Sunday, September 9, 2012

State of the race: Advantage, Obama

President Barack Obama heads out of the national political conventions with a much clearer path to winning, top advisers to Mitt Romney privately concede.

The Romney campaign, while pleasantly surprised by Obama’s lackluster prime-time performance, said the post-convention bounce they hoped for fell well short of expectations and privately lament that state-by-state polling numbers — most glaringly in Ohio — are working in the president’s favor.

“Their map has many more routes to victory,” said a top Republican official. Two officials intimately involved in the GOP campaign said Ohio leans clearly in Obama’s favor now, with a high single-digit edge, based on their internal tracking numbers of conservative groups. Romney can still win the presidency if he loses Ohio, but it’s extremely difficult.

The Obama and Romney campaigns anticipate little movement in national polls before the first debate on Oct. 3, which both see as the most important day of this campaign. They also see eye-to-eye on their belief the election will come down to whether Romney can persuade voters he understands the problems of ordinary people and that his solutions are at least marginally better for turning things around economically.

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