President Obama has seen an uptick in voter support since last week’s Democratic National Convention, but that bounce amounts to a temporary “sugar high,” the Romney campaign pollster said Monday, arguing that the Republican challenger has an inherent advantage over the incumbent.
Neil Newhouse, pollster and senior strategist in the Romney high command, wrote in a memo that was released to reporters to address the developing conventional wisdom that Obama has pulled ahead in the presidential race and to try to head off panic among GOPers. The lead will recede, Newhouse argued.
“Don’t get too worked up about the latest polling,” Newhouse wrote. “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.”
After months of relative deadlock, Obama opened up a lead in several national polls since the conclusion of his party’s convention in Charlotte, N.C. Thursday. In a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Sunday, 47 percent of likely voters supported Obama and 43 percent said they backed Romney. In a Gallup tracking poll, Obama leads Romney 49 percent to 44 percent, while an automated Rasmussen poll released Monday put Obama at 50 percent and Romney at 45 percent.
Of course, convention bounces are notoriously evanescent and national polls are potentially misleading. The better numbers for Obama could reflect better support in safely blue states where, for electoral vote purposes, the increased backing will not matter at all. The race is likely to be decided in nine to 12 battleground states – places such as Virginia, Ohio, Florida, Colorado, etc. – and it is more telling to watch polls in each state.
Newhouse, moreover, pointed out that the Romney campaign had expanded the map, beginning advertising in Wisconsin, which looks newly competitive since the addition of Rep. Paul Ryan as Romney’s running mate. He did not mention Ohio, where Obama has pulled ahead, nor Pennsylvania and Michigan, states where Romney and his conservative super PAC allies are not advertising at all.