As 11,000 enthusiastic supporters crammed into St. Petersburg to hear President Obama, Mitt Romney spoke to gathering of several hundred Republicans in an aircraft hanger in Virginia Beach.
The Washington Post reported, “Hoping to blunt any momentum his rival has picked up in Florida since the GOP convention, Obama opened his bus trip in the Interstate 4 corridor, which cuts through the center of the the state from the Gulf Coast to the Atlantic, with a rally for 11,000 in St. Petersburg, not far from Tampa. Obama’s 30-minute speech closely tracked his nomination acceptance speech Thursday in Charlotte.”
The Virginian-Pilot had this to say about attendance at Mitt Romney’s rally, “He spoke to several hundred people who had gathered hours earlier in an aircraft hangar to hear the Republican presidential nominee.”
See the difference for yourself.
Here is the Romney event:
Here are some clips of the crowd for Obama’s rally courtesy of the Tampa Bay Times:
It might just be me, but 2012 is starting to look a whole lot like 2008. Obama is drawing tens of thousands in critical swing states, while Mitt Romney is speaking to hundreds. Romney is trying every gimmick in the book to get people to come and see him speak, as Obama is starting to pack them in. It is becoming clear that the Democratic convention fired up Obama’s base.
Like John McCain in 2008, Mitt Romney just can’t draw a crowd. Romney doesn’t excite. Romney doesn’t motivate and inspire. Mitt Romney is just the guy that you vote for if you don’t want to support President Obama. Mitt Romney isn’t offering America leadership or vision. He is the warm body that the Republicans nominated because they had to pick somebody to run against Obama.
There are a few other factors suggesting that Obama is gaining momentum. Mitt Romney drew 13 million fewer television viewers for his speech than John McCain did on the major networks. Barack Obama’s viewership was down by just three million. Across all networks five million more Americans tuned in for Obama than watched Romney. These are not the kind of viewership numbers that suggest a pro-Romney wave is building to unseat Obama. Secondly, polling is suggesting that Obama got a bounce from both the Republican and the Democratic convention. In the initial few days after the DNC, Obama’s job approval rating has improved by a net ten points.
There is some evidence of momentum being built, and it belongs to President Obama. Barring some sort of gaffe or major mistake by the president, Romney’s chances of catching Obama are down to the presidential debates. This election is going to be close, but it looks like President Obama may be able to use his campaign homestretch as a giant get out the vote effort.
Barring an unforeseen turn of events, it is difficult to see Romney winning the White House if his rallies continue to draw hundreds while President Obama is drawing thousands.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association