Romney Knocks GOP Rivals, Obama, on Heels

Monday, 13 Jun 2011 12:21 PM

By Dan Weil

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For weeks, Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney couldn’t get no respect, to borrow deceased comedian Rodney Dangerfield’s classic line.

Many party members complained that a field with Romney in the lead lacked punch. But that view may change soon, as Politico reports.

MITT Romney, GOP, candidates, ObamaPotential competitors have fallen to the wayside. Romney snapped up $10 million of cash in a fundraising spree that lasted less than two days. A poll last week from ABC News/Washington Post showed Romney leading President Barack Obama by 3 percentage points.

“Romney has clearly solidified his role as the front-runner. He’s shown that money is not going to be an issue, and he’s made some strategic decisions on the early states,” Republican strategist Scott Reed, who advised Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour on a possible run, told Politico.

“He got a nice bump out of the combination of the announcement and the jobs news that reinforced his campaign message: Obama has made things worse.”

Meanwhile, a new CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll shows that 24 percent of Republican voters nationwide support Romney.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin came in second with 20 percent, followed by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani with 12 percent, former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with 10 percent, and Texas Rep. Ron Paul with 7 percent.

"For Romney, his official announcement of his candidacy June 2 moved him to the top of the GOP list, up nine points from a CNN poll conducted late last month," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

"Palin took the opposite tack, acting like a candidate but staying far away from any official declaration . . . [Still,] her well-publicized bus tour from the nation's capital to the Northeast made her share of the GOP vote grow seven points from late May."

Another poll, from USA Today/Gallup, also shows Romney with 24 percent support from Republicans (as of June 8-11), up from 17 percent in late May.

Palin took second with 16 percent, up from 15 percent in late May; Cain placed third with 9 percent, up from 8 percent; Ron Paul came in fourth with 7 percent, down from 10 percent; and Tim Pawlenty was fifth at 6 percent, unchanged.

Romney’s lead is the biggest Gallup has measured for any candidate since beginning its Republican presidential polls in September.

“Romney may be emerging as a front-runner in a GOP race that has been characterized to date by its lack of a leading candidate,” writes Gallup’s Jeffrey Jones. “Republican nomination contests usually have a clear front-runner, and that candidate often goes on to win.”

Yet another survey, from Public Policy Polling, shows Romney running neck and neck with President Barack Obama in the key electoral state of North Carolina.

The survey has Obama leading by 45 percent to 44 percent over Romney, 47 percent to 40 percent over former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, 50 percent to 40 percent over Gingrich, 48 to 37 percent over Cain, and 52 percent to 38 percent over Palin.

The bad news for Republicans in this poll is that they all have negative spreads measuring their favorability vs. unfavorability ratings. Romney stands at 35 percent favorable and 44 percent unfavorable, Cain at 20/28, Pawlenty at 23/37, Palin at 31/62, and Gingrich at 23/58.

Meanwhile, Obama’s approval/disapproval spread registers 49 percent/47 percent.

As for the Romney campaign trail, he launched a new Web video today, entitled “Bump in the Road,” that presents an economy in crisis.

During the video, text appears reading: “Millions Have Lost Their Jobs Under President Obama. Long Term Unemployment Is Now Worse Than The Great Depression. June 3, 2011: Unemployment Hit 9.1 percent. President Obama Called It A Bump In The Road.”

Then there’s audio of Obama saying, “There are always going to be bumps on the road to recovery.” That is followed by a group of 11 people, each saying “I’m an American, not a bump in the road.”

The video:


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