Romney falls behind in key swing states, GOP campaign lacks ground game

Romney Falls Behind in Swing States

Romney Falls Behind in Swing States

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Sept. 22 2012 12:59 PM

Romney Falling Behind In Swing State Polls, Ground Game

President Obama waves before boarding Marine One helicopter from the South Lawn of the White House

Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/GettyImages

It’s been a close race from the beginning, but now there seem to be clear signs that President Obama is pulling ahead in some of the most competitive swing states. As Mitt Romney continues to fall behind, the president’s ground-game supremacy could widen that lead further. For now it seems Romney is looking to the Oct. 3 debates in Denver as a way of winning back momentum in the campaign, notes the Guardian’s Paul Harris.

Romney likely has heartburn while looking at polling data, not just because of Obama’s lead in key states, but also because they seem to show that troubles for his campaign are on the rise. “He has fallen dangerously behind in Virginia and Ohio, and his ability to close in on Obama in Iowa and Wisconsin is now in doubt,” summarizes the Associated Press. Romney’s campaign seemingly recognizes this deficit and has redoubled efforts in Ohio and Florida, two states seen as essential for his victory.


Not so fast, warns the Los Angeles Times’ Doyle McManus, writing that while Obama has taken a clear lead, it isn’t wide enough “to prevent Romney from closing the gap if he can only find the right ingredients.” What does seem clear is that Romney needs to do more than hope bad economic news will automatically send voters his way because Americans are increasingly optimistic about the economy.

Even if Romney does manage to impress undecided voters at the debates though, his campaign still lags behind in one crucial aspect: the ground game. Obama’s superiority in sheer number of volunteers, and the sophistication of its registration drives and get-out-the-vote efforts in 2008 were important components of his victory. Now it seems the Democrat has the advantage once again, points out the Associated Press. Republicans insist that while Obama’s camp may have had a big advantage early on, they are quickly closing the gap.

There is little time to spare though, as ABC News points out. By the beginning of next week, almost half of all states will have begun some type of early or absentee voting.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.