THE BLOG

Obama Campaign Wins Week Ending on Sunday, September 16, According to The Horse Race of 'Political Insiders'

09/19/2012 12:08 pm ET | Updated Nov 19, 2012

The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM) released the seventh installment of its weekly Horse Race poll, which found that President Obama's campaign bested Gov. Mitt Romney's (R-MA) campaign for the second week in a row.

Top findings for the week ending Sunday, Sept. 16, include:

▪ Momentum stayed with the Obama campaign, for the first time winning back-to-back weeks.
▪ Sixty percent of insiders thought President Obama acted appropriately in dealing with the attack on the American embassy in Libya. Thirty-nine percent thought he acted inappropriately.
▪ Seventy-eight percent thought Gov. Romney acted inappropriately in his dealing with the attack on the American embassy in Libya. Twenty percent thought he acted appropriately. More than 62 percent of Republican insiders thought Gov. Romney acted inappropriately.
▪ Sixty-nine percent thought the attack on the American embassy in Libya would have a significant impact on the presidential campaign. Only 24 percent thought it would not have a significant impact. Seven percent didn't know or had no opinion.

Other results for the week ending Sunday, Sept. 16, are as follows:

Rate the prior week's performance (1- Very Ineffective, 5 - Very Effective)
Mitt Romney's PERSONAL PERFORMANCE as a Presidential candidate 2.20
Barack Obama's PERSONAL PERFORMANCE as a Presidential candidate 3.22
Mitt Romney's presidential CAMPAIGN OPERATION 2.10
Barack Obama's presidential CAMPAIGN OPERATION 3.26

Which presidential campaign "won" the previous week?
Romney Campaign 09 percent
Obama Campaign 66 percent
Neither 25 percent
Both 00 percent
Don't know 00 percent

What was the pivotal moment of the campaign in the previous week?
Select Comments

Democrat Insider: "Without question, Romney's completely bungling of the Libya tragedy. It was crass, inaccurate and the kind of political malpractice that raised questions about his leadership and temperament."

Republican Insider: "A pivotal moment in the campaign came in the form of the reactions to the death of the U.S. ambassador and three others in Libya. The Romney camp's response was, unfortunately, unbecoming of a commander-in-chief. Obama shot back, naturally, but also wound up in a similar fashion politicking this national tragedy."

Democrat Insider: "Mitt Romney made a huge error by speaking about the riots in the Middle East before he had all of the facts -- even Ronald Reagan in 1980 did not criticize Jimmy Carter when the Iranian embassy was taken hostage."

Republican Insider: "The tragic death of Amb. Stevens and the anti-U.S. violence in nearly two dozen countries reveals Obama's Mideast 'reset' in disarray. The Romney kerfuffle will pass. However, the president's failure to develop a coherent Mideast policy will be a drag on his campaign in the final weeks. U.S.-Israeli relations are in shambles -- also a net minus for Team Obama."

Non-Affiliated Insider: "Romney's attack on Obama's foreign policy did backfire. He completely lacks credibility."

What advice would you give either of the presidential campaigns based on the performance of last week (please indicate either Obama or Romney at the beginning of your answer)?
Select Comments

Democrat Insider: ROMNEY: "Stop trying to dominate every news cycle. Making unforced mistakes, like the response to the attacks on the U.S. embassy, is worse than maintaining your message on the economy."

Republican Insider: OBAMA: "You need to respond directly to what is happening in the Middle East and explain how this isn't a complete failure of the last four years of your foreign policy."

Democrat Insider: OBAMA: "You may need to cut a campaign speech short to attend to urgent presidential matters at some point. Continue to let them know you are president. This draws a contrast with Romney."

Republican Insider: OBAMA: "Continue to attack Romney over his response to the embassy attacks. Also, highlight the latest poll showing Obama's gains on handling the economy over Romney."

Independent Insider: ROMNEY: "You need to start providing sharper details of your policy plans and leadership style or else you will continue to be defined more by Obama's campaign than your own."