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According to a new USA Today/Gallup Poll, President Obama is leading Mitt Romney by a narrow margin of just two percentage points in swing states. That’s good for Romney, who is still hoping that he has a chance to defeat the president in the next election.
The problem for Romney is that he’s been making enough mistakes to give Obama a huge expected advantage in next week’s polls. A recent video recorded secretly and posted online shows Romney speaking to a wealthy audience and saying that 47% of Americans aren’t going to vote for him because they are seeking handouts, don’t have personal responsibility and are dependent on government to save them.
“Every one of these little nicks obviously knocks you off your game and takes you off your overall strategy, but it’s still a very competitive race,” said Republican strategist Ed Rollins. “The more important issue is to get this thing focused and don’t get distracted by it. When people start second-guessing and doubting whether you can win, sometimes that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
Romney has held firm in defending his point of view. In a recent op-ed for USA Today, Romney stated that he is the only candidate pushing Americans to have personal responsibility and that a lack of personal responsibility is somehow connected with the recession over the last four years.
“Efforts that promote hard work and personal responsibility over government dependency make America strong,” Romney said. “However, over the past four years, those kinds of opportunities have been in short supply. We’re experiencing the worst recovery since the Great Depression. Unemployment has been above 8% for 43 straight months; 47 million Americans are on food stamps. Nearly one in six Americans now live in poverty.
“Under President Obama, we have a stagnant economy that fosters government dependency. My policies will create a growing economy that fosters upward mobility.”
But even fellow Republicans are not interested in defending Romney on his remarks. GOP Senate candidate Linda McMahon issued a statement stating that she disagrees with Romney’s comments. Other Republicans are not supporting Romney on this issue as well.
One other Democratic consequence of Romney’s mistakes is that he has awakened the Democratic voter base. The percentage of Democrats who now feel very enthusiastic about voting has risen from 53% last month to 73% today. This is a reflection of the Democratic convention doing a better job than the Republican convention of igniting voters and getting them ready to vote.