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Morning Examiner: Mitt’s economic momentum

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

Another day, another poll showing Americans breaking for Mitt Romney. This morning it’s the POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Tracking Poll showing Romney taking a 49 percent to 47 percent lead over President Obama. Yesterday, it was the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showing Romney and Obama tied at 47 percent (Obama had been ahead by five points in the same poll a month ago).

Why are Americans breaking for Romney? The story is almost identical in both polls: voters just believe Romney has the better plan on the economy.  The Wall Street Journal reports:

The poll found that Mr. Romney made large gains since September in convincing voters that he has the tools to deal with the economy, boost job growth and tackle the federal deficit—the fruit, in all likelihood, of efforts by the Romney campaign to capitalize on momentum coming out of the first debate, in particular. …Five weeks ago, Mr. Obama was even with Mr. Romney or rated higher when voters were asked who was best to handle taxes and the economy. Mr. Romney has since either erased that edge or drawn ahead.

John Halloran, 60, an information technology manager in Jonesboro, Ga., voted for Mr. Obama in 2008 but said he is leaning in favor of Mr. Romney. He said he likes much of what Mr. Obama has done, including his health-care overhaul. But his No. 1 issue is the economy, and “I just don’t think Obama can turn it around,” he said.

And in the Politico/GW poll Romney “doubled the size of his advantage over Obama on which candidate would better handle the economy. This week, 51 percent of respondents picked Romney and 45 percent chose Obama, compared to 50 percent for Romney and 47 percent for Obama a week ago.”

Tonight’s final presidential debate is supposed to be about foreign policy, an issue that at best comes in 8th on Gallup’s list of voter concerns. The top three issues according to Gallup? The economy, unemployment, and the federal budget deficit. Look for Romney to tie all three of these issues to national security tonight. It is an easy case to make.

Last August, retired Navy admiral and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen told the Business Executives for National Security, “I’ve said many times that I believe the single, biggest threat to our national security is our debt.” Mullen is right: the United States can not continue being the world’s most powerful democracy if we are drowning in an entitlement fueled debt crisis. Look for Romney to hammer home this point, and the number $16 trillion, tonight.

From The Washington Examiner
Examiner Editorial: Killing bin Laden is not a foreign policy
Phil Klein: How Romney is different from George W. Bush
Tim Carney: In Florida race, Republicans shun GOP incumbent
Joel Gehrke: Libya questioner not buying Obama’s ‘acts of terror’ defense
Brian Hughes: Obama faces rising Libya scrutiny in final presidential debate

In Other News
The New York Times, Explanation for Benghazi Attack Under Scrutiny: Even as Susan E. Rice took to the Sunday talk shows last month to describe the Obama administration’s assessment of the Sept. 11 attack on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, intelligence analysts suspected that the explanation was outdated.
The Wall Street Journal, Protests Over Killing Roil Lebanon: Army soldiers fired tear gas and shots into the air to stop protesters from storming the prime minister’s office here on Sunday, as Lebanon’s opposition pressed for the government to resign over the killing of the country’s intelligence chief in a car bombing.
The Washington Post, Jordan disrupts major al-Qaeda terrorist plot: Authorities in Jordan have disrupted a major terrorist plot by al-Qaeda-linked operatives to launch near-simultaneous attacks on multiple civilian and government targets, reportedly including the U.S. Embassy in the capital, Amman, Western and Middle Eastern officials said Sunday.

Righty Playbook
At The Corner, Josh Jordan details why the latest Ohio polls are even better for Romney than they appear.
The Weekly Standard‘s Stephen Hayes on the White House effort to write al Qaeda out of the Benghazi attack.
George Will identifies the seeds of our dysfunction.

Lefty Playbook
Talking Points Memo reports that Team Obama will accuse Romney of ‘bluster’ as tonight’s debate.
The Washington Post‘s EJ Dionne details Obama’s “not-so-hidden” second-term agenda.
Think Progress accuses Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., of developing ‘Romnesia’ on Meet the Press.

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