As FedEx CEO and wise philosopher Fred Smith said, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” In this election, the economy is still the main thing. Polls asking voters to rank the issues they hold as the most important show that the economy remains at the top of the list. For instance, in the latest Politico/GWU Battleground poll, 28 percent of voters ranked the economy as their number one concern, government spending and the budget deficit the second most important with 16 percent, and jobs at third with 15 percent. So the economy, the budget deficit, and jobs are the top concerns for 59 percent of voters.
And in a CNN/ORC post-debate poll, 58 percent said that Mitt Romney would better handle the economy, holding an 18-point lead over President Obama on this issue. In fact, CNN polling director Keating Holland stated that among the debate audience, “Mitt Romney was seen as better able to handle the economy, taxes, and the budget deficit.”
After big political events, especially debates, it takes awhile for the news to ferment. It tends to sour for some and blossom for others. At the end of the debate last night, I feared that this could go sour for Romney, but that doesn’t appear to be happening. The Romney campaign still controls much of its own fate, and all signs indicate that Romney maintains an advantage he can exploit on economic issues.
It should be Romney’s mission to keep his message and focus on jobs and the economy and force Obama to explain his failed record. Leave Benghazi for surrogates and leave other non-domestic issues for Monday night’s foreign policy debate in Florida.