POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 9/21

Obama Up in Three More Swing States

New NBC News/WSJ/Marist Polls show President Obama leads Mitt Romney in the key battleground states of Iowa, Wisconsin, and Colorado.

Iowa: Obama 50%, Romney 42%

Wisconsin: Obama 50%, Romney 45%

Colorado: Obama 50%, Romney 45%

Taking Romney Out-of-Context

President Obama’s campaign released a new video made up entirely out-of-context clips of Mitt Romney, intended to show how the Romney campaign’s attack on Obama’s 14 year old “redistribution” comment was unfair.

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Latest Swing State Polls

Here are the today’s swing state polls, updated as needed throughout the day:

Colorado: Obama 49%, Romney 45% (YouGov)

Florida: Romney 48%, Obama 44% (Caddell/McLaughlin)

Florida: Obama 49%, Romney 46% (We Ask America)

Florida: Obama 48%, Romney 46% (YouGov)

Iowa: Obama 48%, Romney 42% (YouGov)

Michigan: Obama 52%, Romney 38% (Detroit News)

Michgan: Obama 52%, Romney 38% (Glengariff)

Nevada: Obama 49%, Romney 46% (CNN/ORC)

Nevada: Obama 51%, Romney 43% (YouGov)

New Hampshire: Obama 47%, Romney 40% (YouGov)

North Carolina: Obama 46%, Romney 46% (YouGov)

Ohio: Obama 47%, Romney 44% (Caddell/McLaughlin)

Pennsylvania: Obama 48%, Romney 42% (We Ask America)

Virginia: Obama 48%, Romney 44% (YouGov)

Wisconsin: Obama 48%, Romney 46% (YouGov)

Club for Growth May Target Graham

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) “is at the top of the Club for Growth’s target list for 2014,” Politico reports.

Said the group’s president, Chris Chocola: “If you’re looking to the horizon of 2014. the sun may rise over South Carolina,” adding that Graham “has not fared well on our score card.”

Romney Plans Battleground Push

Wall Street Journal: “Mitt Romney’s plan to rebound from a tough stretch in his bid for the White House rests on stepping up campaigning in swing states, running more television ads and curtailing a fundraising push that has had him spending more time with donors in hotel ballrooms than with supporters at campaign rallies.”

“Still navigating a series of setbacks, Mr. Romney will hit the campaign trail harder than he has since the party conventions began at the end of August, with public events in Florida, Nevada, Colorado and Ohio in the next week.”

USA Today reports Romney will do a bus tour in Ohio.

Democratic Enthusiam Grows in Swing States

A new USA Today/Gallup poll in 12 battleground states find voters are now significantly more enthusiastic about voting this fall than they were in June: 59% are either “extremely” or “very” enthusiastic, up from 46%.

But Democrats’ level of enthusiasm has increased more: “Thus, whereas equal percentages of Democrats and Republicans were enthusiastic in June, Democrats are now significantly more enthusiastic than Republicans, 73% vs. 64%.”

Romney Never Saw His Own Convention Video

Huffington Post: “Mitt Romney’s campaign produced a 10-minute documentary film about the candidate that forced even liberal Democrats, when it was shown at the Republican National Convention, to admit that it was a moving portrayal of Romney’s life and values.”

“The problem is not very many people have seen the video, and the Romney campaign appears to have made little effort to change that. Romney revealed to donors in Atlanta on Wednesday that he himself had not seen the entire thing until it was shown before his remarks at a fundraiser.”

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Obama Uses Levers of Power

President Obama’s political team is providing “a textbook example of how an incumbent can harness the power of the office to bolster the case for re-election,” the New York Timesreports.

“Every president lives at the intersection of policy and politics, never more so than during a campaign season. Locked in a tight race with Mitt Romney, Mr. Obama and his team have been pulling every lever of the federal government within reach, announcing initiatives aimed at critical constituencies, dispatching cabinet secretaries to competitive areas, coordinating campaign events to match popular government actions and forestalling or even reversing other government decisions that could hurt the president’s chances of a second term.”

More Moderate Mitt

Not only did Mitt Romney back down from his famous 47% remarks, First Read notes “he also softened his tone on health care, immigration, and gay rights.”

“Last night was the candidate many of us expected to start seeing in June or July, not in September — it was the Romney of 2004. And on health care, we have seen Romney make moderate-sounding remarks on the subject, but then he’s had to walk them back after receiving criticism from conservatives. That’s the thing to watch today: Will we see any conservative blowback about Romney’s comments last night? Or will conservatives cut him slack for the first time this campaign because he’s on the ropes? We know the campaign is exhausted from litigating every little thing with their conservative critics, especially since it believes it’s running a more ideologically conservative campaign than any Republican in a generation.”

Wall Street Journal: “Romney Softens Tone at Univision Forum.”

Obama and Romney on 60 Minutes

President Obama and Mitt Romney “will get the 60 Minutes treatment this Sunday in separate interviews with different correspondents,” USA Today writes.

Media Caricatures of Mitt Romney

Smart Politics review of broadcast media coverage of the 2012 campaign finds Mitt Romney “has been accused of being several wealthy fictional characters, from cartoons and comic strips (Scrooge McDuck, Richie Rich, Mr. Burns, Daddy Warbucks), classic British literature (Ebenezer Scrooge), film (Mr. Potter, Gordon Gekko), and even a board game (The Monopoly Man).”

McCain Defends Romney Over Comment

Sen. John McCain compared a comment he made during his 2008 presidential bid to Mitt Romney’s 47% remark caught on hidden video, “which is similarly drawing heavy Democratic flak,” CNN reports.

Said McCain: “I don’t know if you remember when I said the fundamentals of the economy are strong even though we’re in a fiscal crisis – oh my god!”

Ohio Miners Lost Pay for Romney Visit

Mitt Romney’s campaign is airing two ads in Ohio “that include footage of the coal miners who lost pay because he campaigned at their mine,” the Columbus Dispatch reports.

“The footage is from Romney’s Aug. 14 campaign stop at the Century Mine in Beallsville, Ohio, owned by a subsidiary of Murray Energy Corp. It was later learned that the miners on stage were ordered out of the mine because of Romney’s campaign stop and were not paid for the portion of their shift that was canceled by the event.”

Obama on Redistribution of Wealth

Mitt Romney this week has jumped on a 14-year-old clip of Barack Obama speaking about “redistribution” of wealth at a 1998 conference in Chicago.

However, NBC News “has obtained the entirety of the relevant remarks, which includes additional comments by Obama that weren’t included in the video circulated by Republicans. That omission features additional words of praise for ‘competition’ and the ‘marketplace’ by the then-state senator.”

Obama, from the whole clip: “I think the trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution because I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure that everybody’s got a shot. How do we pool resources at the same time as we decentralize delivery systems in ways that both foster competition, can work in the marketplace, and can foster innovation at the local level and can be tailored to particular communities.”

Maggie Haberman: “It’s a bit different than when the first sentence is isolated. Obama was making two parallel pitches, for market competition and pooled resources, in a fashion similar to how he has at other points in his career… That line is one Obama almost certainly wishes he could get back – but it’s also why video archives of him talking about redistribution is unlikely to surprise swaths of voters.”

Fifth of All Voters Could Change Their Mind

A new ABC News poll finds that 22% of registered voters can still be persuaded to change their vote for president before Election Day.

The figure includes essentially equal numbers of President Obama’s and Mitt Romney’s supporters.

Will Flood of New Money Change the Race?

National Journal looks at the final rush of cash into the presidential race, enabling Mitt Romney’s campaign and his supporters “to blitz the nation’s airwaves” in support of the Republican candidate.

“That’s a new wrinkle in a race that has seen Romney outspent by Obama in most swing states. Though Romney has raised more cash overall than Obama, some was for party committees and much of the money he raised for his own campaign was designated for the general election. That meant it could not be spent until he officially became the nominee last month.”

“That coming financial flood is a source of concern among Democrats, who privately acknowledge that the money is an unknown factor in a race many them otherwise feel confident about. But Republicans also concede that additional millions spent on TV advertising could fail to reach voters already sick of politics and certain in their opinion of both candidates.”

Poll Gives Brown the Edge in Massachusetts

A new Boston Herald/UMass-Lowell poll in Massachusetts finds Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) leading Elizabeth Warren by four points in the U.S. Senate race among likely voters, 49% to 45%.

Four previous polls this week all showed Warren with the lead.

Pawlenty Becomes a Lobbyist

Tim Pawlenty “has been chosen as the new head of The Financial Services Roundtable, a lobbying group, Politico reports.

“The group lobbies on behalf of large banks, insurance companies and other major players in the world of finance. The decision is expected to be announced Thursday morning.”

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