Are the Romney people pinning everything on the debates?

September 20, 2012

Sounds like it:

Romney advisers have been mostly mum about debate preparation, which has been held sporadically in rural Vermont over the past few weeks. But I keep hearing one takeaway from those who are close to the sessions: Senator Rob Portman of Ohio is an ace, and he has challenged Romney more than Romney expected, which has pleased the governor. Portman’s Obama impressions and his ability to get rather aggressive with the Republican nominee have enthused Romney. Sources say Romney absolutely hates being badgered, but Portman’s task has been to boost Romney’s confidence and thicken his skin.

Yeah, but the best debaters actually believe what they’re saying. There’s this other nugget of just how dumb the Romney campaign is:

Romney’s campaign sees the “47 percent” story as unhelpful and distracting, but not as a damaging, campaign-ending scandal. As a fourth adviser tells me: Romney got out in front, didn’t apologize, and is still in a dead heat in the polls. “He’s already moved on, and the campaign isn’t obsessing about this,” the adviser says. The adviser compares the videos to Romney’s tax returns, which dominated the Washington chatter but didn’t have a major impact on the campaign.

61 Responses to Are the Romney people pinning everything on the debates?

  1. Dismantle ObamaCare on September 20, 2012 at 8:14 am

    Like I said, don’t get your hopes up too high. I see shades of 08 right now 🙁

  2. MikeN on September 20, 2012 at 8:34 am

    I thought they were pinning everything on the convention, and after that they were pinning everything on their cash advantage? After the debates will they pin everything on their ground game and the only poll that counts is the one on election day?

  3. MikeN on September 20, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Perhaps they are pinning everything on his attendance at the Clinton Global Initiative in 5 days.

  4. MikeN on September 20, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Hmm Tim Pawlenty has now abandoned Team Romney for a cushy job. He couldn’t wait 2 months?

    • Spike on September 20, 2012 at 6:59 pm

      Be Gone, Troll.

  5. Conrad on September 20, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Can you explain “shades of 2008”? I don’t see a lot of similarities. 2008 was mainly about (1) America’s blaming Bush for the economic crisis and Iraq, and (2) young, dynamic, black rock star going up against underfunded, old, fuddy-duddy GOP has-been. Given that, it’s somewhat surprising Obama didn’t win 65% of the popular vote. Instead he got just under 53%.

    Practically everything that was bad for Republicans (from an election standpoint) in 2008 is significantly better in 2012. The economy has actually gotten worse under Obama’s watch. Obamacare happened. The whole mythology of Obama has largely dissipated; he has disappointed many of his 2008 supporters with his cynical and divisive approaches to both electioneering and governing. His foreign policy is blowing up all around us. Romney is doing a better job than McCain did of not pissing off conservatives. Romney, in fact, seems to be exactly the kind of guy the country needs right now to reinvigorate the private economy, unlike McCain, who was a central-casting Washington fixture who only really spoke with authority on military/counterterrorism issues that the public was sick of hearing about anyway. And Romney has plenty of money with which to contend in all the battleground states.

    Also, consider this: There’s probably not a single group of voters from whom Obama cannot expect a significant decline in support. He’s not doing quite as well with blacks, Jews, hispanics, Catholics, or young voters. I’d say he’s doing much worse with certain big groups like white voters and men. Obama himself has publicly said that 2012 is going to be “closer” than 2008. Well, if that’s true, then history suggests he will lose. Evidently, no president (at least for many, many years) has ever won reelection with LESS support than he had when he first won the WH. Again, BHO only got 53% the first time; how can he get to 50% this time with all that gone wrong for him and all the people who have either turned against him or simply have lost enthusiasm for him?

    • Jim,MtnViewCA,USA on September 20, 2012 at 1:09 pm

      That’s a good point. In ’08 they had been bashing Bush for 8 years and Obama was a clean slate. The media is EVEN MORE in the tank for the Dems, but they’ve only had 8 MONTHS to bash Romney, and Obama is yesterday’s news.

  6. Dismantle ObamaCare on September 20, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Conrad – I hope you’re right, but I don’t see it yet. I see a cowering, self hating GOP just like four years ago. The second it became tough to attack Obama, they stopped.

    I wish I was wrong, but I get the feeling I’m not. If voters were dumb enough to come back to Obama after a convention that spit on God and Israel and danced on Bin Laden’s grave when the economy is in the gutter, they are not going to return to the fold because of a couple debates.

    America is screwed.

    • MikeN on September 20, 2012 at 9:23 am

      > I’d say he’s doing much worse with certain big groups like white voters and men.

      If that’s true, Romney has won. However, Obama won just 43% of the white vote in 2008.

      • Conrad on September 20, 2012 at 10:05 am

        Well, do you think Obama is going to do BETTER with white voters in 2012 than he did in 2008? Is there ANY demographic group with whom Obama will do BETTER in 2012?

        • Goonions on September 20, 2012 at 6:02 pm

          Unfortunately Obama’s best demographic is the freeloaders and that group seems to keep growing. If Romney can win and put people back to work the Dems main voting block can be shrunk down to what it normally is.

  7. oh boy... on September 20, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Don’t get so down fellas! This thing is going to have a few ups and downs. The Gallup D enthusiasm boost recently seems a little off to me, a temporary boost, remember the core economic numbers are bad for Obama, and there’s no room for improvement for the prez.

  8. Dismantle ObamaCare on September 20, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Gallup RV tied at 47. WTF is going on here?!

    • Aaron on September 20, 2012 at 10:15 am

      Gallup, being under major pressure of a lawsuit by Øbama’s justice department, should be completely dismissed (whethere the news is bad or good). Gallup just cannot be trusted this election cycle due to the Øbama lawsuits against them. No way it can be accurate now.

      • Conrad on September 20, 2012 at 11:05 am

        Not sure I agree Gallup can’t be trusted because of the lawsuit. I think what makes the polls in general so untrustworthy is the response rate’s being so low. I read somewhere that pollsters used to get something like a 36% response rate and now it’s down to 9%. So they’re really only measuring the opinion of 1 in 11 potential voters. I would suspect that that 9% response cohort leans Dem because it’s going to include more people who are not working (e.g., unemployed or on some kind of disability). Also, married people with children are presumably less inclined to spend time talking for 20 minutes with a pollster. So they are probably grossly oversampling shut-ins and unmarried/childless folks.

        The low response rate would also tend to account for the pollsters’ apparent refusal to use D-vs.-R turnout models that are more in line with 2010 or party identification data. If you are only getting 9/100 responses to begin with, and you’re finding within that group say 5 Dems, 2 Reps, and 2 Indies, then the last thing you want to have to do is adjust the responses to reflect a higher turnout for Republicans than Democrats rather than vice-versa. I mean, think about it: A pollster makes 100 calls and only gets 2 or 3 self-ID’d Republican responders. The longer they can pretend the electorate looks like it did in 2008, the less of a problem this is (at least it gives them a bit of a fig leaf).

        Furthermore, whether it’s lawsuit inspired or not, I suspect there’s a substantial pack-mentality factor in play here. For non-party-affiliated polling houses, the perception of complete non-partisanship is important to their long-term brand image. Rasmussen gets results that skew Republican (just compared to other pollsters, not necessarily compared to reality). As a result, he is now being branded by liberal political-media types as the second coming of Lee Atwater. To his credit, Rasmussen presumably believes he can withstand the damage a lot of lefties are trying to inflict on his brand name by being proven more accurate over the long term. But how many other pollsters are going to want to risk the same treatment by being the next polling house to break away from the pack and start sampling a reasonable percentage of Republicans? It’s a lot easier to go with the flow in this respect and stick with what everyone else (besides Rasmussen) is doing.

    • MikeN on September 20, 2012 at 10:39 am

      It means Romney took the lead at some point in the last week, while this poll is dropping off a weak poll from Romney from a week ago when his average for 7 days was 50-44.

  9. Aaron on September 20, 2012 at 10:11 am

    You guys can sulk in your gloom exactly as the leftist spin doctors have planned.

    Not me. I’ve been around this block too many times and don’t fall for the ploys.

    Øbamalech has already lost this election. (period)

    I guess you young, glum hand-wringers will just have to wait to see that I’m right.

    The energy in my swing state is off the chart to defeat Øbamalech, although it’s never reported. The evangelical Christians are mobilizing on a massive scale to defeat Øbamalech, a determined grassroots army like I’ve never seen before in any previous election (and I’m an old koot!) The signs are all there, they just don’t get reported by the liberal media hacks. But I guess some of you will just have to watch Øbama lose before you’ll be able to believe it. The best advice I can give you is to stop letting the lying liberal media rent any space inside your head. It’s a waste of energy to focus on their lies.

    • Conrad on September 20, 2012 at 10:21 am


    • RedStateGal on September 20, 2012 at 10:22 am

      Thank you for the encouragement! It is greatly appreciated and needed. OT: Can I ask how you managed to get the unique O for Obamalech? I would love to know.

      • Aaron on September 20, 2012 at 10:37 am

        Press and hold ALT and type 0216

        And there it is… Øbamalech has already lost!


    • Nukedad on September 20, 2012 at 1:34 pm

      Well, I have an observation. I live in Portland, Oregon. A deep blue state that will undoubtedly go for Obummer. In 2008 Portland was awash in Obama bumper stickers. My wife and I were talking the other day, and we realized that this year, we’ve only seen a handful of 2012 stickers. While I still have my doubts as to whether we can dump “the one”, Enthusiasm seems to be off.

  10. Kool-Aid Man on September 20, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Thanks for providing the kool-aid, Aaron! We can’t have Red State Girl running dry … how would she have any fun playing ‘yellow pages’?

    My pitcher ran dry the other day. Still waiting for Romney HQ to send up a refill.

    Ohhhhhh Yeaahhhhhh!

    • Evan3457 on September 20, 2012 at 3:34 pm

      yeah, uh-huh

  11. Tim on September 20, 2012 at 11:05 am

    So they are preparing for the debates? So what? how does that translate into they are pinning everything on the debates? Would you be happier poli if they said they would think about the debates 15 minutes before the first one? all the article said was that they are preparing and mitt thinks portman is doing a good job of standing in for obama. Frankly, I have heard that Portman does an excellant job of protraying the other canidate–not just obama but others in the past.

    And debates do help. Especially the challenger. They helped JFK and Ronnie tremendously (for differant reasons) in 1960 and 1980. They helped Carter in 1976–although that required a huge screw up by Ford and I doubt we will get that. Friggin George Senior did not help himself lookking at his dam watch in 1992. Maybe a little more debate prep and he could have avoided that misstake.

    • MikeN on September 20, 2012 at 11:32 am

      Looking at his watch hurts a candidate? Media just say whatever they can to hurt the Republican.

      • Tim on September 20, 2012 at 1:00 pm

        In the middle of the debate it did. It made him look like he was bored and wanted to be anyplace else in the world but the debate. Even he says that he wishes he had left the watch at home. And Nixon got hurt cause his makeup and heavy beard made him look funny. something else about how they did not think through how his shirt and tie would look on black and white tv with the back drop they had but I can’t remeber how that part played out. in any event that is why they do practice.

        And while i am no fan of the media–gore got hurt because he sighed heavily in one of his debates. It all matters.

        • MikeN on September 20, 2012 at 2:26 pm

          The media made a big deal out of it after the fact. Clinton happened to be walking over, against the rules by the way, and it got caught on tape. If the media hadn’t mentioned it nonstop, it would have never been noticed.

          • Spike on September 20, 2012 at 7:00 pm


  12. Spike on September 20, 2012 at 11:56 am

    “Don’t Go Wobbly on Me, George.”

    Steady men….It’s September 20th. Keep your powder dry. They are trying to depress fundraising….don’t play. Gallop has it 47-47 among Registered voters. Most depressing thing is how some of you are starting to sound like David Brooks.

  13. wtex63 on September 20, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Some of you bed wetting , hand wringing, doom saying, second guessing, hunch depending, morons are doing nothing but giving aid and comfort to the enemy with your Chicken Little gloom—

    Summer soldiers and sunshine patriots fade away at the first signs of setbacks — not real conservatives !

    Buck up and grow a pair—even in the small chance that you may be right—you are not helping the cause with forecasts of doom. Constructive criticism is appropriate—otherwise keep the wet blanket prophecy to yourself. A great many of us don’t want to hear that crap!

    • Kool-Aid Man on September 20, 2012 at 3:13 pm


      stop the whining and pass the Kool-aid!

      only happy-talk permitted here. LOL.


      • Evan3457 on September 20, 2012 at 3:33 pm


  14. Arizona CJ on September 20, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    I for one don’t trust the polls, for a lot of reasons. First, it’s in their financial interest to show a tight, see-saw race. Secondly, I don’t trust their methodology. The pollsters themselves have been caterwauling for years, lamenting the rise of cell-only households, and other ways in which voters shut them out.

    Personally, I’d like to bevel this latest Gallup poll; 47-47 amongst registered means about 49-45 in favor of Romney amongst those most likely to vote. However, due to the DOJ lawsuit, the difficulties in polling, etc, I can’t.

    Also, on the issue of accuracy; exit polling is supposedly the most accurate of all. I wonder how President Kerry feels about that? Or ex-governor Scott Walker? (Exit polling showed a clear Kerry win in 2004, and a clear Walker defeat in the recall a few months ago, and those are just two instances off the top of my head).

    • MikeN on September 20, 2012 at 12:56 pm

      The exit polls didn’t show that. They were pretty accurate.

      • Tim on September 20, 2012 at 1:06 pm

        In the Kerry case I believe Arizona is talking about when they leaked the raw data very early in the day that made it look like George was going to lose states like Mississippii and South Carolina.. The stuff you normally hear gets adjusted. For example, if college boy polster decides to ‘poll’ every pretty gal that walks out
        of a station that will impact the results cause 20 year old girls probably vote a lot differant than say me. So they do try to adjust stuff.

        It does seem like there was a recent election where the talking heads were giddy about the exit polling and fell into a deep gloom as the actual results came in. so I can’t place my finger on any elction here recently where that would be the case except Walker.

        • MikeN on September 20, 2012 at 1:34 pm

          They were wrong with regards to Kerry. During the Wisconsin recall, we were told the exit polls showed an even split, but then when broken down by subcategory, the numbers average to being an accurate result. So there is some confusion as to the numbers there. This was noted when people tried to reskew the sample to show that the exit polls have Wisconsin tied. They actually showed Romney down 7.

  15. Spike on September 20, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    MikeN = Troll

    “During the Wisconsin recall, we were told the exit polls showed an even split, but then when broken down by subcategory, the numbers average to being an accurate result. So there is some confusion as to the numbers there.”

    Exit polls were wrong with Kerry. They were wrong with Wisconsin too, but if you broke them down, according to MikeN, they were very accurate. But of course, they gave the wrong outcome. But they were still accurate…lol Liberal speak.

    • MikeN on September 20, 2012 at 2:29 pm

      Walker won men by 19 points and lost women by 5, and they were 50% of the electorate each.
      That comes out to a 7 point lead. And Obama wins 51-44.

    • Kool-Aid Man on September 20, 2012 at 2:57 pm

      Hey Spike — whaddya like?

      i guess you don’t like it when MikeN isn’t drinking the Romney Kool-aid and talking all pro-Romney in this board’s Romney-kumbaya-love-fest! But its a free country … and mostly a free board (until Poli has enough of some and throws them off). So MikeN says some good things that need to be addressed … don’t shoot the messenger just cuz you don’t like the message.

      Relax, more Kool-aid will be coming soon from the Romney camp!

      • Kool-Aid Man on September 20, 2012 at 2:57 pm

        Oh …. i forgot to add …


        • Evan3457 on September 20, 2012 at 3:35 pm

          Uh-huh, yeah

      • MikeN on September 20, 2012 at 6:07 pm

        No, he wants to believe the exit polls were wrong, and they showed the race in Wisconsin tied. Cheer up, Spike. I ran the numbers for Paul Ryan here, and concluded that his effect on the race in Wisconsin is to make it a tie, just from voters who are used to voting for him.

        • Spike on September 20, 2012 at 6:37 pm

          MikeN… just know so little and pretend otherwise. Like your August advice of Romney dropping $50 million in California. You are just so uncommonly wrong, so often and overplay Obama’s support in such an passive-aggressive way . As far a cool-aid, Gallup has the candidate’s tied on September 20th among registered voters. Trying to suppress donations and pushing the inevitability of Obama is the same tactic as the Walker election, the 2010 election and the Scott Brown election. It’s interesting the the posters backing you up, MikeN, are the usual trolls here.

          • MikeN on September 20, 2012 at 7:18 pm

            I’m just cheered that Romney is keeping hundreds of millions in his bank account that could have been spent on ads in July and August.

          • Spike on September 20, 2012 at 7:48 pm

            Now, that’s the MikeN we all know and love.

          • Spike on September 20, 2012 at 8:17 pm

            Guess you overlooked that Romney was forbidden from spending the “hundreds of millions in his bank account” until after the August 28th convention. Try again, disappointed Troll.

          • Tom Petty on September 20, 2012 at 8:45 pm


            “Oh, we got another one, just like the other ones
            Another bad ass, another trouble-maker
            I’m scared, ain’t you boys scared?
            I wonder if he’s gonna show us what bad is?
            Boys, we got a man with a dog collar on
            You think we oughta throw ol’ Spike a bone?

            Hey Spike what do you like?
            Hey Spike what do you like?

            Here’s another misfit, another Jimmy Dean
            Bet he’s got a motorbike,
            What’a y’all think?
            Bet if we be good we’ll get a ride on it
            If he ain’t too mad about the future —
            Maybe we oughta help him see
            The future ain’t what it used to be

            Hey Spike, you’re scarin’ my wife
            Hey Spike what do you like?”

          • Spike on September 20, 2012 at 9:03 pm

            Clever, Troll. In addition to being able to change your name when exposed, we now know you also have shitty taste in music.

          • Spike on September 20, 2012 at 9:04 pm

            I’m betting you have the whole WHAM back catalog.

          • Spike on September 20, 2012 at 9:31 pm


          • MikeN on September 21, 2012 at 5:40 am

            No he’s not forbidden from spending his own money. He’s only forbidden from spending money that was donated for the general election.

          • MikeN on September 21, 2012 at 7:41 am

            Wrong again. But if you are throwing out such an accusation, it probably means you engage in such behavior.

  16. Neil on September 20, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Since there are supposedly so few undecideds left will the debates even make any difference? Even if Romney does exceedingly well I wonder if not enough people will be watching.

  17. Spike on September 21, 2012 at 9:51 am

    More great advice…spend his own money in August…… on California and NYC ad buys…….
    Real man of genius.

    • Tom Petty on September 21, 2012 at 9:55 am

      Hey Spike, let’s talk about life …

  18. MikeN on September 21, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Obama campaign account has tens of millions more money than Romney’s. RNC has 70 million more than DNC.

    • Drew on September 21, 2012 at 2:15 pm

      You’re such a troll.

      Nobody takes you seriously and it’s funny how much of your life you’ve wasted on this site

      Get a job, loser.

      • MikeN on September 21, 2012 at 4:12 pm

        I have a job, getting paid by Soros and Obama to spread Dem talking points on low volume blogs.

  19. Spike on September 21, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    “He’s a good boy, crazy ’bout Obama
    Loves horses and unicorns too”

    • Tom Petty on September 21, 2012 at 3:14 pm


      don’t be disrespectin’ my songs with such references. can’t you self-reflect in some other way, bro?