Romney mines for former Obama supporters

August 29, 2012

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — In a presidential campaign filled with sharp criticism, this may be Mitt Romney's softest sell: persuading voters who voted for Democrat Barack Obama to back the Republican instead this time.

Artur Davis of Alabama is the personification of this bloc of disenchanted former Obama supporters. The former Democratic congressman seconded Obama's nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Denver in 2008. But Davis recently became a Republican.

Republican nominee Romney is making a direct appeal to voters who backed Obama four years ago, taking care not to insult them and gently asking them to reconsider. Courting them was a central theme Tuesday in the first prime-time program of the GOP convention.

In a tight race where small gains could turn key states, Romney is stoking buyer's remorse.