Mitt Romney’s Not Done Yet

The leaked video of Romney speaking at a private fundraiser isn't going to cost him the election.

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney addresses the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles, Monday, Sept. 17, 2012.

Democrats and a certain contingent of Republicans rushed this week to declare the Romney campaign finished. One word describes these pronouncements: premature.

At 48 days to go until the election the national polls are virtually tied, with Rasmussen tracking showing Mitt Romney up by two points and Gallup showing President Obama up by one. Further, Romney is leading in North Carolina and is polling within the margin of error in Virginia, Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Colorado, Wisconsin, and Nevada—all states which Obama won handily in 2008 and is well behind that pace in 2012.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the 2012 campaign.]

This snapshot of the current status of the election in no way presents a picture of a lost campaign for the GOP. Moreover, in the next 48 days, there will be two more jobs reports, which are not expected to bring any better news than the last several reports have. Add to that the striking instability in the Middle East, continuing economic turmoil in the eurozone as well as persistent economic uncertainty in the United States and the result is that this election is as close as ever, and Mitt Romney has every opportunity to come out the winner on November 6.

The question being asked this week is how the surreptitiously taken video of Mitt Romney speaking to his donors in May will impact the outcome of the election. There have been those on the right who are decrying Romey's statements as ruinous to his effort. They are wrong.

There are reasons that the Romney camp is not backing away from the general sentiment portrayed in the video. First, that sentiment of returning America to an opportunistic and striving mentality resonates with the whole of the Republican/conservative base as well as with a measure of independents disappointed in the Obama presidency.

[Take the U.S. News Poll: Will the Leaked Romney Videotape Sink His Campaign?]

Second, in watching the full amount of the video released by Mother Jones, Romney comes across as confident, knowledgeable about the specifics of his path to victory, and resolute to achieve that goal. Back on May 17, Romney predicted to his donors exactly what the Democrats' attack on him would be—going after his achievements and success. The foresight, energy, and directness shown by Romney should be viewed as a positive in terms of rallying his support. That view has already been expressed by such by voices on the right as Rush Limbaugh, an influential figure with the conservative base who has been critical of Romney as the GOP's candidate in the past.

Declaring any race finished while there are so many laps to go is a dangerous proposition, and in the case of this race for the White House it is plainly incorrect. Romney can utilize the positives from the coverage of his videotaped remarks, combine that with concentration on continued policy and political failures of President Obama, mix in specific proposals for reinvigorating this country, and have the result be a victory in November.

  • Read the U.S. News Debate: Did the '47 Percent' Video Sink Romney's Campaign?
  • Read Robert Schlesinger: Mitt Romney, the Leaked 47 Percent Video, and Contemptuous Conservatism
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