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Grassroots to Romney: Take the ball and run

As far as grassroots Republicans are concerned, Oct. 4 will be the first day of the rest of the Romney campaign.

If there was any immediate message from the Republican grassroots to Mitt Romney following his triumphant performance in the first televised debate with Barack Obama, it was that the Republican nominee had a great evening and now needs to take the ball and run with it.

With a just-completed CNN poll showing a whopping 67 percent of viewers felt that Romney won the debate and even Democratic strategist James Carville saying Obama had a very bad night, Republican activists who spoke to Human Events shortly after the debate agreed there was fresh enthusiasm for their candidate among the party grassroots that now needed to be mobilized.

???Judging from the texts I got tonight, people here felt Romney smoked Obama,??? Ann Womble, an activist in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania told us, ???and the people I heard from who are on the state Republican Committee say it was a big win for Romney.??? Lancaster is a major bastion of GOP votes in the Keystone State.

Veteran Wisconsin GOP consultant Scott Becher called the debate ???a very good night for Romney after it has been hell on earth for him in September. It???s almost like he had a sparring match with Paul Ryan to know how to stand firm for things. As to whether he has time in one month to turn things around here, that depends on Romney himself.???

Noting that a just-completed Marquette University Law School poll showed Obama leading Romney among likely voters in the Badger State by 53 percent to 42 percent, Becher said the Republican nominee ???should be getting on a bus now and coming here — not going back to Boston to rest. He should get out with the crowds and show he likes this stuff and be the Romney of tonight for the rest of the campaign.??? He also noted that Obama will be campaigning in Madison Thursday.

Another party leader who sensed immediate enthusiasm for the GOP nominee after the debate was Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

???Romney looked stronger and got a significant boost tonight,??? DeWine told us. Citing a Sunday Columbus Dispatch Poll showing Romney trailing Obama in Ohio by a margin of 51 percent to 42 percent, DeWine said that, with a vigorous effort from the grassroots after the Tuesday debate, ???the race in Ohio will become very, very close.???

Even in Michigan, where rumors run rampant that the Romney campaign will write off the state the nominee was born and raised in, Ingham County (Lansing) GOP Chairman Norm Shinkle told us flatly that ???any thoughts he has lost or is destined to lose Michigan are wrong. Tonight???s debate was like the Tigers winning the World Series for Romney supporters in Michigan. From the text messages I???ve been getting, I am sure we???ll have a big turnout for our ???Super Saturday??? when we mobilize the volunteers and canvass for Mitt.??? Shinkle also believes that the Romney campaign needs to make the case that ???the auto bailout was basically the administration handing General Motors over to the unions and if it makes that argument well, they???ll win Michigan.??? The latest Rasmussen Poll shows Obama leading Romney 54 percent to 42 percent in Michigan.

No one is making an argument that Barack Obama won or even placed in the debate. As far as grassroots Republicans are concerned, Oct. 4 will be the first day of the rest of the Romney campaign. The rest is up to the campaign — and the candidate himself.

Written By

John Gizzi has come to be known as ???the man who knows everyone in Washington??? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on what???s going on in the nation???s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as ???Gizzi on Politics??? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of ???Gizzi???s America,??? video interviews that appear on Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. John???s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com