Romney in Ohio as poll shows possible Obama bounce

(CNN) -- Republican challenger Mitt Romney headed to Ohio on a post-convention Monday, September 10th facing news that he failed to gain ground on President Barack Obama in the latest poll and also got out-raised last month.

A new CNN/ORC International poll coming out later Monday will provide further insight into whether Obama received any "bounce" from last week's Democratic National Convention as the campaign comes into full force less than two months before the November election.

The Gallup daily tracking poll released Sunday showed Obama opening up his largest margin over Romney since early July -- 49% to 44%.

With a sampling error of plus-or-minus 4%, the poll amounts to a statistical tie. It was conducted September 2-8, a time window that included the entirety of the Democratic convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, as well as a disappointing August jobs report that came out Friday.

A week earlier, the same poll showed Obama with a 47%-46% after the Republican convention in Tampa, Florida, so the president had maintained or strengthened his advantage, according to the Gallup survey.

Meanwhile, Obama's re-election campaign and supporting committees brought in more than $114 million last month -- the first time he exceeded Romney's monthly haul since April.

Romney's campaign brought in $111 million last month. Despite the Obama campaign's haul, Romney is considered to still have the overall advantage due to his superior fundraising the three previous months and private contributions to super-PACs supporting his candidacy.

A memorandum by Romney campaign pollster Neil Newhouse made public on Monday advised against anyone getting "too worked up about latest polling."

"While some voters will feel a bit of a sugar-high from the conventions, the basic structure of the race has not changed significantly," Newhouse wrote, adding that the nation's sluggish economic recovery remains the major issue and will "reassert itself as the ultimate downfall of the Obama presidency."

The Obama campaign refused to celebrate, warning in a Twitter post that Romney will have "an even bigger September. But now we know we can match them, doing this our way," the Obama campaign's tweet said.

The president got another boost on Sunday - actually a bear hug from an enthusiastic restaurant owner that lifted him about a foot off the ground.

Scott Van Duzer, owner of the Big Apple Pizza and Pasta Restaurant in Fort Pierce, Florida, decided to display his affection when Obama visited for lunch and to praise him for leading community efforts to encourage blood donations.

Van Duzer described himself as a registered Republican who voted for Obama in 2008 and plans to do so again in November.

On his trip to the senior-heavy coastal city of Melbourne, Obama noted a new Harvard analysis by one of his former advisers that found Medicare beneficiaries would pay more for the government health service under proposals by Romney and running Rep. Paul Ryan than under the president's plan.

The conclusions by David Cutler, who also was a policy expert in the Clinton administration, showed health care costs for current and future seniors would dramatically increase if Ryan's most recent House budget plan became law.

With Florida considered a vital battleground state in November, both campaigns are battling to control the message on the popular Medicare entitlement program.

Romney and Ryan say Obama has failed to offer a serious plan to address the structural issues that threaten Medicare insolvency as the U.S. population ages and health care costs continue to rise.

Obama says Medicare reforms in the broader 2010 health care overhaul law extend the program's solvency, and he is willing to include further changes as part of a comprehensive deficit reduction agreement.

Romney, who has made repealing the broader health care act a central campaign promise, made clear Sunday he would keep the more popular measures in the law, including allowing those under 26 years of age to remain on their parents' health care plans and guaranteeing coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

He has previously said he wanted to get rid of the Obamacare law despised by Republicans and replace it with something better, and is comments on NBC's "Meet the Press" showed his desire to stake out more flexible turf on the issue.

"There are a number of things that I like in health care reform that I'm going to put in place," Romney said.

Romney and Ryan, the conservative House Budget Committee chairman from Wisconsin, argue their plan would save Medicare in the long run by adding private sector competition. Democrats oppose any effort to change the basic concept of Medicare as a government-provided benefit, but have signaled willingness to raise the age of eligibility in the future and consider other reforms.

Ryan, meanwhile, attempted to clarify the GOP ticket's deficit reduction plan on Sunday, saying he and Romney wanted to increase tax revenue by ending loopholes and deductions for the wealthy without raising rates.

However, he refused to elaborate when pressed on which loopholes would get closed, saying those decisions should be made in a public debate.

"It's not what loopholes are out there, but who gets them," Ryan said on the CBS program "Face the Nation." "And we're saying by not having higher-income earners utilize these tax shelters, we can lower tax rates on everybody, because they pay more of their income to taxation."

Romney's tax plan calls for 20% cuts to current income tax rates, which were lowered during the Bush administration that preceded Obama's presidency.

"We can lower tax rates by plugging loopholes and still maintain special preferences for middle-class taxpayers, not for higher-income taxpayers though," Ryan said.

Obama wants to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for all income below $250,000 for families and $200,000 for individuals as part of a deficit reduction package that he says would mean wealthier Americans return to higher tax rates of the 1990s.

Ryan insisted Sunday that Obama's proposal would inhibit job creation and growth by raising the tax rate on small business owners who file their income taxes as individuals, rather than corporations.

On NBC, Romney denied that his plan would result in wealthy Americans like himself paying any lower a share of the overall tax burden.

"I do want to bring taxes down for middle income people," he said. "In particular I want middle income Americans not to have to pay taxes on interest and dividends and capital gains."

For his part, Obama continued to accuse Romney and Ryan of "bad math" rather than "bold leadership," alleging their plans would increase the deficit if they don't include more tax revenue from allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire for the wealthy.

"We've got to make government leaner and more efficient, but we've also got to ask people like me or Governor Romney - who have done better than anybody else over the course of the last decade and whose taxes are just about lower than they've been in the last 50 years - to do a little bit more," he said in an interview broadcast Sunday on CBS.

Congress faces an end-of-year deadline to reach a deficit-reduction plan to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff -- a combination of tax increases from the expired Bush tax cuts for everyone and mandated steep spending cuts under a congressional agreement last year to raise the debt ceiling.

The looming changes would reduce the federal debt but could spark a recession with higher unemployment and shrinking GDP, according to a report by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office released last month.

Romney said Sunday that congressional Republicans, including Ryan, were wrong to accept the debt ceiling deal that could ultimately result in the broad spending cuts, including to the military.

"I thought it was a mistake on the part of the White House to propose it," Romney said on NBC. "I think it was a mistake for Republicans to go along with it."

Part of the deal included the formation of a so-called congressional super committee to work out a deficit-reduction plan. The future automatic spending cuts -- known as sequestration -- were intended to motivate the panel's bipartisan membership to find a compromise.

The committee failed to agree, setting up the election debate on deficit and tax policy with little chance of progress toward avoiding sequestration until after the election, at the earliest.

Romney reiterated his party's opposition to any tax increases as part of a deficit deal.