8:35 am ET
In the wake of new polling, a gender gap problem, and an economy problem, Mitt Romney, turnaround specialist needs a turnaround.
Here’s my Take from the first segment of “Morning Joe”:
SCARBOROUGH: Mitt Romney is not getting crushed in all three of these states because of liberal media bias. What’s happening there and why is he losing so badly, especially in Ohio?
HALPERIN: Well, it’s very unlikely the President will win those states by those margins but these numbers are not out of line, dramatically, with private polling, and some other public polling. I think the biggest problem, right now, remains him. He’s not driving a consistent message. The President does, says something. The Republicans get all excited about it. They treat it like a gaffe. They’ll talk about it for a day and then they’ll move onto something else. The biggest danger, to me, right now for the Republican Party are two things. One is that, you look at the polls in terms of who people now think is going to win and, from elite Republicans and from rank-and-file Republicans you hear, increasingly, the President is going to win. That is a very dangerous thing for anyone to be running in the headwinds of. And the other thing is, right now, Democrats could not only hold the Senate, they could actually pick up a seat in the Senate. And I don’t know what happens to the House. If he wins by these huge margins and they pick up a Senate seat, rather than lose control of the Senate, the House is going to be in play. It’s not today. But Republicans, right now, are in danger of having this thing just fall in on itself and it all can be turned around if Governor Romney performs better.
HALPERIN: The economic numbers are huge. The other thing that relates is the gender gap. Inside these latest Quinnipiac polls, this gender gap is gigantic. Why did the Mitt Romney campaign have out as their surrogates Bay Buchanan, and Liz Cheney and Kelly Ayotte? Because they have a huge gender problem and they’re not addressing it with these daily attacks on the President’s so-called gaffes.
HALPERIN: Did two events yesterday here in this city. He did the Clinton Global Initiative, talked about America’s role in the world — was very presidential, very reassuring. And then he did an Education Nation interview with Brian — very good. Showed the fact that he’s a policy guy, that he cares about issues. As Governor, he really dug into them. But that Mitt Romney doesn’t get very much attention and he doesn’t put it on display very often and it’s—. Now, the thing he has to become is a fighter. He has to have people like Joe Scarborough look at him, every day on the trail, every event, and say he’s fighting for the party. He’s fighting for the country. He’s fighting to turn the country around. I don’t see that. But if he doesn’t become that before the first debate and in the first debate, it’s going to be very hard to keep the party together behind him.