Jansing and Co | October 26, 2012
>>> good morning. i'm chris jansing , 11 days left and kind of like a chess match, every move counts right now. except in this game, all the pieces are moving. ground game, advertising, campaign stops. but who is winning? well, mitt romney 's hitting 50% in two different daily tracking polls. but the two swing state polls show it's a dead heat , in colorado and the president has a small lead in nevada . the president wrapped up his 48-hour battleground blitz last night and in these final days he has one clear message --
>> it has to do with trust . there's no more serious issue in a presidential campaign than trust . trust matters. do you know what, ohio , after all these years, you now know me. you know that i mean what i say. and i say what i mean.
>> and joe biden hitting a similar theme in an op-ed piece out this morning in " usa today ." he wrote, quote, when you step into the voting booth , consider which candidate you trust . who understands the challenges and choices your family faces? and who has the clear plan to lead us forward? mitt romney will reveal more of his plan to the country in a major economic speech later this afternoon in iowa. but out on the trail he's already following a line from obama back in 2008 .
>> and so the american people now have to recognize that given the big challenges we have and the big election we have, it's time for a big change, and paul ryan and i represent a big change for america.
>> i want to bring in jonathan capeha capehart, good morning.
>> good morning.
>> is this what it's come down to, trust versus change?
>> yes. i mean, it's good that you pointed this out. this is sort of the president ran on the change message in 2008 . and now that he has a record to run on and an opponent who's been sort of a bit of a phantom when it comes to exactly what he wants to do if he were to get the white house the next four years exactly how he's going to pay for everything and what the details of those plans, you know, the president is now making the argument that as you showed in the clip, the american people know him, you know what he's about. but -- and you can trust him as opposed to mitt romney who has been on every side of every issue since he started running for president six years ago.
>> in making the pitch to obviously a very small number of people who are undecided or may be willing to change their minds, change who they are going to vote for, in that context, let me ask you about the polls because, you know, we've talked a lot about how some of them have been very far off, but, you know, i think at this point you look at the tracking polls, they're pretty close to one another, the two that came out today with romney having a slight lead. battleground polls where it looks like president obama still has the edge. where are we in this race right now?
>> well, we all know that this race comes down to the states and the electoral map and that's why we crunch the numbers and look into it. this is why ohio is so important and why colorado is so important, why a state like nevada is so important. and now you're seeing president obama with a slight advantage and a pretty strong advantage in nevada , that three-point lead, you know, is because mitt romney has a lot of enthusiasm with republicans. it might be as high as he goes, 47%, 48%, kind of tough to see where the three points takes him -- how he finds the other three points when he's down six with registered voters and obama has such a big lead there with hispanics. in colorado we've seen a big, big shift to mitt romney , before the debate the president was up 50-45 and now it's dead even, but that lead it looks like it's trending more romney 's direction even if it's by a point or two because of what happened in the denver suburbs. you see a flip, obama was up about a month ago, now romney is up and with denver -- suburban denver women where obama had an 18-point lead, that lead is down to just three. and romney expanded his advantage with men. so, i don't know that there's a lot that can change the dynamic there. all i know is it's going to be a really close race and the president's kept in the race because of latino support in colorado as well.
>> let's talk a little bit more, jonathan , about women in colorado and nevada , because the president has gone from double-digit leads to single-digit leads there, obviously still leading among women but you have a lot of attention being paid frankly because of things that people like mourdock has said, the war on women , do you think that will turn around? is the president going to expand his lead again? what's going on with the women vote in these key battleground states ?
>> that's an interesting question because i've been trying to figure that out as well. i mean, the republicans have handed the democrats in general and the president in particular plenty of material to show the contrast and the differences between the president and governor romney when it comes to women 's issues and you remember from i believe it was the second debate when the president made the all-important pivot from talking about choice and women 's health to economic issues. talking about how, you know, making contraception available to women is a pocketbook issue. the president's been driving very hard on that message and trying to reach out to women . for some reason stubbornly it's not getting through in the way that the president needs in order to overcome governor romney 's growing advantage.
>> can we talk about something else, you know, in the whole sort of idea of things that people say, john sununu now walking back his comments about colin powell 's endorsement of the president. but let me play first what he said last night.
>> if you take a look at colin powell , you have to wonder whether it's an endorsement based on issues or whether he's got a slightly different reason for preferring president obama .
>> what reason would that be?
>> well, i think when you have somebody of your own race that you're proud of being president of the united states , i applaud colin for standing with him.
>> then he released a statement really late, colin powell is a friend and i respect the endorsement decision he made and i do not doubt that it was based on anything but his support of the president's policies. piers morgan 's question was about whether he should leave the party, i do not think he should. may it may not move votes, but does it take mitt romney off message?
>> it absolutely does, between this, things like richard mourdock . john sununu will certainly be speaking his mind about a host of issues, you never know what you're going to get sometimes. and this is certainly a headache the romney people don't want to have to deal with which is why you saw their statement distancing themselves so quickly from this right after sununu said that.
>> hang around, guys, i want to bring in brad woodhouse , communications director for the dnc. good to see you.
>> hi, chris .
>> let me read to you something that peggy noonan wrote in "the wall street journal " this morning, she's talking a little bit about bob woodward 's book and the president's debate performance and how it was viewed by voters, quote, they didn't see an odd version of the president, they saw the president and they didn't like what they saw and that would linger. do you think that peggy noonan is right to some extent? are the polls so close because the president is still battling this bad debate performance in the first debate?
>> i don't think so, chris . we predicted long before there were any presidential debates , before mitt romney was the nominee, that this would be a very tight race that would go down to the wire. the problem for mitt romney , though, is that no matter how close the national polls are, we know this is not a national election. he has to run the table and he has to run the table in the battleground states , the president doesn't have to run the table. he's got a bank of electoral votes that already have him ahead of states that he will win -- that already has him ahead of mitt romney . ohio is looking strong. wisconsin is looking strong. iowa is trending -- is trending our way, nevada i think is very much trending our way. and we win those states , we win the presidency. and mitt romney has to run the table. and the problem is that there's a lack of enthusiasm among undecided voters in these states because they don't trust his policies and they don't want to go back to the policies that failed us in the bush administration .
>> well, obviously, brad, the romney campaign disagrees with you and let me talk specifically about ohio because there's this memo from the romney cam main in ohio and here's what it says, a steady upward trajectory among key voting blocs shows a close race but one trending in mitt prom romney 's direction. the polls show up 1 to 5 points. the memo from the directors, what do you say about the trajectory and the momentum?
>> i would say in ohio "time" magazine had the president up five and one point away from 50. mitt romney 's never cracked the code in ohio and he's never going to. i mean, this is a state that the republican governor there has said has recovered economically. he can't say that without attributing some of that success to the president. it's a state where mitt romney suffers in the north because he said let detroit go bankrupt and he's in there trying to convince people that he didn't say that when he did. it's not going to resonate. ohio 's going to be in the president's column because ohio has moved forward under the president's leadership.
>> what do you think it's going to come down to because they're certainly not giving up? we've seen how often mitt romney has been there and so has the president. he's got three visits this week, more ad spending this week than in any other state. what are you looking at? what will be the key there? is it suburban women voters?
>> i think it will be a few things. one, i think it will be blue collar voters in the north, it will be autoworkers. it is going to be suburban women . but, you know, in the end, you know, the president goes, he holds these rallies, thousands of people come out. we're trying to turn out every vote we can. we're not going to cede any demographic, we're going to make a strong case, the president has moved ohio forward, he's moved the country forward. and remember this, mitt romney talks about change, he's not proposing anything different than what we got in the bush-cheney years. he wants to go back to their very policies, so the american people don't want that. certainly the people of ohio don't want that and i do think this race -- i don't think this race will come down to ohio . it certainly doesn't come down to ohio for us. i do think it comes down to ohio for him. if he loses it, i don't believe he'll be president. i'm convinced he'll lose it.
>> brad woodhouse , good to see you.
>> thanks, chris .
>> try to get an hour or two of sleep every night. it's tough in the closing days. what do you think about this, jonathan , my home state, but where a lot of attention has been focused.
>> no republican has won the white house without winning ohio . but, you know, it's very important for the president, not only because of, you know, the auto bailout and what it meant to people in ohio and michigan and wisconsin and other states who depended on that, but it would show that the president made the right bet in doing that with the auto bailout, the right bet in focusing on ohio to ensure that the state that he took in 2008 will be in his column again in 2012 . but, you know, these polls being so close not only in ohio but colorado and nevada and other key states , this -- tuesday night, what's today? how many days do we have left, chris ? 12?
>> 11 days and counting.
>> 11 days, that and november 6th night we'll be sitting on the edge of our seats like everyone else in the country wondering how the states will go and particularly ohio considering the things i mentioned before.
>> bill clinton will be with the president on wednesday in youngstown, ohio . we were talking about -- we were counting how many times they said ohio on " morning joe " and we finally gave up because it was so many. final question for you, demonico, there's a little thing called sandy roiling out there, could it interrupt the president's travel plans?
>> sure. nobody knows what will happen with sandy. what it will do in the next week with travel plans, with early vote --
>> i mean not just in his ability to get somewhere but would he potentially cancel some things if it's really bad?
>> you just don't know, but definitely i would think so potentially if there's flooding or outages and then, you know, he has to, then, take on the role of president. remember, this storm killed 21 people in the caribbean, you know, if something were to happen, if there were a major crisis somewhere, the president would then have to step up to the plate to be -- put on the president hat instead of campaigner and there aren't that many campaign days left.
>> thanks to both of you. have a good weekend.
>> thanks, chris .
>> thank you.
>>> we mentioned the hurricane, sandy is on track to cause millions maybe more than a billion dollars in damage along heavily populated areas of the east coast next week. forecasters are saying this could be high winds , heavy rain, extreme tides, maybe even snow further inland. more on hurricane sandy coming up in a live