  17. JDM says:

    Yeah. Somehow I kinda figured you’re not too familiar with the place.

    We have a president that got his keester handed to him, yesterday. He’s out telling people how phoney Romney is.

    The cameras are zoomed way in, so that we can’t tell there are only 20 people in the background.

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  18. JDM says:

    A lot of people will be fooled by that, by the way.

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  19. Larry says:

    The Post Office is a hot mess and perfect example of how government can ruin a business. A bloated, out of touch bureaucracy, out of control labor and a business model firmly rooted in the 1950s. A long-time Postal employee told me that the primary reason for their downfall is excessive governmental interference in every move they make or attempt to make. Had they been left alone things might have been different. As it is, only massive contributions of taxpayer money keeps them from collapse. The impending implosion of the health care industry is going to make the Post Office look like a success story.

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  20. hermit thrush says:

    … and let the muslims get on free.

    disgraceful beyond words. i don’t know language to condemn it strongly enough.

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  21. myown says:

    I watched the first 15 minutes of the debate and then had to turn it off. Romney was making stuff up and Obama looked like he was on sedatives and never called him on it.

    I like Krugman’s question – Is there any price for lying?
    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/04/a-test-of-the-system/

    Isn’t it amazing that for some people Romney’s supposed sincerity is more important than telling the truth.

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  22. hermit thrush says:

    jonathan chait has what i think is a very good companion piece to krugman’s. the short version: we’ve seen this story before. the longer version (though really just go read the whole thing):

    It’s worth considering a similar — in many ways, identical — episode that took place a dozen years before. During the 2000 election, the growth of a budget surplus offered the country a major choice. Al Gore proposed to use most of the surplus to retire the national debt and the balance for public investment. George W. Bush proposed a large, regressive income tax that Gore warned would exacerbate inequality and jeopardize the soundness of the budget.

    Then, as now, the Republican simply denied over and over that his plan would do what the Democrats said it would. Bush portrayed his plan as devoting just a small fraction of the surplus to tax cuts and described his tax cut itself as benefitting the poor far more than the rich….

    But Bush in fact followed through on what his plan actually did, which happened to be what Gore described it as, and not what Bush described it as. His promises to maintain the budget surplus and direct most of the tax cuts to lower-earners fell by the wayside. What mattered was the party, and the Republican Party was committed to a policy of regressive tax cuts.

    please please please let’s not get snookered again.

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  23. myown says:

    “As it is, only massive contributions of taxpayer money keeps them from collapse.” Sorry Larry you will have to find a different whipping boy for your bad government fantasies. According to Wikipedia, “The USPS has not directly received taxpayer-dollars since the early 1980s with the minor exception of subsidies for costs associated with the disabled and overseas voters.”

    And the reason they are having “financial issues” is because on December 20, 2006, President George W. Bush signed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act which made the US Postal Service the only agency required to pre-fund retiree health-care 75 years into the future. No one else, private company or government is required to do that.

    Oh, and at the same time the US Postal Service is legally obligated to serve all Americans, regardless of geography, at uniform price and quality.

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  24. Larry says:

    Again with the Bush-bashing! All this does is deflect attention from Obama’s miserable record and his equally awful performance last night. Romney beat him like a drum and all you’ve got is warmed-over Bush-Gore stuff from 12 years ago? If Romney is indeed “lying” as outrageously as you say, why didn’t Obama call him right out? Barack has the look and feel of someone who just looked at a called third strike.

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  25. Walker says:

    “Again with the Bush-bashing!”

    Gee, Larry, one can’t ever mention anything Bush ever did? What, is it holy writ that everything Bush did was perfect? Immaculate governance?

    Given the frequency with which you trash Obama, you’re mighty touchy about any negative mention of your boy.

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  26. Larry says:

    Apologies, myown, you are correct. I should have said “only massive contributions of taxpayer money WILL keep them from collapse.” Plus, how could I have forgotten that this, like all else in recent American history, is Bush’s fault? Maybe he slipped Obama the sedatives last night.

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  27. hermit thrush says:

    If Romney is indeed “lying” as outrageously as you say, why didn’t Obama call him right out?

    great question! if memory serves, obama did call him out on at least one occasion, but i think the overall answer to your question is that obama didn’t do a very good job.

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  28. Larry says:

    Bush isn’t my “boy” (there’s a term we should probably stay away from) and in case you’ve forgotten, Romney is the Republican candidate. I obect to the deflection of criticism from Obama by these constant references to Bush. As bad as Bush supposedly was, he was at least not impeached, unlike Obama’s number one character reference. If we’re going to bring up past Presidents how could anyone have watched Bill Clinton endorse Obama without wondering: this is who he wants to recomend him to the American people?

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  29. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    I think I just found out what an Etch-A-Sketch looks like in a political context.

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  30. Larry says:

    “obama didn’t do a very good job.”

    My point exactly.

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  31. Walker says:

    Larry, you brought up the problems of the Post Office. It just so happens that they are directly traceable to Bush. Saying so is fair game.

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  32. Larry says:

    According to the Postal Employee Network website the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 was sponsored by two Republicans and two Democrats. It calls for responsible annual funding of pension and health benefits. It was a bipartisan effort that addressed serious concerns but it’s Bush’s “fault”. Wait a minute, aren’t Republicans usually guilty of encouraging businesses to raid pension funds, guilty of wanting to take benefits away from retirees and guilty of not working with Democrats? This is another example of revisionist history tailored to suit the Liberal agenda.

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  33. Larry says:

    More from the Postal Employee Network website:

    “So, both republicans and democrats sponsored this bill. The bill passed in the House of Representatives by voice vote. – a record of each representative’s position was not kept. The bill passed in the Senate by Unanimous Consent and a record of each senator’s position was not kept of this either.”

    Not a single mention of Bush.

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  34. Larry says:

    Romney soundly thrashed Obama last night and all we got from Obama supporters was a cacophony of half truths, misinformation, insults, character assasination and the ever-popular “It’s all Bush’s fault.” Politics is a lot like baseball: it’s where you finish at the end of the long season that counts. There are still quite a few games left.

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  35. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Re the Post Office. I heard an interesting piece perhaps on Pacifica Radio about the origins of distrust of the Postal System.

    At the beginning newspapers were mailed for free as a means of banding the diverse colonies together by making news of far flung corners available to everyone. At some point Abolitionists hit on the idea of publishing their own newspapers and mailed them to the Southern slave states. Slave owners didn’t much like the practice and many haven’t trusted the Post Office ever since. So there has been a concerted effort by some to end the Postal Service for a long time. Pretty hard to make something run when there are people throwing their shoes in the works.

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  36. PNElba says:

    and all we got from Obama supporters was a cacophony of half truths, misinformation, insults, character assasination and the ever-popular “It’s all Bush’s fault.”

    Yeah, I have to agree. We should all emulate the classiness of Governor John Henry Sununu.

    After Governor Willard “Mitt” Romney is elected President of the United States of America, I’m sure Obama’s name will never be mentioned.

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  37. mervel says:

    Well I am glad Romney did better than usual, it makes things more interesting.

    I stand by my point, Obama continued the unconsitutional wars and the unconstitutional war on terror in the US, he still is running our “detention facility” in Cuba, he has not reduced the debt or deficit at all and he gave a sweet heart deal to the wall street banks. He backed the Bush tax cuts ( I guess they were not so bad after all), and his health care plan does not start in any real sense until after the election.

    The net effect is that if you closed your eyes it is close to a third bush term.

    This is all tribalism, us versus them who I am versus who you are, the net impact on the lives of americans is essentially the same with these two guys.

    Maybe health care will be different? I hope so but if Obama really believed in the plan he would not have put the whole thing off until after the election, I think he knows it will suck.

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  38. PNElba says:

    Mervel – don’t mention the ‘B’ word.

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  39. Walker says:

    Obama’s Approval Rating Soars To Its Highest Point In Three Years

    In the midst of a painful news cycle after last night’s debate, President Barack Obama received a bright sign for re-election. His Gallup approval rating hit 54 percent, jumping to its highest level since November 2009.

    His approval rating soared four points from the previous day in Gallup’s three-day rolling average. Business Insider, Oct. 4, 2012

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  40. Newt says:

    Walker-
    Huh!
    Surely completed before debate, but nonetheless impressive.

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  41. It's Still All Bush's Fault says:

    Once you are able to fake sincerity, you got it licked.

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  42. Rancid Crabtree says:

    I assure you OA that I have in no way joined you. In fact it was you and your branding of all Tea Party members as the same as the shooter in the Norway mass killing last year that kept me lurking for so long. I can only stomach so much. I found the fact that the editorial staff here allowed such a vile and reprehensible statement to remain truly disgusting. I doubt I shall post often in such an atmosphere of biased editorial action and outright slander.

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  43. Larry says:

    PNElba,
    I have to agree with you about the “lazy” comment; I don’t like it. I did think Obama appeared detached and disengaged; he often looked like he had a plane to catch. In light of his performance, I think it is legitimate to question his preparation, but I think it is unfair to characterize him as lazy. Whatever else Obama is, I doubt he’s lazy and I think it’s a cheap shot to say so. Sununu is a mean spirited person and his comments won’t help Romney. On the other hand, Gore, who I admire even though I dislike his politics, looks like a simpleton for suggesting that Obama’s performance was due to altitude sickness.

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  44. Rancid Crabtree says:

    I assure you OA that I have in no way joined you. In fact I believe it was you and your branding of all Tea Party members as the same as the shooter in the Norway mass killing last year that kept me lurking for so long. Perhaps it was another poster, but I can only stomach so much. I found the fact that the editorial staff here allowed such a vile and reprehensible statement to remain truly disgusting. I doubt I shall post often in such an atmosphere of biased editorial action and outright slander.

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  45. hermit thrush says:

    that’s a very fair-minded comment, larry. cheers to you.

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  46. Walker says:

    Just to balance my earlier post:

    Romney Gaining Ground After Strong Performance

    * Romney viewed positively for first time in campaign

    * Republican nominee makes gains on economic issues

    * He shores up support among Republican voters

    * Obama leads Romney 48 percent to 43 percent in poll (Huff Post

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  47. oa says:

    Um, Rancid, that’s really no way to treat your new best friend forever, which is me!
    I don’t recall ever writing a word about the Norway shooting, and in fact, I didn’t. Good for me! I think you’re referring to this thread about five days after that tragedy. Others made the comparison. I did not. And a man named Bret said he’d be leaving the inbox forever after that. It’s an interesting thread.
    http://blogs.northcountrypublicradio.org/inbox/2011/07/27/memo-to-washington-america-still-matters/#comments
    I did link to something about name-calling that was on the Daily Show, as the thread had deteriorated into name-calling to the point where Brian Mann had to call a timeout. I never made the comparison you said I made.
    I’d appreciate it if you’d take it back, especially since some people plus-rated your comment and think I’m a monster.
    I’d still like to support all your comments. Because I’ve seen the light.
    Your friend, oa.

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  48. oa says:

    Rancid, thanks for altering your comment to say that only “perhaps” it was me. For future reference, there’s a way to find out about such things and eliminate words like “I believe” and “perhaps” when you’re accusing someone of saying something you think is reprehensible.
    It’s called reading. You can read the comment thread to see if perhaps someone did something or not, and when the answer is or not, eliminating the need for such excess words as “perhaps” and “I believe” and also eliminating the need to accuse people of things they didn’t do.
    Still your BFF, oa

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  49. JDM says:

    Ohio poll: Romney leads 51-48 among those certain to vote!

    Oct 5. Washingtonexaminer poll.

    nanana
    nanana
    hey ey ey
    Good bye!

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  50. PNElba says:

    Thank you Larry, that was a fair-minded comment. Believe it or not we agree on several things in certain areas of politics.

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