Why? Time's Mark Halperin visits the Obama campaign HQ and breaks down four reasons Obama's people are confident they will win another term in Washington.
First, in the view of the Obamans, Romney is still a weak candidate. His stump skills continue to be uneven at best, with speeches plagued by awkward jargon and passionless rhetoric. They believe his tenure as head of Bain Capital and his term as governor of Massachusetts conceal vulnerabilities yet to be unveiled. “No one’s ever looked at Romney’s record, and there’s a lot there,” said one senior campaign official. “He developed this set of values at Bain about what the economy is all about … Whatever it took to make money … He took that same philosophy to Massachusetts [as governor].” Obama’s team is sitting on a multimedia treasure trove of research about both phases of Romney’s career and expects to launch powerful missiles at key moments throughout the campaign, discombobulating the Republican each time.
Second, they maintain, their research suggests Romney has exactly one rhetorical path to victory, as a can-do businessman able to fix what’s broken. Chicago intends to focus as much of its formidable firepower as necessary to dismantle Romney on that front and prevent the election from becoming a referendum on the President’s economic tenure.
Third, the Obama team argues, Romney has taken many positions to the right of public opinion. The President’s team plans to throw two years’ worth of provocative statements in Romney’s face, using sophisticated micro-targeting to impacted demographics. On an unrelenting messaging loop, Hispanics will hear about Romney’s ties to the country’s most controversial anti-illegal immigration leaders and laws. Senior citizens dependent on Medicare will be told again and again about Romney’s backing of Paul Ryan’s House budget plan. Women will be warned about the threat to reproductive freedom. And on and on.
Fourth and finally, presidential politics, in the end, is all about the Electoral College. The Obama campaign’s analysis, matching recent media number crunching, indicates that Romney has a paper-thin margin of error to get to the magical 270. The map is littered with states the Republicans must take from the 2008 Democratic column in order to win, and in many of them, such as Ohio and Virginia, they are behind.