If the Presidential Election were to take place tomorrow, Barack Obama would win a 2nd term by a razor-thin margin. He has basically led Mitt Romney from wire-to-wire thus far, but has failed to put him away. However, a confluence of recent trends in fundraising, burn rate and overall enthusiasm suggests that Barack Obama will have to significantly change his current trajectory if he wants to beat Mitt Romney this November. Romney is willing or able to do things that Barack Obama can no longer afford in the run-up to the nominating conventions.
One anecdotal example involves how both men are attempting to use NASCAR events to reach out to blue collar white voters. The Democrats can’t or won’t use the Charlotte Motor Speedway as was originally planned. Details of how a DNC funding shortfall has curtailed the party’s approach follow below.
“While we regret having to move CarolinaFest away from our great partners at the Charlotte Motor Speedway and the City of Concord, we are thrilled with the opportunity that comes with hosting this event in Uptown Charlotte,” said Dan Murrey, the executive director of the Charlotte in 2012 Convention Host Committee.
What Mr. Murrey really meant to say was the following.
The move comes as party planners are grappling with a fundraising deficit of roughly $27 million, according to two people familiar with the matter who requested anonymity to discuss internal party politics. With a party ban on direct contributions from corporations, the host committee has raised less than $10 million, well short of its $36.6 million goal, said one of the people.
Unless my front page colleague Moe Lane was correct in suggesting other forces may have been at work here.
Mitt Romney has been working hard to fill the vacuum left by Obama’s shrinking outreach to working class, Southern voters. CBS News details Romney’s efforts in the State of Virginia below.
Also, there are two NASCAR races in Virginia just before the election - in Richmond and Martinsville. Both of those are areas where each campaign is clawing for middle-class votes. Romney staffers say they hope their candidate will be able to attend the races, but even if he's not there, it's quite certain that they will be.
All of this is compounded further by a sense that mcuh of what President Obama has done in his first term does not enhance the commonweal for residents of Appalachian Mountain regions in Virginia and North Carolina. The MACT regulations recently set forth by the EPA are particualrly threatening to people who earn a living mining coal. In a recent Senate Vote, the GOP attempted to stay this regulation but lost 53-46.
The potential economic impact of what is now being dubbed "Obama's War on Coal" combined with Mitt Romney's overtures to voters throughout the Appalachian Mountain Region could create a difficult climate for President Obama's re-election in states running from Georgia all the way up the mountain range to Pennsylvania. This would give Romney a key wedge in several states that voted for Obama in 2008 if Mitt Romney could succeed in gaining traction.
And it just may be that these efforts are coming to fruition. A polling outfit named We Ask America polled both the Presidential Race and The Virginia Senate Race and posted results quite favorable to Romney’s belief that Virginia can be flipped back to red in 2012. They have 1106 Likely Voters favoring Romney by 48 to 43 with 9 percent undecided. A close-to-even split of these voters would give Romney a 52-48% victory.
While campaign attendance of NASCAR events won’t decide close Southern states, it shows something that Romney does better than Barack Obama. It shows attention to detail and research. Mitt Romney is finding out where voters actually live and spend time, while Barack Obama is inviting them to his gala fundraisers and wondering why they are so rude and don’t show up. As they say in NASCAR – Romney needs to keep the hammer down. His current approach is superior to what Barack Obama is doing and it very well could win him the presidency.