NORMAN — As the November presidential election draws nearer, President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney have plenty of reasons to be concerned, CNN correspondent Candy Crowley said Wednesday.
Crowley, CNN's chief political correspondent, spoke during the University of Oklahoma's President's Associates Dinner and offered her predictions about how the six weeks leading up to the election will play out.
Most recent polls show Obama with a narrow but widening advantage over Romney. But with six weeks left before the election, Crowley said, the outcome is anybody's guess.
The presidential debates could be a major momentum shift for both candidates, Crowley said. Those three debates offer 4 ½ hours for Romney to make his case against Obama. The first debate is scheduled for Wednesday.
The Romney campaign has been short on specifics about how his policies would affect the lives of ordinary Americans, Crowley said.
The debates provide an opportunity for him to present more detailed information.
The vice presidential debate is still two weeks away, and while people don't vote for vice president, she said, they do watch the debate.
The debate likely will lay bare the contrasts between Vice President Joe Biden and Republican U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan — namely, their age gap.
“What Joe Biden has to do is make sure it doesn't look like ‘take your son to work day,'” she said.
The Romney campaign should be concerned that Obama has a lead in the polls in the nine battleground states — Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin, Crowley said.
Of those nine states, she said, the most crucial are Ohio, Florida and Virginia. The Romney campaign likely needs to win at least two, and possibly all three, to reach the needed 270 electoral votes.