Doug Schoen's Perspective:
Mitt Romney is expected to officially clinch the Republican presidential nomination today, as winning the Texas primary will put the former governor over the 1,144 delegates needed to secure the nomination.
This is just the latest positive news for Romney, whose campaign has taken a definitive upswing in the past month.
|Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks with senior advisor Eric Fehrnstrom today after arriving in Las Vegas.
Indeed, Obama’s margin is eroding. The latest tracking polls have Obama’s lead at just two points and one point respectively, from Gallup and Rasmussen Reports.
This marks a significant change from the seven-point lead Obama held in the Fox News poll conducted two weeks ago, and the eight-point lead he had over Romney at the beginning of May in the Associated Press poll.
The electoral map is moving in Romney's direction as well. Recent polling shows that Romney has closed the gap or taken the lead in key swing states such as North Carolina, Florida, Missouri and Virginia.
Polls in North Carolina have showed Romney with as much as an eight-point lead — 51 percent to 43 percent by Rasmussen Reports, while the two most recently released surveys had Romney leading by one and two points respectively.
In Florida, the Quinnipiac poll released last week had Romney leading Obama, 47 percent to 41 percent. Romney has led Obama in Missouri consistently, with Rasmussen polling last month having him at a three-point lead. And in Virginia, Obama’s lead has been cut in half to just four points, according to the recent NBC News/Marist poll, and the Real Clear Politics average has Obama leading the state by just 2.5 points.
That Romney has been able to significantly improve in key head-to-head match-ups shows a solid rebound from a bruising primary process by the presumptive Republican nominee, and a strong consolidation of the conservative base. Further, Obama’s inability to top 50 percent of voters in these swing states shows that vulnerability remains.
If Romney’s momentum continues and he captures these states, he would have more than 230 Electoral College votes — putting him within reach of the 270 votes needed for victory, with a number of swing states hanging in the balance.
States like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Iowa and Colorado will be in play for Romney as well, thus opening up several combinations to get beyond the 270 votes needed.
The campaign is moving inexorably toward Romney. Obama's job approval is slipping below 50 percent, as Rasmussen’s daily index had him at 49 percent approve, 50 percent disapprove.
Voters are split on whether they think Obama deserves to be re-elected — a Politico poll earlier this month found that 43 percent say they will vote to re-elect him, while 42 percent say they will vote to replace him.
While the presidential race is indeed a toss-up, voters are certain about one thing: Bain Capital is not what the election should be fought over. Rather, the focus should be on the future of the country; rebuilding the economy, creating jobs, balancing the budget, and reforming entitlement programs.
If Romney continues to build on his momentum and speaks seriously about these issues, he will likely have a real shot at winning the election.
Douglas E. Schoen is a political strategist, Fox News contributor, and author of several books including the recently released, "Hopelessly Divided: The New Crisis in American Politics and What It Means for 2012 and Beyond" (Rowman and Littlefield). Read more reports from Doug Schoen — Click Here Now.
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