Politics

Romney Campaign Memo: Don’t Panic

As Obama enjoys a hefty post-convention bump, Romney’s pollster insists “the basic structure of the race has not changed significantly.”

Brian Snyder / Reuters

BOSTON, Mass. — As new polls show President Obama opening up a wider lead coming out of the Democratic Convention, Mitt Romney’s pollster sent a memo to press Monday morning with a simple message: Don’t panic.

“Don’t get too worked up about the latest polling,” wrote Romney campaign pollster Neil Newhouse. “While some voters will feel a bit of a sugar-high from the conventions, the basic structure of the race has not changed significantly.”

Newhouse argues that Obama continues to own the weak economy, and that the issue will soon “reassert itself” as the guiding factor in the election — the chief talking point that has always served as the founding rational of Romney’s campaign.

He also points to an expanding battlefield, which he says includes opportunities for victory in Wisconsin and New Mexico, Romney’s cash-on-hand advantage, and progress in building the campaign’s ground game.

The memo notably strays from the straight number-crunching pollsters typically focus on, with Newhouse writing about campaign strategy and ad buys, among other things. It could represent an effort to leverage the pollster’s perceived credibility as a numbers guy — less likely to spin than a political strategist, or the campaign manager.

The full memo is below:

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McKay Coppins is a senior writer for the BuzzFeed News politics team and has a forthcoming book on the changing Republican party (Little, Brown 2015).
Contact this reporter at mckay@buzzfeed.com
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