Republican Mitt Romney is struggling in the swing state of Iowa at a perilous point: just as voters there start casting early ballots in the presidential race.
President Barack Obama has a clear lead in Iowa opinion polls, helped by the fact that the state’s economy is far more robust than that of other battleground states. The president’s polling edge is so wide, it has prompted grumbling among Iowa Republicans who fault Romney for failing to take advantage of Obama’s weakened standing in the four years since Iowa launched his bid for the White House in 2008.
“There still is time to win, but we are in the fourth quarter,” said Nick Ryan, a veteran Iowa Republican strategist.
That’s a not quite accurate metaphor. According to the report, “A Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist Poll taken last week found Romney trailing Obama by 8 percentage points, a finding that mirrored recent internal polls from Democrats and Republicans alike. The poll also found that just 40% had positive feelings about Romney, down from 43% in May. Conversely, Obama saw his favorability rating improve to 53% from 48% over that same period.”
So Romney’s down 8 and voting is happening right now. Mitt needs to make up a lot of lost ground and every minute, as voters cast their ballots, that ground is becoming more and more unrecoverable, because every time a vote is cast, it represents one more mind that it’s too late to change.