Ronald Kessler reporting from Washington, D.C. —
States that traditionally have been considered Democrat strongholds are now moving toward Mitt Romney, Bay Buchanan, a senior adviser to Romney, tells Newsmax.
“When we came into this general election, it was assumed that the battleground states would be the same ones that they were in the past,” says Buchanan, who was treasurer of the U.S. under President Reagan. “Well what’s happened is a lot of the Democratic states are now looking like Mitt Romney could win them. They are now swing states.”
That means that Democrats have to focus on an additional five states: New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan, Buchanan says. As it is, Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee have about $25 million more cash on hand than the Democrats.
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Based on polls the campaign considers reliable, “Romney is running very, very strong in some traditionally swing states,” Buchanan says. “We feel very good about Indiana now. I don’t think it’s even a swing state. In North Carolina, the numbers show us up as high as five or six percentage points. Florida looks very, very good. It is still within the margin of error, but it’s certainly very strong for us.”
While Virginia looks tougher, “We’re in play,” Buchanan says. “That’s clearly going to go down to the wire. But we’re looking strong in Wisconsin. We got some two dozen offices in Wisconsin. We’re all over the state running very strong grass roots. It’s going to be up on TV, and so we’re going to force the Democrats to use some of their money if they want to hold on to Wisconsin. There are a lot of other states that we’re going to be playing in where four months ago most analysts would have said Republicans don’t have any chance.”
President Obama’s campaign has poured almost $100 million into ads mainly in swing states.
“The ads have gotten him no bump in any poll, and that has to be an alarming thing for the Obama campaign when they can put all of this kind of money in negative ads and have the president of the United States out there talking and trying to build his numbers and to see nothing happen,” Buchanan says. “So I think what is clear is that Obama is unable to move things.”
In contrast, “When we put money into a state, we see movement,” Buchanan says. “We see our numbers climb, and now that we’re going to be able to run parity with them on the money, and since we’re now approaching the Tampa convention, we’ll be able to spend as much as they do if not more with a message portraying who Mitt Romney is and what his vision of America is.”
Buchanan says Romney will be offering more specifics about his plans to turn the economy around. As noted in my story "A Winning Slogan for Romney
," the GOP presidential candidate needs to offer tangible benefits if he is elected. To boost his appeal, ads are now portraying him in more human terms and outlining why Romney’s financial success means he knows how to fix the national economy.
Buchanan says Obama spoke from the heart when he said the private sector is doing fine and businessmen didn’t build their own businesses but instead owe their success to roads, bridges, and teachers.
“I think we now know a little bit more about why President Obama imposed the kind of job-killing policies that he did,” Buchanan says. “It fits in with his philosophy that the answer to all of our problems is government, and so everything that he does is to take money from the private sector.”
A recent report from the General Accountability Office underscored the difference between the public and private sector. Selling something as basic as food, the government-owned Amtrak has lost $800 million in the past 10 years because of theft and lack of coordination and supervision.
Movie theaters make their money selling popcorn and candy bars, but Amtrak loses money selling food, notes Buchanan, who recently came out with her book “Bay and Her Boys: Unexpected Lessons I Learned as a (Single) Mom.”
“It just goes to show that the private sector does things efficiently and well because if they don’t, they are going to lose money, and they don't want to lose money,” Buchanan says. “The government doesn’t care because the money they use isn’t theirs.”
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Buchanan predicts that Romney’s announcement of a vice presidential candidate — which she expects before the convention — will further boost his campaign.
“People want to know what they are buying, and right now it’s Mitt Romney, but when you have the whole team together, working together out there and making our case, I think you are going to see real movement,” Buchanan says.
“What matters at this point is who has the momentum three months out, and there’s no question that the momentum is with us,” Buchanan says.
Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. He is the New York Times bestselling author of books on the Secret Service, FBI, and CIA. Read more reports from Ronald Kessler — Click Here Now.
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