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News analysis: Economy drives votes

According to a video that was leaked this week, Mitt Romney isn’t worrying about 47 percent of the country, but could it cost Romney the election?

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what,” Romney said in the video, which was filmed in May at a $50,000-per-plate fundraising dinner. “There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who are entitled to health care, to food, to housing… and they will vote for this president no matter what.

“These are people who pay no income tax,” Romney said. “So our message of low taxes doesn’t connect, so he’ll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. And so my job is not to worry about these people,” he said. “I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

This is a pretty bad misstep for Gov.  Romney, and it is easy to compare it to President Barack Obama’s “you didn’t build that” incident from July.

However, while Obama was presently able to recover from “you didn’t build that,” currently holding a one-point lead in the latest Gallup poll, the chances of Romney recovering from this gaffe depends largely on how he performs in the debates, and Romney will need a very strong performance in the first debate, scheduled for Oct. 3.

On the bright side for the governor, the first half of the debate is tentatively scheduled to be about the economy, according to debate moderator Jim Lehrer, in an article on Bloomberg Businessweek from Wednesday. This is an issue  in which voters rate Romney higher than Obama, according to a poll from Rasmussen.

Gov. Romney has two figures working in his favor, the first being $16,025,485,261,267.37. That is the US National Debt as of press time. The second figure is 8.3 percent. That is the unemployment figure for the US, and one of the Republican battle cries has been that Obama’s policies would have kept that figure below 8 percent.

Without a doubt, those two figures will be mentioned during the debate, and could most likely be the two things that could help voters forget about “47 percent.”

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