Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus pointed to significant gains in recent weeks in Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, and Wisconsin as proof that momentum in the presidential election has shifted from President Barack Obama to Gov. Mitt Romney.
Priebus, appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” said internal polling and experiences with voters in each of the four states tells him that the information the Romney campaign is relying on is accurate.
“When you have the momentum, and you’re the challenger . . . the challenger wins,” he said. “The numbers are the numbers. They’re not created by us. We’ve got a ground game that is second to none . . . I’ve seen firsthand the difference between Obama’s rhetoric on their ground game and the reality. The reality is they’re not as good as they think that they are.”
According to Priebus, the Obama campaign is running a fraction of the turn-out-the-vote effort the president benefitted from in 2008 against Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
That, he said, has helped the Republican ground game be better and more effective along with plans to contact more voters than the party did in the 2004 and 2008 elections combined.
In addition to closing the gap in Ohio polls of likely and registered voters, Priebus pointed to shifting numbers in Colorado, the GOP “crushing” Democratic efforts in the recall election of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and overall dissatisfaction with Obama’s broken promises in Iowa.
The Des Moines Register on Saturday endorsed Romney for president, the first time it has supported a Republican on its editorial page in 40 years. “I think that’s a big deal,” Priebus said.
“Besides the ground game talk, this is about the president’s policies,” he said. “The current state of the economy — it’s a complete disaster. Only one person has been very clear on a plan to get this economy back on track and it’s been Governor Romney. The president still hasn’t delivered anything serious as a plan, and that’s his problem, there’s nothing there. Other than, perhaps, proving Clint Eastwood right.”
Despite the furor last week over Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock’s controversial statement about pregnancy after rape, Priebus said he did not believe that was the first thing people were thinking about in this election.
He wasn’t concerned that the statement had disrupted the vision of Romney and the Republican Party, either.
“Obviously, if people misspeak and they cause, for no apparent reason, small brushfires on their own, that’s a distraction,” he said. “Overall, this is still an election about the economy, the president’s failed broken promises, and now we have this issue of Libya creeping into the debate over this last stretch before Election Day.”
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