...Mr. Obama’s goal is to keep Mr. Romney from running up huge margins among white working-class voters — defined as those without college degrees and with household incomes of $30,000 to $100,000 — who could give him the edge.
New results from surveys over the past week in Colorado, Virginia and Wisconsin, combined with surveys last week in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, show that Mr. Romney so far appears to be holding his own with that group, but running no stronger than Senator John McCain did four years ago.
Similarly, Mr. Romney is trying to peel off as many female voters as possible from Mr. Obama’s electoral coalition, hoping to offset the president’s advantages among single and nonwhite women by appealing to married and white women with a message about economic security and pocketbook issues.
But while the poll suggests that Mr. Romney is making inroads among women in Colorado, where he is also showing strength against Mr. Obama by several other measures, support for Mr. Obama among women has otherwise held up in the battleground states. As a result, Mr. Obama has so far been able to stave off bigger losses in the most hotly contested states, in particular among independents, who are divided in Colorado and Wisconsin and supporting Mr. Romney in Virginia, and white men, who are supporting Mr. Romney by double digits over the president in all three states. ...NYT
Latest Quinnipiac-CBS-New York Times poll focuses on VA, WI, and CO.
Obama has Virginia and Wisconsin. Romney has Colorado.
At least for now.
Maureen Dowd writes:
“Needy politicians, like Bill Clinton, recharge at political events,” says [Jonathan]Alter. “But, for Obama, they deplete rather than create energy.”
Richard Wolffe, the author of Obama portraits, “Renegade” and “Revival,” agreed: “The very source of his strength as an individual, that he willed himself into being, that he’s a solitary figure who doesn’t need many people, is also clearly a weakness. There are people who’ve worked with him for years who don’t understand why he gives so little back.”
From the first time Obama made a splash with an anti-apartheid speech at Occidental College, says David Maraniss, author of “Barack Obama: The Story,” he has been ambivalent, even perverse.
“He realized that he could stir crowds while also thinking to himself that it was all a game and posturing,” the biographer said. “He is always removed and participating at the same time, self-conscious and without the visceral need or love of transactional politics that would characterize Bill Clinton or L.B.J. or even W., in a way.”
What will save him, Maraniss believes, is his fierce competitive will. “His is cool and Clinton’s is hot, but they burn at the same temperature inside,” he said. “So he does some of what he finds distasteful, but not all of it, and not all of it very well.” ...NYT
Obama puts Romney between a rock and a hard place.
Multiple Republican governors have found themselves caught between defending their states’ economic records and stepping on Romney’s message about economic doom in them.
More broadly, the Obama camp’s aggressive pushback on the Romney charge today highlights both their sense that the attacks could resonate — and the degree to which Dems now think anything that even hints at weakening the work requirement for welfare recipients is politically unthinkable. ...Greg Sargent, WaPo
Romney's economic policy? What economic policy?
The central difficulty of covering this presidential campaign — which is to say, of explaining Barack Obama and Mitt Romney’s disparate plans for the country — is the continued existence of what we might call the policy gap. The policy gap, put simply, is this: Obama has proposed policies. Mitt Romney hasn’t. ...
Romney’s offerings are more like simulacra of policy proposals. They look, from far away, like policy proposals. They exist on his Web site, under the heading of “Issues,” with subheads like “Tax” and “Health care.” But read closely, they are not policy proposals. They do not include the details necessary to judge Romney’s policy ideas. In many cases, they don’t contain any details at all. ...Ezra Klein, WaPo
"Simulacra." Good word, that. One we don't use enough when talking about our politics, our culture -- our "as if" culture. Our democracy, for example, has become a simulacrum.