The Daily Telegraph’s blogger Dan Hodges has a post titled “Mitt Romney’s campaign is finally admitting to itself that the election has slipped away” that is intriguing. Is this a case of a journalist seeing things through his own prism, putting two and to together, picking up on a trend or just a chronicle of the pressures of the final high-stakes day of a close campaign? Some quotes — and you decide:
When a political campaign reaches the end, discipline starts to fray. People are exhausted, both physically and mentally, and they begin to drop their guard.
Following on from the briefing from Paul Ryan advisors about his post-election plans yesterday, there’s another interesting article I’ve just spotted that was posted on Saturday by Jan Crawford of CBS news, who is travelling with the Romney camp.
Crawford starts by noting the change in disposition of Mitt Romney’s wife Ann:
“Delivering a basket of baked goods to the press on the campaign plane this morning before takeoff for Iowa, Ann Romney – normally relentlessly sunny and confident – appeared emotional, almost vulnerable, as she reminisced about the all consuming campaign and reflected on its uncertain closing days.”
That’s wholly understandable – the toll these campaigns have on candidates and their families are horrendous.
But what’s more telling are a series of quotes from Romney campaign officials. Again, there are the normal caveats about the private polling showing their man holding onto a tight lead.
But then we get this: “At a rally this morning in New Hampshire, I asked a senior Mitt Romney campaign adviser what the campaign had planned in the final crucial days. His answer was swift. ‘Praying’.”
And this: “One adviser this morning was even more candid: “I’m not saying (Mr. Obama) is definitely going to lose.”
And finally this: “We’re the challengers. We always knew we could lose,” one aide told me here in Dubuque. “They [the Obama camp] never contemplated they could lose.”
There are other signs that GOPers fear Romney won’t pull it off: several prominent Republicans blaming a loss if it happens on Hurricane Sandy (and the new Pew Research Center Poll does suggest Obama got a boost), some other reports that suggests strain on Ann Romney’s face and that entertainer masking as a political analyst Dick Morris hedging his bets and now saying just maybe Romney won’t win by a landslide (but Michael Barone still sticks with his prediction).
Other reports such as from the always reliable Mark Halperin suggest Boston remains confident about its calculations on how this will end.
But the quotes suggesting that sunny confidence is vanishing suggest a)fear about how it may turn out OR b)internal polls that show it will not turn out the way Team Romney wants. Plus, you have new polls coming out today that don’t show a rush to the Romney brand: it’s either continued dead heat or Obama inching ahead.
The Presidency is indeed up for grabs, but is the Romney campaign now beginning to conclude that it may be just a hair beyond its reach?
On the other hand, apart from winning votes, there are some things some Republicans can still do……