National Journal reports on a focus group that Democratic pollster Peter Hart ran in Colorado last night. He spoke to a dozen ticket-splitting voters in Colorado -- people who are open to voting for both Democrats and Republicans.
These are the people being battled for and I'd be lying if the write-up of this focus group didn't remind me a bit of how Jonah Goldberg says undecided voters aren't the brightest bulbs out there. Still, it's interesting:
After being shown footage of a campaign speech by Obama, the prevailing sentiment was that the president was a slick salesman, but his words didn't match his actions.
"I got duped. I fell under his spell. What he's done with the car industry is the only real success," said Patrick Allen, a 27-year-old health care consultant, who voted for Obama in 2008. "I feel like I was somewhat lied to."
"He came in as a wild card... I haven't seen him do anything extraordinary," said Kelly Capra, 49, a United Airlines customer service representative who said she'd vote for him if he "could do something huge, like really lower the price of gas."
Everyone said they'd prefer to hang out with Barack Obama than Mitt Romney, that they didn't really have a good read on Romney, and that they were worried the economy might head into a free fall.
Shown some of Romney's campaign speeches, participants commented that he was short on specifics and sounded like a politician.
"I identify with Romney's background, but Obama still has a lot of good ideas out there that haven't quite comes to pass, and I don't know what Romney has out there," said Stephanie Rydalch, 38, a state care provider, leaning towards supporting Romney.
National Journal says the reactions explain why Obama's going hard against Romney: it's his only path to victory. If he can make their first impression of Romney a negative one, fewer will flee from him.
In related news, Obama has lost the support of a significant percentage of black voters in North Carolina. Hmmm.
Still, I wonder if Romney doesn't need to be a bit more aggressive in defining himself to these undecided voters.