ROMNEYISMS: Republicans Abandoning the USS Romney

 University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato, whose “Crystal Ball” blog closely tracks congressional races, said Romney’s performance would be particularly influential in Senate races in Virginia, Connecticut, Montana, North Dakota and Florida.

“Scott Brown can’t survive much more undertow in Massachusetts,” he said.

George Allen, the Republican Senate contender in Virginia, “depends on a Romney win,” Sabato added.

“As I go through the states, I’d say Romney’s performance will help to determine most of the close Senate contests,” he said in an email interview.

“It’s going to be very difficult for Republicans to take over the Senate if Romney doesn’t capture the White House. That’s a different evaluation than a year ago when the GOP looked to be a good bet to grab the Senate.”

“I think there is a broad and growing feeling now, among Republicans, that this thing is slipping out of Romney’s hands,” wrote the Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan, in a “come to Jesus,” in-your-face column posted on Tuesday night.

Linda McMahon, Republican Senate candidate in Connecticut, was worried enough to issue a statement criticizing Romney.

“I disagree with Governor Romney’s insinuation that 47 percent of Americans believe they are victims who must depend on the government for their care. I know that the vast majority of those who rely on government are not in that situation because they want to be,” her statement said.
.Another operative who has worked for the Republican Party on many national congressional campaigns was blunt about his feelings. “I’m pretty discouraged. The thing is, [Democrats] ran Jimmy Carter, and we answered with Thomas Dewey,” he said, referring to the Republican politician who lost presidential elections in 1944 and 1948. “And it didn’t have to be that way.”

Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown said of Romney’s views: “That’s not the way I view the world. As someone who grew up in tough circumstances, I know that being on public assistance is not a spot that anyone wants to be in. Too many people today who want to work are being forced into public assistance for lack of jobs.”

Another operative working on f GOP candidates in districts where the presidential nominee has to get big support to have a chance at winning. “He’s just well under all our other guys,”. “I’m very concerned.”

Republican Representative Steven LaTourette of Ohio, who is retiring from Congress, defended Romney’s remarks, but said they “don’t help i n swing districts like mine.”

“People were ready to throw Obama over, like dumping a boyfriend, and were ready to be courted by a new boyfriend,” he said. “But now they’re having second thoughts,” LaTourette said.

Republican Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma called Romney’s remarks “an unfortunate choice of words,” but predicted the comments would be “a one- or two-day story.”

“The election is going to turn on the economy,” Cole said.

President Barack Obama leads Republican challenger Mitt Romney nationally among likely voters, 50 percent to 45 percent, according to a poll released Tuesday night by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal.

Obama’s job approval rating also hit 50 percent among registered voters for the first time since March. Although approval for his handling of foreign policy dropped among Republicans and independents, his approval on economic issues rose by 3 points from August, which Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted the survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff, noted to NBC:

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