Sunday, July 15, 2012

Who Won the Week (July 8-14)

The hits this week just kept coming for Romney camp.   The debate over outsourcing has not gone away; in fact, it has intensified.  President Obama’s team has begun to make the case that Romney doesn’t care about jobs, just the profits.  Romney, in what could be called an “I am rubber, you are glue” moment, has labeled President Obama as the “Outsourcer in Chief”. 

In the end, the advantage on this argument goes to Obama, as the Romney campaign is only further adding legs to the outsourcing story.  They also did this two weeks ago when it was revealed that Bain invested in companies that pioneered outsourcing; the Romney camp, instead of refuting the claim, said there was a difference between “outsourcing” and “offshoring”.  Either way, they are debating semantics, and the debate only helps the President.

All of that would be small potatoes if there wasn’t another bit of damaging news this week for Mr. Romney.  The Boston Globe came out with a piece showing that Romney had, in fact, been actively involved in Bain Capital long after the candidate had originally said. 

The Obama campaign was quick to pounce on this information, saying that Romney had either committed a felony by lying on Federal disclosure forms or that Mr. Romney had lied to the American people. 

Which brings us to the tax problem.  In the primary campaign, Mitt Romney (after much pressure) had released his 2010 tax returns and had released a partial return for 2011.  His campaign had believed that in doing so, they would take the issue off the table for the general election. 

Boy, were they wrong.  A growing chorus of Democrats, the media, and even many Republicans are demanding that Mitt release more than what he has already.  On Friday, Mr. Romney answered those calls by refusing to release anything more than he already had, again, playing right into the President’s hands.

In effect, the Romney campaign has likely concluded that there is more potential damage in making public his taxes than suffering what will probably be the constant attacks on him for not releasing them. 

On an only slightly related note, the Romney campaign on Thursday floated Condoleezza Rice’s name as being on the candidate’s short list for Vice President.  The move, however, was largely seen as a way to distract from the bad news cycle that had been manifesting this week from the Bain and tax issues.

However the news wasn’t only bad for Mitt this week.  On Monday, it was revealed that President Obama had his best fundraising month yet… except that he still fell far behind Mr. Romney.  How far?  Romney raised $106 M to Obama’s $71 M.  If this pace keeps up through the election, it’s conceivable that Romney could actually be better funded than the President, something that looked to be impossible just a couple months ago. 

Polling:  The President’s lead is relatively unchanged since last week (+2.4 according to RCP).  However, as we are getting closer to November, the statewide polls will matter more.  In that regard, the President seemed to have a very good week in polling.  Two polls in Wisconsin gave the President a 6 and 8-point lead, while a PPP poll in Virginia put the race at +8 Obama.  Finally, a Rasmussen poll found Florida to be a tossup, which can be seen as good news for the President as Rasmussen polls tend to lean towards the GOP.

Who Won the Week?  President Obama

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