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Trail Mix: Barack Obama, No. 1 dad

NEED TO KNOW
  • Obama talks about fatherhood in an exclusive CNN interview
  • Was Mitt Romney's speech at the RNC a dud?
President Obama says despite the rigors of his job, there's always time for family
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HLN's Ed Hornick has covered presidential politics since 2000. He also reported on The White House, Congress, and foreign affairs for CNN. You can follow him on Twitter: @EdHornick

Want to know what's popping in campaign news? Meet our column "Trail Mix" -- your guide to the fun, the quirky, and, oh yeah, the news from the 2012 campaign trail.

#1 Dad

In an exclusive interview with CNN's Jessica Yellin, President Obama says despite the rigors of his job, there's always time for family.

"Sometimes Michelle and I not doing the circuit and going out to dinners with folks is perceived as us being cool," Obama told Jessica in a documentary airing Monday titled "Obama Revealed: The Man, The President." "It actually really has more to do with us being parents."

While he's been criticized for not spending enough time with Democrats and Republicans, Obama said family comes first.

"Sometimes on the weekends, we may turn down the invitation to this or that or the other just because we're trying to carve out family time," Obama said. "And I think that's sometimes interpreted as me not wanting to be out there slapping backs and wheeling and dealing. That really has more to do with just the stage we are in our lives."

Survey says ...

Welcome to Charlotte, North Carolina, Mr. President. Now here's some bad news as you get ready for the Democratic National Convention: You're kind of down in the polls. The good news: It's still early.

An Elon University/Charlotte Observer/Raleigh News & Observer poll out Monday indicates that Mitt Romney is up 47% to 43% among likely voters here. The poll, conducted with 1,089 likely voters that took place before the Republican National Convention between August 25-30, has a margin of error of +/- 3% points.

Note: Obama won North Carolina in the 2008 race -- the first Democrat to win the state since 1976.

Bounce?

After a party convention, candidates usually get a bump in the polls. For Romney, it was a slight one.

A Gallup poll out Monday found:

  • 4 in 10 likely voters said they are more likely to support the former Massachusetts governor after his speech in Tampa
  • 38% said they are less likely to vote for him
  • 22% said the convention didn't change their minds
  • 36% of independents said the convention made them "more likely" to vote for Romney, while 33% said not really
  • 38% said they thought Romney's speech was excellent or good

"The numbers are very close to the reaction following the Republican convention four years ago in St. Paul, Minnesota, when Sen. John McCain of Arizona was nominated for president," notes CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser. "[The bump for Romney is] down from the 47% who four years ago said McCain's speech was excellent or good and the 58% who said the same thing about Obama's address in 2008."

Steinhauser added that Monday's poll found that "Romney's speech rated lower than any of the eight convention addresses they've tested since Bob Dole's acceptance speech at the 1996 GOP convention."

The poll, conducted between Friday and Sunday among 1,045 adults across the country, had a margin of error of +/- 4% points.

Must Read

CNN: Avlon: Politics of Eastwood's empty chair

Politico: Obama surrogates: We are better off

The Daily Beast: Why Obama's speech won't matter

Newsweek: Why Barack Needs Bill

Overheard

P90X guru Tony Horton on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: "He is such a popular governor and people just love him, but I'm afraid that he won't live as long as he could if he doesn't start making some changes."

Ann Romney responds to Clint Eastwood's bizarre speech on CBS: "We appreciated Clint's support and he's a unique guy and he did a unique thing last night."

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