Any good campaign needs to dust off its talking points from time to time.
In an interview aired over the weekend, Republican Mitt Romney was asked when he, known as “a turnaround artist” in business, is planning to put his campaign on a new tack. It doesn’t need any turnaround, Romney said in the interview aired Sunday night by CBS News’ “60 Minutes” — he was tied in the polls with the incumbent president, Barack Obama, he said.
And today, asked about what he’s doing about his campaign’s challenges in an interview aired on ABC News, Romney again said that “polls go up” and “polls go down.” And for now, he said, he is tied with Obama in the Gallup Poll.
The president and the Republican nominee were tied in Gallup’s daily tracking survey through Sept. 21 — the two sharing 47 percent of the surveyed voters’ support — but today the seven-day rolling average of that Gallup survey of registered voters showed Obama up six percentage points — Obama 50 percent, Romney 44 percent.
That’s basically the same advantage the latest Bloomberg National Poll shows for Obama.
In addition, that Gallup tracking has shown a widening spread since the seven-day average of polling following Romney’s reported remarks about 47 percent of Americans paying no taxes, and thus “victims” of government dependency and unreachable by his campaign, have had a chance to play out in the media. The Bloomberg poll, as well as a survey by ABC News and The Washington Post, recorded negative reactions to this remark.
`Frankly at this early stage, polls go up, polls go down,” Romney said in his interview today with ABC’s David Muir on the campaign trail in Toledo, Ohio.
Near the eve of four weeks of debates that will present the final picture of the president and his challenger before the election on Nov. 6?
“We have a chance during the debate to make our message clear to the American people,” the former Massachusetts governor told Muir, “and I’m absolutely convinced that when people see the two of us talk about our direction for America they’re going to support me because I know what it takes to make the economy going again, and the president has proven he does not.”
Recent surveys of the most important swing states — Ohio and Florida — also have shown Obama taking a growing lead over Romney.
“I’m tied in the national polls, both Gallup and Rasmussen have the numbers at even,” Romney told ABC News today. “State by state you’ve got some advertising going on from the Obama people , which expresses their views on my positions which frankly, I think are inaccurate, and in some cases, dishonest.”
In the interview, ABC notes, “Romney declined to respond directly to the voices of critics, some from within his own party, who have been urging him to shift his strategy after several trying weeks for his campaign.”
“There are critics and there are cheerleaders, we have people of all different persuasion,” Romney said, noting that “every day there are improvements and new messages that come out.”
For Romney, the most critical message may be addressing what he meant by that comment about the 47 percent, and he has started airing a minute-long TV ad which could become the showcase of his campaign in the coming week — insisting that he understands the travails of people who live “paycheck to paycheck.”
“Mine is a campaign about 100 percent of the people, not 99 and one, not any other percent,” Romney said in the interview with ABC. “It’s about getting 100 percent of the people in this country to have a brighter future, better job prospects and higher take home pay.”