TAMPA, Florida — In an apparent move to lower expectations for an anticipated post-convention bump in the polls, a senior adviser to Mitt Romney told reporters Tuesday that a number of factors — including the weather — could get in the way of any serious momentum coming out of event.
Asked how much of a bump he expected Romney to get, Stuart Stevens said, "I have no idea idea. I mean... Of course, this convention's different because of the hurricane. Conventions are different now, they're much later now when we're having them; the way we're having back to back conventions; we've never come into another convention after another campaign spent half a million dollars, plus the outside groups."
The new positioning represents a reversal from the the high expectations the campaign was setting just weeks ago. Then, in a briefing with reporters at the campaign's Boston headquarters, strategists showed slides arguing that challengers typically get larger post-convention bumps than incumbents in both poll numbers, and personal image.
Now, though, the campaign appears to be backing away from the high bar
"I think all bets are off in terms of past performance being a predictor of the future," Stevens said.
He went on to contend that "overwhelmingly, the majority of Americans don't want to vote for the president, we see that over and over and over again. But it's still a choice."
And to persuade undecided voters, the Republican nominee speech on Thursday will lay out "a clear vision of a Romney presidency."