• With: Karl Rove

    VAN SUSTEREN: All right. I think the polls show that he has recently taken a nose dive with women voters, a substantial difference...

    ROVE: Well...

    VAN SUSTEREN: ... in the swing states.

    ROVE: ... it's essentially one poll. Essentially one poll.

    VAN SUSTEREN: OK. That was a big -- a big -- so I disavow that as having much weight in this.

    ROVE: Well, look -- look, I think that if you looked at it, he -- he -- he will -- he is -- he is weaker today than he was two months ago or even six weeks ago among women, independent voters, Latinos and young people. But these are also groups that are up in the air about President Obama and reachable for Governor Romney, if he runs the right kind of campaign.

    VAN SUSTEREN: What do you attribute that poll? Is that to the contraception discussion?

    ROVE: No, I don't. I think it's just that -- look, the Republicans were not -- again, let's go back to the debates. They weren't -- the moderators were not asking questions about the big issues. The discussion was not about the big issues, it was about other things.

    And then we've had this -- you know, when you got two guys or three guys going at each other as Romney, Gingrich and Santorum have, it's -- very rarely was it elevated.

    And remember, you can come out of it. Four years ago now, who was ahead in the Democratic presidential sweepstakes? Hillary Clinton. She was leading Barack Obama by 5 points in the national polls, and yet he went on to win the nomination, as we know, won the general election.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Does he seem concerned about the election, or does he seem confident?

    ROVE: I think he's nervous, and he has every reason to be nervous, from his fund-raising, which is underperforming dramatically, to the -- to the polls. Look, he's the incumbent president of the United States, and look at these polls! Look at the nationwide polls. It's -- you know, he's at 47, 48, 49, 46.

    The generic battle is 45 Obama, 44 generic Republican. I mean, that is not a good place for the president to be, and he knows it. That's why he's spending so much time on the campaign trail, despite the fact that's the wrong answer for the problem he changes. If you want to be strong as president, be a strong president, don't be an active, strong campaigner.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Karl, thank you.

    ROVE: You bet. Thank you.