His strategists concluded more than a year ago that he was unlikely to win a second term based on his promise to restore the economy to full health and put tens of millions of long unemployed Americans back work.
So they fashioned a divisive campaign that was heavily focused on single issue voters -- women, for one, and the large Hispanic vote, for another -- in a handful of critical battleground states he needs to clinch a second term.
The latest polls suggest this divide and conquer trickery seems to be working, at least for now.
Nowhere is this clearer than in Virginia, a key state Mitt Romney must win if he has any chance of beating Obama.
But a new Washington Post poll found that Obama now has "a 19- percentage-point lead (58 to 39) among female likely voters" in Virginia, while he is trailing Romney by six points among men. Obama's significant advantage among women is the reason why he leads his Republican rival in the state by eight points.
Heading into this year's election, Virginia was a toss-up state where Obamacare was unpopular and the economy and jobs were the top issues.
But the Obama campaign concluded they had little if any chance to persuade voters to change their minds on those issues. Instead, they decided to play Machiavellian politics with an issue that didn't make the top 10 concerns in voter surveys.
So during late summer, his campaign ran virtually non-stop ads attacking Romney for his opposition to abortion and taxpayer support of Planned Parenthood (who spent nearly $2 million on similar ads).
There were no ads to speak of that dealt with jobs and eight percent-plus unemployment, the declining economic growth rate that was barely moving. The ads were entirely aimed at painting Romney as someone who would strike down Roe v. Wade and make abortions illegal again.
But you would have to look high and low to find remarks by him on this issue. Despite Romney's pro-life posture, which remains the GOP's long held position, it's not an issue he talks about in his stump speeches. Whatever signal that sends, it's a subject that was missing from the entire 2012 election dialogue until the Obama campaign resurrected the issue for its own political gain.
It's highly unlikely the high court is going to revisit Roe v. Wade. It remains the "settled law of the land," Justice John Roberts testified in his Senate confirmation hearings.
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