CNN sounded alarm bells for the Romney campaign on Wednesday, touting a "stunning" new poll showing Mitt Romney down 10 points in Ohio and reporting it every hour save one from the 7 a.m. hour of Starting Point through the 4 p.m. hour of The Situation Room.
"Holy Toledo! Mitt Romney is losing Ohio now by 10 points. 10 points," exclaimed anchor Brooke Baldwin. "And it's got to be very disturbing right now for the Romney campaign," political director Mark Preston expressed. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
It was telling that Democratic political strategist Richard Socarides was the first to mention the poll on CNN Wednesday, during the 6 a.m. hour of Early Start. The poll was not even a CNN poll, but a CBS News/New York Times/Quinnipiac poll, and it was not a national survey. The network still shoved it into its broadcast all day long.
"To win the election November 6th, Mitt Romney pretty much must win the state of Ohio. So this is dire news for the Romney camp," said Baldwin. "And when it rains, it pours. It's been raining all day for Mitt Romney here as he's been crisscrossing this state," correspondent Jim Acosta took a jab at the campaign.
"And I know that early voting begins next Tuesday, so why are they actually thinking that they've got some wiggle room here, that they've got some influence?" wondered Suzanne Malveaux, echoing CBS's Norah O'Donnell who had asked if the election was all but over.
"And this is not good news for Mitt Romney," reported John Berman during the 8 a.m. hour of Starting Point. "And Governor Romney needs to rev up the crowd in Ohio because there is a stunning new poll out today and it's not looking good for Mr. Romney," Carol Costello stated during the 9 a.m hour of Newsroom.
A transcript of the CNN quotes, which aired on September 26, is as follows:
[6:34 a.m. EDT]
RICHARD SOCARIDES: Obama is doing very well in the polls. I mean, I think the President – you just look at the battleground states, you look at this new Quinnipiac poll out this morning, President Obama ahead in Florida by nine points. In Ohio by 10 points. I mean, these are numbers, you know, 41 days out I think we are today, these are numbers that if they are – if they are true and if they're sustainable, I mean, this thing is, you know, going to be wrapped up.
JOHN BERMAN: The next president of the United States is campaigning in Ohio today. We can say that with confidence. Why? Well, because both President Obama and Mitt Romney are holding rallies in Ohio today. You're looking live at a Romney rally in Westerville. He'll make stops today in Cleveland and Toledo also, and there is good reason for that. Ohio offers 18 electoral votes. And get ready for it. No Republican has ever been elected president without also winning Ohio. And this is not good news for Mitt Romney. A new poll out this morning from Quinnipiac, the New York Times and CBS. It shows President Obama up by 10 points in Ohio. That is a big round number.
CAROL COSTELLO: And Governor Romney needs to rev up the crowd in Ohio because there is a stunning new poll out today and it's not looking good for Mr. Romney. A Quinnipiac/CBS News/New York Times poll shows Romney is trailing President Obama in Ohio by 10 points among registered voters. Among women in Ohio, the divide is even more stark. Obama leads by 25 points. And among young voters, Obama leads by a staggering 35 points.
COSTELLO: CNN political director Mark Preston is in Washington. So that's a pretty stunning poll, don't you think?
MARK PRESTON, CNN political director: It is, Carol. And it's got to be very disturbing right now for the Romney campaign. Because when you dig into those numbers a little bit deeper, you see that President Obama has a 15-point advantage over Mitt Romney when it comes to women, and Mitt Romney only has an eight point advantage over Barack Obama when it comes to men.
But even more startling, for somebody who is trying to make this campaign all about the economy, when the question was asked who would do a better job handling the economy, Barack Obama comes in at 51 percent, Mitt Romney 45 percent.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX: We know that President Obama actually won Ohio 51 to 47 percent four years ago. We were covering him all the time there. Clearly, Ohio very important here. You got 18 electoral votes, the second largest prize among the swing states. And I know that early voting begins next Tuesday, so why are they actually thinking that they've got some wiggle room here, that they've got some influence? What do they think they can do in the weeks ahead?
BROOKE BALDWIN: Holy Toledo! Mitt Romney is losing Ohio now by 10 points. 10 points. (...) And I want to go ahead and really just cut to the chase, if I may. To win the election November 6th, Mitt Romney pretty much must win the state of Ohio. So this is dire news for the Romney camp.
ACOSTA: ...to get into those poll numbers, Brooke, I mean, you're right, you do paint a grim picture there. And when it rains, it pours. It's been raining all day for Mitt Romney here as he's been crisscrossing this state. But if you look at those CBS/New York Times/Quinnipiac poll numbers, this is not good news for Mitt Romney, especially going into the debate next week. All of those debates in the month of October are going to cut down on the time he has to go into these swing states and campaign.