By Arun Kumar
Washington: With Republican challenger Mitt Romney forging ahead for the first time in national polls thanks to the bounce given by last week’s first presidential debate, both he and President Barack Obama are changing their tactics.
The RealClearPolitics average of recent polling put Romney ahead of Obama 48 percent to 47.3 percent. However, the electoral map of political news aggregating site shows the Obama/Biden ticket leading in states totalling 251 electoral votes, Romney/Ryan 181, and 106 too close to call.
A candidate needs 270 of the 538 electoral votes to win a four-year tenure in the White House.
Several other polls too showed Romney ahead with Gallup’s tracking poll of 2,721 “likely voters” showing Romney leading 48 percent-46 percent. An IBD/TIPP Tracking poll of 797 “likely voters” has Romney leading 47 percent-45 percent.
With the White House at stake, Obama is now delivering a more assertive message that focuses on promises he made and says he kept, such as ending the Iraq war and cutting taxes for the middle class, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Romney, on the other hand, is speaking more about personal experiences, such as his work as a Mormon church leader, at a time when some polls suggest the negative image that many voters hold of him is beginning to soften, it said.
Campaigning in Columbus, Ohio, Tuesday Obama accused Romney of “salesmanship, not leadership, part of a new approach to attack not just Romney’s policies, but his character”, CBS Evening News commented.
Meanwhile, Romney “unleashed a rapid-fire critique of President Barack Obama’s farm policies” hitting the president “repeatedly on issues of interest to the farming and agriculture communities, including the estate tax, exports and regulations” as the Des Moines Register put it.
However, the Obama campaign Tuesday made light of the new polls with campaign spokesperson Jenn Psaki telling reporters aboard Air Force One: “We’re implementing our own game plan. We’re focused on getting our supporters out, communicating the choice.”
Psaki, according to Politico, a news site focusing on presidential politics maintained that unlike Mitt Romney’s campaign, which has reportedly pulled back from Pennsylvania and upped its focus on Ohio, the Obama camp is still competing vigorously in every state it set its sights on from the beginning.
“We feel that the race and the states in play have been entirely consistent,” she said. “…This is a race that is being competed every day (in) about seven to nine states. That’s where we’re up on the air, that’s where our focus is.”
Politico also wondered if Romney’s post-debate bounce will last noting that Romney’s bounce came after a debate in which Obama’s performance was widely panned as too passive. He is unlikely to make the same mistake again.