Dr. Owen: Election Scorecard - Sept. 21

Editor’s note: This post begins a weekly series by Dr. Owen that we will feature on Fridays until Election Day. They are part of a blog being run by Affan Chowdhry of the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail. The blog series will focus on providing a weekly campaign scorecard for each candidate. eM&P is proud to host Dr. Owen’s portion of that blog. We believe you will enjoy Dr. Owen’s insights into the campaign, and know they will add to your knowledge of the weekly events leading up to the election.

This week's full blog post can be read at the Globe and Mail's website here.

It is difficult for any candidate to have a good week in the excessively nasty 2012 election, but Mitt Romney has had an especially bad time of it lately. The [“47 per cent”] incident played directly into the narrative of Romney as a candidate who favors the interests of the wealthy, a perception that polls indicate is hurting him in battleground states, like Wisconsin, Ohio, Virginia, and Colorado.

There also were shake-ups within the Romney organization, leading to headlines that his campaign was in disarray. Tim Pawlenty, the Romney campaign’s national co-chair, left to take a position lobbying for a financial services organization.

Barack Obama had a week of ups and downs. He dealt with the fallout over his administration’s initial response to protests in the Middle East that resulted in the deaths of four Americans which opponents claimed was not sufficiently robust. Since the American public’s interest in foreign affairs is limited, Obama likely did not lose much ground as a result.

The Obama campaign has strategically scheduled trips to battleground states where he has used big rallies to set the campaign agenda. During a trip to working class Ohio he lambasted China for taking American jobs and Romney for outsourcing jobs to China. This message resonates with voters in states hard hit by the persistent economic downturn. Romney is using the China issue to reboot his campaign, responding that Obama has “let China run all over us.” Some polls show that Obama is pulling away from Romney, but polls have been all over the map and there is a lot of election time to go.