Last night, “inevitable” Republican nominee Willard Mitt Romney won primaries in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Minutes after he delivered the following speech, New York was added to his delegate count.
“After 43 primaries and caucuses, many long days and more than a few long nights, I can say with confidence – and gratitude – that you have given me a great honor and solemn responsibility,” Romney told supporter at the Radisson hotel in downtown Manchester.
“To all of the thousands of good and decent Americans I’ve met who want nothing more than a better chance, a fighting chance,” Romney added. “To all of you, I have a simple message: Hold on a little longer. A better America begins tonight.”
Peppering his speech with such terms as “destiny” and appealing to traditional American notions of hard work and sacrifice, Romney steered clear of any political issue except the stuttering economy and the enduring pain of strapped Americans.
At one point, he paid homage to the campaign slogans of both Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton in their bids to defeat an incumbent president during economic turmoil.
“Is it easier to make ends meet? Is it easier to sell your home or buy a new one?” he said, as the crowd cheered “NO!”
“Have you saved what you needed for retirement? Are you making more AT your job? Do you have a better chance to get a better job? Are you paying less at the pump?”
“It’s still about the economy,” Romney added, bluntly. “And we’re not stupid.”
Romney also attempted to reintroduce himself to a national electorate that may not have been following the twists and turns of the Republican primary. He talked about his business successes, his wife, and his father – adding that he would bore the country with tales of his grandchildren.
“You might have heard that I was successful in business. And that rumor is true,” Romney said. “You might not have heard that our business helped start other businesses, like Staples and Sports Authority and a new steel mill and a learning center called Bright Horizons.”
In what is essentially the crux of his campaign going forward, he added, “After 25 years, I know how to lead us out of this stagnant Obama economy and into a job-creating recovery.”
“The Legacy” faces an uphill battle.
Barack Obama’s job approval rating has increased in recent days and now stands at 50% in Gallup Daily tracking for April 21-23.
The 50% approval mark is notable because all incumbent presidents since Eisenhower who were at or above 50% approval at the time of the election were re-elected. Obama’s job approval rating has typically been in the mid-40% range for the last three months.
Obama reached 50% briefly earlier this month, but that soon dissipated, perhaps due to mixed news in the government’s April 6 unemployment report after largely positive reports in the prior two months. In recent days, Obama appears to be more solidly around 50%, averaging at least 49% approval in each of the last four individual nights of Gallup polling.
One possible reason for Obama’s recent rise is the decline in gas prices, which some analysts believe could indicate that prices have peaked. Rising gas prices have often been associated with a decline in presidential approval ratings.
Obama’s increased approval coincides with his taking a lead, 49% to 42%, over Mitt Romney in Gallup Daily tracking of registered voters’ 2012 presidential election preferences. That marks a shift from last week, when Romney held an edge in Gallup tracking.
The seven-percentage-point Obama advantage in April 19-23 Gallup Daily tracking, based on interviews with more than 2,100 registered voters, also represents the largest lead Obama has held over Romney in Gallup polling on 2012 election preferences, dating back to last August.
Obama’s lead is owing in large part to his improved standing among independent voters. In April 11-15 Gallup tracking, Romney was up, 45% to 39%, among independent voters. Now, Obama holds a 45% to 43% edge among this group.
Democrats and Republicans still overwhelmingly back their own party’s candidate, although Obama may have improved slightly, and Romney declined slightly, among their respective parties’ loyalists over the past week.
That said, the biggest challenge Mitt Romney faces…is Mitt Romney: his political history turns off voters.
In Ohio, 63 percent of Romney voters say that they are voting against Obama, with just 29 percent voting for Romney. And in Florida, a majority of Romney voters (52 percent) are voting against Obama as well.
So, you’re saying to yourself, “what difference does that make, KJ?” At least we will be rid of Obama!
That’s true. And, at this point, one would think that a finger-painting chimp could beat Barack Hussein Obama.
The problem is, what happens if Mitt does pull it off and becomes our 45th president? If Obama is Jimmy Carter on steroids, will Romney be the second coming of Reagan or H.W. Bush on steroids?
Last night Mitt declared “A better America begins tonight!”
Wonderful, Mitt. What’s your platform? What’s your plan? Why is it so hard to elect a Conservative?
Americans want to know.