Opinion

What are Romney and Obama's strategies in the final days of the campaign?

  • FILE: Oct 16, 2012: Mitt Romney and President Obama walks past each other at the end of their last debate at Lynn University, in Boca Raton, Fla.

    FILE: Oct 16, 2012: Mitt Romney and President Obama walks past each other at the end of their last debate at Lynn University, in Boca Raton, Fla.  (AP)

  • Oct. 24, 2012: Mitt Romney and President Obama are shown campaigning at separate events in Nevada.

    Oct. 24, 2012: Mitt Romney and President Obama are shown campaigning at separate events in Nevada.  (AP)

This year's presidential election was transformed between the first debate's opening statements in Denver and the closing statements in Boca Raton. As a result, most of the negative impressions created by the Obama campaign's five-month, $300-million television advertising barrage were destroyed. Seen unfiltered, Gov. Mitt Romney came across as an earnest, straightforward, thoughtful conservative with a concrete plan for the nation's future.

Wednesday's RealClearPolitics.com average of polls showed Mr. Romney with 48% support to President Barack Obama's 47.1%. On the eve of the Denver debate, Mr. Romney had 46% and Mr. Obama 49.1%.

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More revealing, in the past week's 40 national surveys, Mr. Romney was at or above 50% in 11, with Mr. Obama at or above 50% in one. Mr. Romney leads 48.9% to 46.7% in an average of these surveys. At this same point in 2004, President George W. Bush led Sen. John Kerry in this composite average, 48.9% to 45.8%.

So what are each candidate's strategies for the stretch run?

To continue reading Mr. Rove's column in the Wall Street Journal, click here.

Karl Rove joined Fox News Channel as a political contributor in February 2008. He also currently serves as a columnist for the Wall Street Journal. Mr. Rove helped organize the political-action committee American Crossroads. His latest book is "The Triumph of William McKinley: Why the Election of 1896 Still Matters" (Simon & Schuster, 2015). Follow him on Twitter @KarlRove.