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What does it mean if Mitt Romney leads President Obama by 24 points among veterans?
PHOTO COURTESY: Getty Images
May 29th, 2012
04:42 PM ET

What does it mean if Mitt Romney leads President Obama by 24 points among veterans?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Right on the heels of Memorial Day comes a strong suggestion that President Barack Obama could have problems with military veterans in November.

A new Gallup Poll shows that veterans support Mitt Romney over Obama by a whopping 24 points - 58% to 34%.

Veterans make up about 13% of the population as well as almost a quarter of adult men. Pollsters say this large edge among veterans is a big reason why Romney leads among men overall.

Historically, Republican presidential candidates do better among veterans than Democrats. Both George W. Bush and John McCain carried the veteran vote, but Obama won veterans under 60 in the last election.

It's worth pointing out that another poll this month found the president leading Romney among veterans 44% to 37%.

Meanwhile, both Romney and Obama saluted the troops over the Memorial Day weekend.

The president honored the veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and those who "loved their country enough to sacrifice their own lives for it."

He talked about the importance of providing health care, benefits and education for veterans. His campaign has been highlighting the killing of Osama bin Laden, the end of the Iraq war and the push to wind down the Afghanistan war.

Romney addressed global threats at an event with Sen. John McCain. "I wish I could tell you that the world is a safe place today," Romney said, telling veterans that the United States must remain the world's top military power.

This year is the first election since World War II without a major candidate who is a veteran. And it's clear both men realize the power of this voting bloc.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean if Mitt Romney leads President Obama by 24 points among veterans?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Are you better off now than you were three and a half years ago?
May 22nd, 2012
04:00 PM ET

Are you better off now than you were three and a half years ago?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's the economy again, stupid; and this time around it just might sink President Barack Obama's re-election chances.

A new poll shows the president and Mitt Romney locked in a dead heat over who could better fix the economy, the top issue on voters' minds.

The Washington Post/ABC News Poll shows Obama with a three-point lead over Romney if the election were held today – 49% to 46%. But on handling the economy, the two are tied at 47%.

Despite the recent hoopla over other issues ranging from birth control to gay marriage, more than half of Americans say the economy will decide their vote. Issues such as health care, taxes and the federal deficit only rank in the single digits.

Late in the campaign in 1980, Ronald Reagan famously asked Americans: "Are you better off than you were four years ago?"

Turns out they weren't. There was a sudden 10-point swing in the closing days of the campaign, and Reagan defeated the incumbent Jimmy Carter in a landslide.

So how about in 2012? Some 30% of those surveyed say they are worse off financially today than when Obama took office in January 2009, only 16% say they are better off. This might make Obama-land nervous.

Obama's numbers on this question resemble those of George H.W. Bush. He lost his 1992 re-election bid in a rough economy.

However it's not all bad news for Obama. The poll shows voters are evenly split on who could better create jobs, and the president tops Romney on the question of who better understands people's economic problems.

Yet at the end of the day, many Americans might look in the mirror and ask themselves this question.

Here’s my question to you: Are you better off now than you were three and a half years ago?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Is former President Carter an effective weapon in Mitt Romney's campaign against President Obama?
May 15th, 2012
03:56 PM ET

Is former President Carter an effective weapon in Mitt Romney's campaign against President Obama?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Mitt Romney is hoping Jimmy Carter can help him win the White House.

The likely Republican nominee has been comparing President Barack Obama to the former Democratic president on the campaign trail.

For example, when Romney was asked if he would have approved the bin Laden raid, he answered "even Jimmy Carter would have given that order."

And when talking about the economy, Romney described the Obama White House as "the most anti-small business administration... probably since Carter."

For many, the name alone evokes an incompetent, liberal commander-in-chief and a time of recession, inflation, unemployment, high taxes and gas prices, more government and a sort of national malaise..

And, as Politico points out, by framing yourself as Carter's enemy, you can try to make yourself Ronald Reagan. Brilliant. If it works.

Meanwhile Michael Barone suggests in a column on "Real Clear Politics" that the 2012 election could mirror what happened in the 1980 race between Carter and Reagan. There was a late break away from the incumbent that year.

Jimmy Carter actually led Ronald Reagan in the polls for much of the race. His job rating was kept higher by attempts to free the Iran hostages even though voters were unhappy with the economy and other issues.

But during a debate just days before the election, Reagan famously asked: "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" Suddenly the polls took a 10 point shift in Reagan's favor. He won in a landslide.

Barone suggests that despite economic concerns and opposition to Mr. Obama's policies, voters might be keeping his ratings artificially high for fear of rejecting the first black president. They might change their support to Romney at the last minute.

Here’s my question to you: Is former President Carter an effective weapon in Mitt Romney's campaign against President Obama?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Which V.P. candidate would benefit Mitt Romney more: a woman or a Hispanic?
Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Mitt Romney.
April 25th, 2012
03:48 PM ET

Which V.P. candidate would benefit Mitt Romney more: a woman or a Hispanic?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

While Mitt Romney is now cruising toward the Republican nomination, he's a long way from cruising into the White House. And the two biggest reasons might be women and Hispanics.

During the primaries he was forced to the right on issues concerning both women and immigration - and he now emerges as damaged goods among those groups.

But the damage may not be permanent. One of the ways he can recover is by selecting either a woman or a Hispanic as a running mate.

Polls suggest President Obama holds a 20-point lead among women. Many women were turned off by Romney's comments about birth control and getting "rid of Planned Parenthood."

There is speculation women like New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez - also a Hispanic - and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley could be on Romney's short list. There is a limit though. It's a safe bet Sarah Palin probably isn't on that list.

As for the Hispanic vote, Romney is in even worse shape. One poll says he trails President Obama by 40 points.

Experts say Romney needs to win at least 40% of the Latino vote to win the election.

Enter Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who has suddenly been campaigning with Romney. A lot of people think Rubio would make the perfect running mate.

On the other hand, it's possible Romney's VP pick will be neither a woman nor a Hispanic.

A Politico piece titled "Vice President Vanilla" suggests Romney's best bet may be a safe and uncontroversial one. Someone like Rob Portman, Republican senator from Ohio and former Bush budget director.

He's described as "vanilla, wonky and unflappable" and the "safety school the GOP needs after the Sarah Palin experiment in 2008."

Here’s my question to you: Which V.P. candidate would benefit Mitt Romney more: a woman or a Hispanic?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

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Filed under: 2012 Election • GOP Ticket • Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney is a Mormon. How much will it matter?
April 17th, 2012
03:35 PM ET

Mitt Romney is a Mormon. How much will it matter?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Now that Mitt Romney is the likely Republican nominee - he may need to starting talking about his Mormon faith.

Politico reports that many Republicans think Romney should embrace his Mormonism publicly so people can better understand him.

During the GOP primaries, Romney has gotten pushback from evangelicals, some of whom question whether Mormons believe in Jesus Christ. One Texas Baptist pastor and Rick Perry supporter called the Mormon church a "cult."

But these days it seems like some evangelicals are more open to the idea of voting for Romney - especially when the other option is President Barack Obama.

Mormonism is a big part of who Romney is. He traveled on a two-year mission in France as a young adult, raised his five sons as Mormons and has held several church leadership positions.

Nonetheless, Romney doesn't really like to talk about it. In the lead-up to the 2008 presidential campaign, he addressed his religion in a "60 minutes" interview and in a speech called "Faith in America."

His aides have said that he has no "immediate plans" to make another formal speech for now.

But maybe he should. It could help clear up lingering questions about Mormonism, a religion that still seems odd and insular to many. It has a tainted past that includes racism and polygamy.

A CNN/ORC International poll taken in October showed 17% of Americans say that they would be less likely to vote for a presidential candidate who is a Mormon, while 80% said it would make no difference.

Of course, religion and politics are a difficult equation. Many Americans thought John F. Kennedy would never get elected president in 1960 because he was Roman Catholic.

Here’s my question to you: Mitt Romney is a Mormon. How much will it matter?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

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Filed under: Mitt Romney • Mormons
How much damage did Obama supporter Hilary Rosen do when she said Ann Romney "never worked a day in her life”?
April 12th, 2012
03:24 PM ET

How much damage did Obama supporter Hilary Rosen do when she said Ann Romney "never worked a day in her life”?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It took 18 hours for Hilary Rosen to apologize for her ill-considered comment that Ann Romney never worked a day in her life. And my guess is if there hadn't been such a firestorm of criticism over what she said she wouldn't have apologized at all. The apology is a day late and a dollar short. The damage has been done. And there's a lot of it.

Ann Romney - who raised five children as well as dealing with cancer and multiple sclerosis - that's work, Ms. Rosen - was classy in her response. She said she made "a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work."

I think that's probably a true statement.

Democrats ran from Rosen like she was on fire. David Axelrod called the comments "inappropriate and offensive." Another true statement. Top Obama campaign officials said they couldn't disagree with Rosen more; that families should be off-limits and that stay-at-home moms "work harder than most of us do."

Before she decided to apologize, Hilary Rosen was busy blaming Mitt Romney for bringing his wife into this debate. She says that Mitt shouldn't say Mrs. Romney is the expert on women and the economy. Why not?

First rule of holes is: When you're in one, stop digging. Mercifully, after 18 hours, Hilary Rosen finally put the shovel down.

For the moment, President Obama enjoys an almost 20-point lead among women. An incident like this might make women give Mitt Romney a second look.

Here’s my question to you: How much damage did Obama supporter Hilary Rosen do when she said Ann Romney "never worked a day in her life"?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

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Filed under: Ann Romney • Mitt Romney
How can Mitt Romney overcome his huge deficit among women?
Members of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), Etch-A-Sketches in hand, call for a stop to the war on women and objected to Romney's proposal to stop federal support for Planned Parenthood.
April 9th, 2012
02:58 PM ET

How can Mitt Romney overcome his huge deficit among women?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Women may very well hold the key to the next election - and at least for now, President Obama is in the driver's seat.

In a dozen crucial swing states, the president holds a whopping 18-point lead among women over Mitt Romney. And Democrats are using every chance they can to accuse the GOP of waging a "war on women."

President Obama hosted a forum on women's issues at the White House - touting his administration's achievements on equal pay and workplace flexibility, saying "Women are not an interest group. You shouldn't be treated that way."

Republicans have traditionally faced a gender gap when it comes to women voters, but it looks like Romney faces a particularly steep uphill battle.

The Obama campaign says Romney's promise to "end planned parenthood" and his stance on contraception in employer health care plans will hurt him in the general election.

Some say Romney missed a golden opportunity to sway women voters by not taking a stand when Rush Limbaugh called a Georgetown law student a "slut" for her position on birth control.

Republicans insist the gender gap will disappear once the contentious GOP Primary ends. one of the ways Romney might ease the gender gap is by naming a woman as his running mate.

Meanwhile, the battle over women comes as the debate rages on over the refusal of the Augusta National Golf Club to admit them. First President Obama - and then Romney - called on Augusta to accept women.

Maureen Dowd writes that Augusta should "stop emulating the Saudis;" and "You know you're in trouble when Rick Santorum is urging you to be more progressive on women."

Here’s my question to you: How can Mitt Romney overcome his huge deficit among women?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

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Filed under: 2012 Election • Mitt Romney
If you were Romney, under what circumstances would you ask Santorum to be your running mate?
March 27th, 2012
03:05 PM ET

If you were Romney, under what circumstances would you ask Santorum to be your running mate?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Rick Santorum says he's not ruling out the idea of becoming Mitt Romney's running mate. Nobody's asked him, but he's serious. No B.S.

When asked by the Christian Broadcasting Network if he would consider a vice presidential offer by Romney, Santorum replied, "Of course."

Santorum says this race is "the most important race in our country's history" and he'll do everything he can to help his country.

When he was asked a second time if he's "keeping his options open" for a VP spot, Santorum didn't shoot down the idea.

Maybe he's finally facing the fact that he's not going to win the Republican nomination. It’s about time.

This idea is the perfect illustration of the phrase, "Politics makes strange bedfellows." Santorum has been vicious in his attacks against Romney.

He called Romney the "worst Republican" to nominate against President Barack Obama when it comes to the health care issue.

And Santorum had to walk back his comment that Americans would be better off with Obama winning a second term than Romney being elected.

With friends like this. …

Romney has already suggested he won't pick Santorum as his running mate because he's not conservative enough.

So whom might Romney pick if he wins the nomination?

Some of the names out there include Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

It's still early. Remember John McCain didn't find Sarah Palin until just before the convention. And what a find that was.

Here’s my question to you: If you were Mitt Romney, under what circumstances would you ask Rick Santorum to be your running mate?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

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Filed under: 2012 Election • GOP • GOP Ticket • Mitt Romney • Rick Santorum
Was Illinois the turning point in the Republican race?
March 21st, 2012
04:00 PM ET

Was Illinois the turning point in the Republican race?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's just about over.

While Mitt Romney didn't score a knockout in Illinois, to borrow a boxing metaphor, but he landed enough blows that his opponents may soon be unable to answer the bell for the next round.

And it's a bit ironic that the Republican primary fight may have been decided in the Democratic president's home state.

Romney's win was impressive – double digits and, in just about every exit poll category that was measured, save evangelicals and very conservative voters.

Rick Santorum's showing was far from impressive. He got little support from beyond his base. But more importantly, he showed again he is incapable of winning a large midwestern state. And there simply are not enough Louisianas, Alabamas and Mississippis to get him to the nomination.

Newt Gingrich finished dead last. He has now gone from contender to curiosity to nobody cares. He's toast.

Ron Paul, who may have the best set of ideas for solving some of our big problems, has just not been able to connect with enough voters to make a difference.

Finally, if Romney goes on to win the nomination, the Republican voters will have settled for the moderate in the middle. Sort of what the vast majority of this country has always been about. And his victory will be a slap in the face to the Tea Party.

Romney's now looking past these tune-up fights toward the big title bout in November, and the rest of the country is starting to do the same.

Here’s my question to you: Was Illinois the turning point in the Republican race?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

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Filed under: 2012 Election • GOP • Mitt Romney • Republican Party • Republicans
What's Mitt Romney's biggest problem?
March 14th, 2012
03:05 PM ET

What's Mitt Romney's biggest problem?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Another Tuesday, another failure by Mitt Romney to line up the party faithful behind him.

Not only did Romney lose yesterday's contests in Alabama and Mississippi, but he finished third in both, putting him behind Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich.

Even though Romney remains well ahead in the delegate count and even though he'll still likely win the nomination, he just can't put those nagging doubts among conservatives to rest.

CNN political contributor Paul Begala writes for The Daily Beast that Romney has gone from inevitable to unelectable:

"Somebody strap him to the roof of one of his Cadillacs and drive him off to one of his many mansions." Ouch.

Begala says the hard truth is the more voters see Romney, the less they like him. Begala calls on Romney to get out of the race.

Of course that's not happening, but Romney isn't doing himself any favors here.

On this very program yesterday, Romney proclaimed Rick Santorum was at the "desperate end" of his campaign.

24 hours later it almost looks like it's the other way around. Romney looks like the desperate one - with Southern conservatives seeing right through his supposed love for cheesy grits and catfish.

And so the race goes on and on and on. It's getting painful to watch. Santorum and Romney are expected to split the next few contests on the calendar.

Which leaves Newt Gingrich, who managed to have an even more embarrassing day than Romney. He's only won two states and failed to deliver in the South yesterday.

It's time for Newt to go - but he won't. Gingrich seems to think he's running against the "elite media," which may be why he keeps losing to the other candidates on the ballot.

Here’s my question to you: What's Mitt Romney's biggest problem?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

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Filed under: 2012 Election • Mitt Romney
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