New polls show Romney gaining ground in Wisconsin

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," August 23, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": You know, Wisconsin was not supposed to be a battle state for Democrats. It seems, in presidential races, it almost always ends up going to Democrats, so why make a fuss? But maybe not this presidential race, because for the first time since a guy named Ronnie, you might want to color the Badger State red.

To Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, who says he knows why. He's not getting ahead of himself.

But, Senator, what's going on in your fine state?

SEN. RON JOHNSON, R-WIS.: Well, Neil, how are you doing?

Well, first of all, I've always considered Wisconsin a pretty fiscally conservative state. I mean, the citizens of Wisconsin have this funny notion that government ought to live within its means. And let's face it. We took a blue state in 2010 and turned it pretty red. Scott Walker survived the recall I think in flying colors.

So, what's really changed since November of 2010? I ran basically on a platform to repeal the health care law and get our debt and deficit under control. The only thing that's really changed is we are closer to implementing that very unpopular law and our debt has just gotten worse.

So, 'm very optimistic. I think 10 electoral votes that Wisconsin has to offer will go toward the next president, Mitt Romney.

CAVUTO: Well, you mentioned two recent examples, your own included. You've been modest about it, but Governor Walker, too. And neither of you were given much of a chance.

And I remember being there not too long ago for the recall election, and the latest trend line polls as we got there had the race dead-even. And as we all know in retrospect, Governor Walker won in a walk.

The latest polls now, even though we have one that shows Romney and Ryan up, another has it virtually even, with the president having a slight advantage. But is the president's support being overstated? And do you think, as was the case with the Walker recount, that -- that it's the Republicans who -- whose support is being understated?

JOHNSON: It might be.

Now, if you remember the exit polls from the recall, it was too close to call.

CAVUTO: Right. Exactly.

JOHNSON: But Scott Walker won that -- won it by six or seven points.

These polling models are -- they're difficult. How do you measure voter enthusiasm? I'll tell you, traveling around the state, I was just on the Romney bus for two days talking to businesspeople, you know, those folks that didn't build their own business, and I can guarantee you that the enthusiasm, the energy level on our side is extremely high.

People realize this is a failed presidency. We simply can't afford four more years of President Obama. People understand that. They understand...


CAVUTO: But do enough of them, do enough of them, sir?

The reason why I say that is, flip it around then. If the president is so god-awful and he's done just such a pathetic job with the economy, and if that is your view -- and that is clearly the Romney-Ryan view -- then the president should be down 10 points in the polls.

And he's dead-even, if not ahead, and ahead electorally as well. Now, things change, I understand, but at this stage in the campaign, where that has been the treatise and the argument and the focus point for Republicans, you'd expect more bang for the buck, wouldn't you?

JOHNSON: Neil, I guess I would say that people that really are informed, the people that realize that he hasn't cut the deficit in half that he didn't bring down the cost of a family plan by $2,500, he's increased it, that unemployment has been above 8 percent for 42 months...


CAVUTO: No, no, I know that. I know that. But among all Americans, it's even, it's even.


CAVUTO: What do you make of that?

JOHNSON: But -- because people that are informed understand what a disaster another four years will be. They'll get to the polls. People that are not informed are not that particularly interested, I'm not sure they're going to really make it to the polls.


JOHNSON: And I think that's where the -- the polling models break down.

CAVUTO: OK. Well put.

Senator, great seeing you again. Senator Ron Johnson...

JOHNSON: Have a great day.

CAVUTO: ... hope to see you in Tampa next week, whether it's wet there or not.

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