Romney's Hometown Conundrum

National Journal Staff

For a presidential candidate to lose his or her home state is a particular embarrassment. After all, it's not just any state -- it's the one where people presumably know you the best, have taken the best measure of your character and smarts, and have found you wanting.

Al Gore is the last presidential candidate to lose his home state. Richard Nixon lost his adopted New York in 1968 but held California where he was raised and served as a congressman and Senator. But he won New York four years later, in 1972, in his blowout of George McGovern, who lost his native South Dakota.

Adlai Stevenson lost his home state, Illinois, twice in 1952 and 1956. Tom Dewey lost New York in 1944 when he ran against FDR, but won it four years later against Truman.

In the scheme of things, the home state loss tends to be forgotten. But in the months leading up to November it'll be interesting to see what Romney does with Massachusetts. Does he spend money there? And if he does, is that just to influence next-door New Hampshire, a genuine swing state, or to help Republican Scott Brown in his tight-as-a-tick Senate race with Elizabeth Warren?

While Romney's made his business record his greatest bragging point, he's also talked up his time on Beacon Hill. How will it fit into his narrative if he only sets foot in Massachusetts to visit his headquarters instead of to actually campaign? Read more

--Matt Cooper


Warning Signs for Obama on Path to Electoral Votes

[Associated Press, 5/27/12] Though the AP's analysis shows a likely win for President Obama if the election were held today, there remain seven states, with 85 electoral votes, that are too close to call -- and those could tip the scale for Mitt Romney come November.

Obama Campaign ‘Truth Team’ Fights Back

[ABC News, 5/26/12] The Obama campaign fought back against what it saw as common misconceptions, but in doing so, came out just as wrong as its opponents in some cases.

Courting the Veteran Vote

[CNN, 5/25/12] Even though Obama lost the veteran vote by 10 percent in 2008, his campaign believes they have an opportunity there this time around, and Obama doesn't miss a chance to note of his efforts on behalf of veterans.

Activists: Veterans Vote is a 'Political Jump Ball'

[National Journal, 5/27/12] Prominent military veterans agreed on Sunday that the veterans' vote is up for grabs this November, and that veterans could be pivotal.

Obama Sues Publishers, Who Respond With A Fundraiser

[National Journal, 5/25/12] That best-selling author, Barack Obama -- the same President Obama whose administration filed anti-trust cases against five leading publishers in April -- is scheduled to appear at a campaign fundraiser hosted by members of the publishing industry. But as National Journal's John Aloysius Farrell writes, no eyebrows are raised.

Obama Has a Mean Streak and He Turned It on Romney This Wee

[The Daily Beast, 5/26/12] Obama mocked Romney at a speech in Iowa this week, and though it wasn't overt, in his body language and tone of voice there was a sort of nastiness that, according to the author, Obama has now let loose on the campaign trail.

Romney Not Into the ‘Vision Thing’

[Politico, 5/27/12] Even as he's shored up the GOP nomination, Romney's failed to clearly articulate his plan for America if he becomes president, worrying some who wonder exactly what he'll do if he's elected.

Romney Uses Lessons From GOP Primary to Fight Back at Obama

[The Hill, 5/27/12] Romney has already experienced many of the attacks being lobbed by the Obama campaign, and that means he's surprisingly well-prepared for them, making it difficult for many of Obama's efforts  to stick.

Parsing Demographics and the 2012 Presidential Race

[Washington Post, 5/26/12] Dan Balz writes about how changing demographics have thrown the electoral college math into disarray for both candidates, making it considerably tougher than usual for Obama and Romney to definitively predict where they'll find their winning coalition.

In Rarefied Sport, a View of the Romneys’ World

[New York Times, 5/27/12] The New York Times examines Ann Romney's love of dressage, a sport that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and gives a rare personal view into the Romneys' personal lives.

Giuliani Praises Romney -- But Touts His 'Far Superior' Record

[National Journal, 5/27/12] Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani on Sunday reiterated his support for Mitt Romney, but Giuliani reiterated something else, too: His habit of unusual language to express his support.

California is a Romney Home State Too

[L.A. Times, 5/27/12] Michigan and Massachusetts are not Romney's only home states -- a beachfront property and time spent during his youth in California make the Golden State another base for the Romneys, and the L.A. Times looks into their California life.

Gingrich Optimistic About Romney's Chances With Latino Voters

[National Journal, 5/27/12] Former GOP presidential contender Newt Gingrich has high hopes for Mitt Romney’s chances with Latino voters, pegging his eventual support among that demographic at about the same level as won by George W. Bush, or in the 40 percent range.

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