Another sign of trouble for Mitt Romney's Republican presidential bid: a new round of stories where anonymous Romney supporters are taking potshots at the candidate's inner circle for running a weak campaign.
Stories in the Washington Post, New York Times, and Politico focus on Romney's failure to describe in detail his plans for balancing the budget; his failure to emphasize how he plans to help the middle class, and his failure to connect with middle-class Americans.
However, senior Romney advisers, including Ed Gillespie, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, say the candidate is planning to become very "future oriented" this week, through ads and speeches, in spelling out what a Romney presidency would mean for the country.
But some Republicans worry that it's getting late in the game. The latest polls show that Romney is slipping behind President Obama not only in the national race, but also in key swing states where the election will be decided, including Ohio, Florida, and Colorado. Obama also had a good fundraising month in August, collecting $114 million to Romney's $111 million. And Obama appears to be enjoying a surge in support since his nominating convention in Charlotte, North Carolina than Romney got from his convention in Tampa.
Some polls indicate that voters are increasingly confident in Obama's ability to strengthen the economy after Romney enjoyed a big lead on this issue for many months.
And while Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson is still in single digits, he is getting enough support in some key states, such as Colorado and New Mexico, that he could conceivably cost Romney a victory in those areas if the race is close.
Romney strategists say slow and steady wins the race. They predict that, in the end, their inexorable focus on the weak economy, coupled what they expect will be strong performances by Romney in three scheduled debates next month, will undermine Obama and turn the election Romney's way.
Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He writes the daily blog, "Ken Walsh's Washington," for usnews.com, and is the author of "The Presidency" column for the U.S. News Weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Facebook and Twitter.