Romney Pulls Ahead in North Carolina, narrows margin in Pennsylvania
By Dave Andrusko
Editor’s note. There is still time to register for the National Right to Life convention June 28 -30 and to reserve a hotel room at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia. Just go to www.nrlconvention.org.
First of all, thanks for the kind words from so many of you. We use NRL News Today to keep our readers up to date on everything from A to Z, which includes the latest twists and turns in the presidential contest between pro-life Mitt Romney and pro-abortion Barack Obama.
The observations of political commentators are indistinguishable from sports reporters, which is why their assessments vis a vis the candidates go up and down faster than an elevator. The latest conventional wisdom is that Mr. Obama is a dreadful downward spiral, which is true, but nothing at this stage for Romney supporters to get complacent about.
The extreme position—the sky-is-falling narrative–is personified by the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, who wrote, “This has been one of the worst stretches of the Obama presidency. In Washington, there is a creeping sense that the bottom has fallen out and that there may be no second term.”
But better evidence than Nervous Nelly commentators is numbers from North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Public Policy Polling (PPP) is a Democrat pollster and it found that Romney is ahead in North Carolina by a single point, 48% to 47%. In April Obama was up 49% to 44%, making for a seven point swing.
The most important news is that Romney—who trailed among Independents in North Carolina by 13 points earlier in the year—now lead by one point. Obama carried the state in 2008 and is considered one of the 12 key “swing states.”
More surprising is that Romney has cut his deficit in Pennsylvania to six points in a state Obama won handily in 2008. A new poll from Quinnipiac, finds Obama up 46% to 40%.
“President Barack Obama is holding his ground against Gov. Mitt Romney in Pennsylvania. While almost four-fifths of voters, including 58 percent of Republicans, say the President is a likable person, where the rubber meets the road on the campaign trail – the economy – Romney has the lead [49% to 41%],” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
“Pennsylvanians may like the president more than they like Mitt Romney, but the warm and fuzzy feeling gives way to the cold hard truth of a still shaky economy.”
One other consideration that has been—and will be—a source of endless debate: President Obama’s job ratings remain spotty at best, but his personal favorability numbers are solid. What does that mean and, by itself, can the latter pull him over the finish line come this November?
POLITCO addressed the question yesterday (“Obama tests the theory of likability”). Here’s how the Romney folks see it, according to Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman.
“Republicans don’t dispute that high personal favorability is a nice asset for any politician. But given that Obama’s job approval numbers consistently trail his favorability ratings, there’s real skepticism in the GOP that Obama’s popularity can carry him across the finish line.
“And in the eyes of the Romney campaign, voters who say that they like the president personally but disapprove of his job performance are simply rationalizing the rejection of a candidate they may have liked four years ago.
“’Obama’s high favorable scores are reflective of the raised expectations and hopes that voters had for Obama when he was first elected,’ said Romney pollster Neil Newhouse. ‘What we’re finding now in our focus groups and polling is that voters can contemporaneously like the president while at the same time believing that his policies have failed to make things better in the country and that it’s time to make a change. They don’t need to walk away from their 2008 vote in order to now support Gov. Romney.’
“In other words, according to this reading, voters are saying: ‘Obama’s a nice guy, but …’”