After wining the most lopsided debate in history, Mitt Romney is trying to use his newfound momentum to compete more aggressively on turf once considered to be safe for President Barack Obama and make more direct appeals to Obama voters.
A Gallup poll on Tuesday found Romney had a two-point lead (49%-47%) over Obama among likely voters. Romney has taken the lead in Colorado in two polls (ARG and Gravis Marketing). And he is leading in one Ohio poll with a D+9 sample.
Romney political director Rich Beeson told the Wall Street Journal Romney, who had been campaigning in Republican-friendly areas to maximize Republican turnout, would be trying to win over more Obama voters.
“We are playing on their side of the 50-yard line,” Beeson said.
The Journal notes Romney campaigned Tuesday in Ohio’s Summit County, which Obama won by 17 points in 2008, and in Cuyahoga County.
After the debate, Romney also appeared last weekend in three counties in Florida Obama carried and on Monday campaigned in Newport News, Virginia, where Obama won by nearly 30 points in 2008.
According to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, nearly 20 percent of Obama supporters said they would “probably vote” for Obama or were “leaning toward” voting for him.
Romney’s debate performance energized the conservative base, won over independents, and may have allowed him to take more chances by courting Obama voters.