Tales from the Trail

Romney getting more confident in race against Obama

June 10, 2012

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is sounding increasingly more confident about his chances against President Barack Obama after a week of big fund-raising numbers and what his campaign feels are mistakes made by the Democratic side.

“There’s some shot that I might get elected president. There’s more than a good shot,” Romney told a Main Street Cafe roundtable of farm business leaders on Friday in western Iowa.

His reasons for optimism include outdueling the Obama fund-raising juggernaut in May, bringing in nearly $77 million to the Democrats’ $60 million, and a two-day Texas swing this week that brought in $15 million, money that will be vital in paying for televisions ads.

The big numbers suggested to the Romney camp that conservatives are excited about the possibility of defeating Obama. “Got a long way to go,” Romney told reporters in St. Louis on Thursday when asked about his fund-raising advantage.

But aides say some perceived missteps by Obama are also fueling Romney’s fired-up spirit, such as the incumbent’s White House news conference on Friday where he said the U.S. private sector is “doing fine.”

This fed directly into Romney’s attempt to define Obama as out of touch with everyday American concerns and himself as a credible alternative, with a relentless focus on the sputtering U.S. economy and its 8.2 percent jobless rate.

“For the president of the United States to stand up and say that the private sector is doing fine is going to go down in history as an extraordinary miscalculation and misunderstanding by a president who is out of touch,” Romney told a rally at a park in Council Bluffs.

“My to-do list is written on my heart and the first three entries are these: jobs, jobs and jobs. I’m gonna go to work to get America working again,” he said.

While voter sentiment is hard to read in June for a November,  Republicans have also taken note of surveys showing a tightening picture in several battleground states, including Iowa.

A Purple Strategies poll, for instance, had Romney in a lead over Obama in Ohio and Florida, two states that most analysts say he needs to win to get to the 270 electoral votes required for victory on Nov. 6. He still lagged in Virginia, however, a critical swing state.

Photo credit: Reuters/Darrell Byers

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