Democratic officials reacted to the news of Mitt Romney’s New Hampshire primary win by claiming that public worries about his business record had cut his vote to under 40 percent in a five-man field.
“His support was rapidly eroding before any vote was even cast … [and] tonight he fell far short of meeting expectations,” said Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee, in an email sent out at 9.00 p.m., even before the ballots were fully counted.
Last week, Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina, had raised the bar for Romney, by saying he “has got to win by 30 points or so to continue his momentum.”
Earlier that evening, Wasserman Schultz hosted a event where Vice President Joe Biden spoke via video to Democratic activists and to Obama’s re-election team in the state.
Romney “thinks it’s more important for the stockholders and the shareholders and the investors and the venture capital guys to do well [than] for those [middle class] employees to be part of the bargain,” Biden said shortly after 8.00 p.m.
Wasserman Schultz then pitched in, saying that Romney “enjoys firing people.”
Throughout the evening, Democratic officials ignored the other GOP candidates in the race, except for second-place finisher Rep. Ron Paul, whom they tried to bind with Romney.
Romney’s roughly 15-point lead over Paul shows that “anti-Israel views [are moving] deeper and deeper into the GOP’s own nominating process,” declared to David Harris, head of the liberal National Jewish Democratic Council.
Harris’ claim reflects the Democrats’ increased worries that the eventual GOP candidate will sharply reduce Obama’s support among Jews who could tip the decision in critical swing-states, including Florida and Pennsylvania.
In 2008, Obama won 78 percent of the Jewish vote. But his support among Jewish voters has fallen as the economy has stalled and as revolutionaries in Muslim-dominated countries increasingly threaten Jews in Israel.
Jewish support for the GOP has nudged up, partly because Christian groups have steadily supported Israel, even as Obama has pressured Israel to grant valuable concessions to Islamic terror groups.
Paul argues against foreign aid to Israel, and his call for friendly outreach to Iran gives Democrats an opportunity to rally some Jewish voters back to Obama’s team.
“It is long past time for the national leadership of the Republican Party — including Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus, who has remained silent and given Paul a ‘pass’ — to quit slandering President Obama’s stellar pro-Israel record,” Harris said.
The DNC followed up on Wasserman-Schultz’s comment with a 9.45 p.m. missive, even though only 68 percent of the ballots had been counted.
“Key Point: The last weekend also brought new reminders of Romney’s weaknesses… his corporate background at Bain Capital and his tendency toward verbal stumbles that create self-inflicted wounds.”
At 10.09 p.m. DNC officials also highlighted CNN exit poll data that bolstered their claim that Romney is a out-of-touch elitist.
The poll showed that Romney seemed to increase his share of the vote among richer voters. For example, Paul won 36 percent of voters earning less than $30,000 a year, while Romney won 31 percent. However, Romney won 45 percent of people earning between $100,000 and $200,000, and he won 51 percent of the vote among people earning more than $200,000.
That may be a problem for Romney in the primary, but it could prove an advantage in the general election. That’s because Obama won slightly more votes from the richest Americans than did the GOP candidate in 2008.