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U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney addresses supporters at the InPro Corporation in Muskego, Wisconsin, March 31, 2012. REUTERS/Darren Hauck
How do you know a campaign is panicking? When they send out memos urging people not to panic. Let's take a look at this memo, and laugh at them.

TO: Interested Parties
RE: State of the Race
DATE: September 10, 2012

Don't get too worked up about the latest polling.  While some voters will feel a bit of a sugar-high from the conventions, the basic structure of the race has not changed significantly.  The reality of the Obama economy will reassert itself as the ultimate downfall of the Obama Presidency, and Mitt Romney will win this race.

What's this about "conventionS" giving voters a sugar high? Last time I looked, Romney got a combined 1.9-point bounce after his convention. Obama is at 5.5 points and counting. Only one convention gave voters a sugar high.

But this is a bit confusing—haven't they spent the last three days arguing that President Barack Obama's convention speech was a big disaster?

In his acceptance speech, President Obama did not offer any solutions for the millions of Americans unemployed or underemployed.  But his convention speech was not the only big letdown to voters, as Americans also dealt with yet another dismal jobs report last week.
Ah, there we go. Obama's speech was a "big letdown to voters." But if it was such a letdown, how could it give those same voters a sugar high?

Don't expect explanations or logic, just a lot more nonsense, below the fold.

11:38 AM PT:
Anyone else find it odd that Mitt's pollster put out a state-of-the race memo this morning that was almost entirely devoid of polling data?
@davidaxelrod via Twitter for iPad

President Obama is the only president in modern American history to stand before the American people asking for re-election with this many Americans struggling to find work. The key numbers in this election are the 43 straight months of 8% or higher unemployment, the 23 million Americans struggling to find work, and the 47 million Americans who are on food stamps.
You'd think this would auger a competitive race, right? But the polling data we're supposed to ignore is very clear—voters still don't blame Obama for those economic problems.
Today, there is no question: Americans are not better off than we were four years ago, and that is why President Obama has struggled in this race.
If by "struggled" you mean "leads in all the national polling, and enjoys hefty Electoral College lead," then yeah. Sure. You go with that.

And George W. Bush is no longer president, so we're definitely better off.

The truth is that some of President Obama's allies are claiming victory, but others are acknowledging the unsustainable position in which they find themselves.  This is evidenced in a recent quote in The New York Times by an Obama Administration official saying, "It's certainly not what I would call the position we wanted to be in at this point in the race...He's going to have to make the case that we wouldn't even be at 8 percent if it weren't for him."
Our allies wish the economy was doing better. Their allies wish they weren't losing.
Consider the following points:

The Obama Economy: The stakes are very high in this election, and voters understand the future of our country is on the line.  This may be lost on those living within the hyper-political world in and around the Beltway, but it is not lost in communities in battleground states.  In short, the Romney-Ryan campaign understands Americans struggling in the Obama economy will determine the outcome of the race, and once the preponderance of information about the President's failed policies - combined with Mitt Romney's vision to strengthen the middle class - are communicated, our nation will move in a different direction.

They've already spent $150 million on television talking about Obama's "failed policies, combined with Romney's vision." The problem isn't a lack of communication. It's a lack of candidate and message that resonates with voters.

Still, this paragraph is a tacit admission that their own numbers show them losing: "once the preponderance of information about the President's failed policies - combined with Mitt Romney's vision to strengthen the middle class - are communicated, our nation will move in a different direction." The current direction is that Obama is winning.

All Signs Point to a Tight Race: Those watching the daily tracking polls know that, while the President has seen a bounce from his convention, his approval has already begun to slip, indicating it is likely to recede further.  In eight states,'s reporting of the most recent statewide polls puts the margin between the two candidates at less than three points, virtually guaranteeing a tight race.
Actually, Rasmussen showed Obama's approval ratings increase in yesterday's sample. And that's the GOP's preferred pollster. Gallup had slippage two days ago (which could've been float in the MoE for all we know) but was static in yesterday's sample.

Meanwhile, the bulk of state polling hasn't been updated since the conventions, so none of them reflect Obama's convention bounce. But even that pre-convention polling looked brutal for Romney.

Next, the battlefield has actually expanded, not contracted.  Note that Wisconsin is now in play and our campaign is now up with ads in that state, while the latest poll numbers from the Albuquerque Journal in New Mexico show the race closing there.  And this tightening is not an anomaly.  Consider the traditional Democratic strongholds of New Jersey and Connecticut, won by President Obama in 2008 by margins of 15 points and 22 points, respectively.  In both states,'s reporting of the most recent statewide polls puts Obama's lead at only seven points in each of these states.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! The battlefield has expanded so much that Republicans have pulled out of Michigan and Pennsylvania, and still aren't spending money in New Mexico or Nevada.

We'll believe Romney campaign claims of an expanded battlefield when they actually start spending money in those states, instead of playing catch up with high single-digit deficits in their must-win states like Ohio.

In North Carolina, fresh off of hosting the Democratic National Convention, the Obama campaign is laying the groundwork for a stealth withdrawal.  In a state the President won by a mere 14,000 votes in 2008, all one has to do is look at the Obama campaign's television buy in the state to understand how they view their chances there.  The Obama campaign's North Carolina television buy has dropped 35% compared to June, and they have run more than twice as much advertising over the past two weeks in Rochester, Minnesota (hitting a small slice of Iowa), than they have in any North Carolina market.
Unfortunately, we don't have last week's ad spending broken down by ad market yet, so we can't directly fact-check this. But two weeks ago, it wasn't close:
Rochester, Minnesota: $84,980
Greenville, NC: $58,710
Raleigh, NC: $190,600
Greensboro, NC: $69,140
Charlotte, NC: $402,700
Greenville, SC: $60,280
We also know that the Obama campaign spent essentially equal amounts in both Iowa and North Carolina last week. So even if the Obama campaign spent its entire $600K+ Iowa budget in Rochester, and spent none of its $600K+ North Carolina budget in Charlotte, the claim can't be true.

It's bullshit, plain and simple.

Now did Obama spend less in North Carolina last week? yes. But here's the thing—why would the Obama campaign go nuts spending in North Carolina when they had a three-day infomercial providing extensive free in-state coverage?

Historical Data: Political campaign historians will recall President Jimmy Carter led Ronald Reagan by a near double digit margin late in the fall in 1980.  In that race, the voters made their decision based on the key issues confronting the nation and it determined the outcome.  On the economy, the most important issue of this race, Mitt Romney leads by 51%-45%, according to the most recent CNN/ORC poll.
I already addressed this nonsense. Bottom line, Ronald Reagan led for most of the race, and people liked Ronald Reagan and didn't like Jimmy Carter—the opposite of today.

Also, John McCain made the same argument in 2008. It didn't work then either.

Targeted Campaign: The Romney-Ryan campaign is running deeply local and targeted efforts in each of the states focusing on the voter groups that will make the difference on Election Day.  Anyone asserting a "one-size-fits-all-campaign" effort is being put forward is simply misinformed, as evidenced by the 15 different ads released by the Romney Ryan campaign this past Friday and now running in nine states, including Wisconsin.
They're all excited that they're waging a modern presidential campaign. Kudos to them for doing things the Obama campaign has been doing since 2007.
New Money Advantage: All of this is not possible without resources, and the Romney-Ryan campaign and the Republican Party have a real advantage.  In August alone, the Romney Victory effort raised more than $111 million, marking the third straight fundraising month of more than $100 million, putting us on a very strong financial footing for the final two months.
Obama outraised Romney in August, taking away one of their few winning talking points. Furthermore, Romney spent $130 million in August—more than he raised—yet failed to gain ground on the president.

Money won't decide this election. If it did, Koch and Rove would've sealed the deal a long time ago. Obama has the money he needs to compete.

Energy and Enthusiasm: CNN/ORC's most recent polling shows that 62% of Republicans are "extremely" or "very" excited about this election, while only 56% of Democrats report being "extremely" or "very" excited.  This Republican enthusiasm advantage has manifested itself in an unprecedented and historic grassroots effort that will have a significant impact on turnout in battleground states on Election Day.  For instance, as of today, Victory volunteers have already knocked on more doors than during the entire 2008 campaign. (2.72 million in 2012 through September 8 compared to 2.43 million overall in 2008.)
That's old pre-convention data. But if they want to talk energy, Chris Christie had to beg his audience to get off their feet. We didn't have that problem at our convention.
Romney's Ground Game: During last weekend's "Super Saturday," we crossed the 20 million volunteer voter contact threshold.  Also, the Romney campaign knocked on more doors last week than in any week during the 2008 campaign.  More than 55,000 volunteers have knocked doors or made phone calls for Victory this year and that number is growing by the week.  And volunteers have collected person-to-person identification information on nearly 1.7 million swing voters in battleground states thus far. And the numbers are even more startling when one looks at individual states.  For instance, in Ohio alone, five times more phone calls and 28 times more door knocks have been made than at this time in 2008.  This past Saturday, more than 100,000 doors were knocked on by Victory volunteers in the Buckeye State.  And in Wisconsin, five times more phone calls and 72 times more door knocks have been made than at this time in 2008.  And the list goes on and on.
So the message is that Romney's ground game is better than John McCain's was in 2008?  Not really much of an accomplishment, and really irrelevant comparing him to Obama. Romney had to build his ground game from scratch. Obama has been refining his winning machine from 2008.
Mitt Romney will be the next President.
It's easy to maintain that fiction as long as you ignore the polling. And watch Fox News.
The outcome of this race will ultimately be determined in favor of Governor Romney because he has the better leadership skills, the better record, and the better vision for where he wants to take the country.  These advantages are being fueled by the commitment and determination of volunteers and voters to change direction and move our country on a path toward economic growth and job creation.  In short, the combination of having the superior candidate, being in a margin-of-error race with an incumbent President, having a cash advantage, and having an unprecedented grassroots effort and a winning message on the economy ensure that Americans will make a change in leadership in Washington on November 6.
Blah blah blah blah blah. Bottom line? Winning candidates don't write memos like this one.

Originally posted to kos on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 10:58 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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