Despite new poll, Obama strategist prepared for "close election" in battleground states
With less than 100 days to go in the general election, the results of the latest Quinnipiac/CBS News/New York Times poll should give chief Obama strategist David Axelrod something to smile about.
But at campaign headquarters in Chicago on Wednesday, Axelrod told CBS News correspondent Nancy Cordes he's learned not to get "too exhilarated about encouraging numbers" or "too despairing about discouraging numbers."
The poll has President Obama leading Mitt Romney among likely voters in three key battleground states: Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio, where Mr. Obama spent Wednesday campaigning.
"This is going to be a close election in those states," Axelrod said on this week's edition of "Face to Face."
"I think that these polls reflect the product of the president's work and the campaign's work, but we have more work to do."
An issue that has both candidates struggling in most national polls is the economy. Still the most important issue to likely voters, four out of 10 said it's getting worse.
The president himself acknowledges the economy's ongoing problems, just this week telling a group of supporters at a fundraiser in N.Y. that the U.S. will "have some continued headwinds over next several months."
Discussing the impact a bad economy could have on Mr. Obama's re-election, Axelrod deflected blame from the president's first term, citing problems in Europe, China and the global economy, and a "disinclined" Congress.
He said the president has come out with "specific" ideas to improve the economy, unlike his opponent Romney.
"Who is going to build an economy for the long run in which you have a middle class that's growing, in which people who work hard have a sense that they can get ahead?"
"I think when people look at these two candidates, we're going to win that fight," Axelrod said.
He also said voters can expect to hear more specifics on the president's vision for a second term at the Democratic National Convention and in this fall's three presidential debates.
- Christine Delargy
Christine Delargy is a producer for CBSNews.com.Follow on Twitter »
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