October 31, 2012

MICHAEL BARONE: Romney Pressures Obama By Expanding Electoral Map.

As the East Coast recoils from Hurricane Sandy, the political news is of new states suddenly inundated with presidential campaign ads. First Wisconsin, then Pennsylvania, more recently Minnesota. Ann Romney is campaigning in Michigan, Bill Clinton in Minnesota.

All these are states Barack Obama carried by 10 points or more in 2008. Why is the electoral map scrambled this year?

One reason, which I wrote about last week, is that Mitt Romney seems to be running better in affluent suburbs than other recent Republican nominees. That’s one reason he made big gains after the first debate in Florida and Virginia, target states where most votes are cast in relatively affluent suburban counties.

The tightening race in Michigan and Pennsylvania, which Obama carried by 16 and 10 points in 2008, seems to reflect a move toward Romney in the affluent suburbs surrounding Detroit and Philadelphia.

Read the whole thing. And note this:

Obama’s comparative advantage on war and peace issues seems to be gone. His campaign and his convention boasted constantly of how he ordered the attack on Osama bin Laden.

The murder of our ambassador and three other Americans in Libya and the apparent failure to respond to cries for rescue undercuts the Obama narrative that the Muslim world is peaceful and friendly now that he is president. Turmoil and chaos abroad do not work in favor of an incumbent president.

Indeed.