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Obama and Romney: Comparing the Odds

Updated on September 24, 2012

In a few weeks, the Presidential Debates will begin, and the American people will finally get the chance to see Obama and Romney standing side by side. This will be a crucial part of the election, because all of the differences between the two men will be starkly laid out, all in one room. Obama will get to talk about his record, admit to his failures, and talk about what he will do in a second term. Romney will get an opportunity to improve his image. In between then, the two campaigns have some advantages and potential disadvantages.

For Obama, the advantages seem to be mounting up right now. In an economy that has an unemployment rate above 8 percent, the President still has a running shot at reelection. Polls have shown him as "more likeable" for a long time, he appears to be moving his lead in national polls beyond the margin of error and, according to one Pew Research poll, Obama is as popular now as Bill Clinton was in 1996 during this point in his reelection campaign. And, of course, Obama really could not have asked for a better opponent than Mitt Romney.

Romney's disadvantages in this election also seem to be mounting right now. Romney should be soaring in the polls. Instead, he is struggling to catch up to Obama. His troubles began when he blasted the Obama Administration for remarks made by the American Embassy in Cairo, after mobs of unruly protesters had stormed the embassies in Cairo and in Libya. As it turned out, the remarks that Romney went after came out before the attacks, not after them. Romney was left looking like a man trying to score political points, instead of a future leader.

After that, a video surfaced in which Romney appeared to diss almost half of the United States population. Another week, even more bad press for Romney. What was worse was the fact the Romney, apparently, has become a liability to other Republicans in Senate races around the country. Elizabeth Warren, running for Scott Brown's seat in Massachusetts, managed, in the Massachusetts Senate debates, to wallop Brown, tying him to Romney, again and again. Democrats seem to be riding on Obama's coattails, as the saying goes. The opposite is true for Romney. It is not a good sign for a candidate, when members of his own party begin to distance themselves from him.

With polls showing Romney behind in Ohio, Virginia and Florida, Romney has even more work cut out for him. He must win those three states, or be defeated by that implacable electoral college.

Now, back to Obama. He might be riding high in September, but before the first debate is out of the way, Obama cannot rest easy. He has to hope that the polls continue going his way, and he must make sure that Ohio and Virginia stay in his favor. He must prepare for more bad numbers on the economy, and he has to make sure that Democrats actually get out to vote when they are supposed to...

It should be a dire warning to any excited Democrat right now; This election is not over yet, and will not be, until November 7. Both candidates can still eke out a victory.


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    • JON EWALL profile image

      JON EWALL 5 years ago from usa

      Nathan Orf

      Check these links out.2009-2012 Administration Oil Strategy Contributes to Price Increases

      COBURN REPORT 9million ways to balance the budget CUT WASTE

      Five Times Obama Has Apologized for America

      Story time with President Obama: ‘We tried our plan — and it worked.’ 8.2% unemployment #notworking

      Americans lose 38% of their wealth under Obama

      Middle-class families took the biggest hit to their net worth during the crunch because much of their wealth was in their homes,

      The President's Speech Distorts the Truth

      The Truth on big oil earnings. The big government wants ‘’ fairness ‘’

      Government Subsidies: To oil/gas $ 4 billion To alternate energy $9 billion

      Fact-checkers find exaggerations in Obama, Biden conventions speeches

      Exclusive: Paul Ryan ‘’ The true facts’’

      On Wed Oct. 3,2012, the first Presidential debate live, uncut and un- doctored. What you see and hear is what the candidates are selling. One can be the judge.

    • Nathan Orf profile image

      Nathan Orf 5 years ago

      The National debt exploded under George Bush when he cut taxes and then went off on two foreign wars with out raising taxes. When you decide to go off to war, you need to raise taxes, or you end up where we are today, that is, an insurmountable debt. Obama spent four years adding about 1 trillion to the debt. Bush spent eight years adding 14 trillion dollars to the debt. Who did the worst damage?

      Obama has given billions of dollars in aide to Israel (partly contributing to the debt, in fact, though not very). In fact, if you look at polling data from the Arab world, like Gallup International, polls indicate that most Arabs feel that Obama has been too hard on Palestine. Obama has sought to play the middle ground in terms of his Israeli- Palestinian policy. There is much to criticize about it, but he has been as supportive of Israel as any past President.

      Gas prices are a victim to many factors, like the oil production output of foreign countries, the amount of oil on the market, and events like OPEC shutting off the shipment of oil to make some idiotic point or other... Bush was unfairly blamed for rising gas prices, too, even though none of his policies contributed to it. Simply put, a President does not impact gas prices in any way, shape or form.

      Obama blames Bush for most of our problems because Bush's policies caused most of them. Unemployment, which is at 8.3 percent, is Obama's weakest point, which Mitt Romney mysteriously avoids challenging him on (maybe that will change on Wednesday). Health Care Reform is now more popular as more of its provisions go into effect. And, of course, the idea that Obama has a socialist agenda is right-wing paranoid myth. Any thorough look at Obama's policies will show that he governs from the center left, not from the far, fringe left.

    • profile image

      Deb Welch 5 years ago

      Obama has increased the National Debt by $5 Trillion, Not very nice to Israel, Gas Prices are sky high,He blames President Bush for most of the problems,unemployment 8%(?), a HealthCare Program was pushed through under our noses,he is going for a Socialist agenda,many other factors as well - I got some help combined with reading local reader views to respond to my previous comment. Obama gave the US some false hope and he didn't give good change as promised. Everyone was putting way too much faith in his ability.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 5 years ago

      Interesting Hub Nathan.

      I feel when the American Public goes to the Polls in November they will cast their votes for Romney. The Media is too Bias. The President describing the latest Terrorist Acts, as "Bumps in the Road" when our Ambassador and 2 Seals are murdered, is a Sad statement...On his watch, when he had previous warning something would happen over there on 9/11. And Israel , asking for a meeting while our President goes on the "View" or has TIME for "David Letterman"... But no Time for Important Meeting...Who is running our Country? We need a Strong President in the White House.

      I look forward to reading more of your Hubs.

    • JON EWALL profile image

      JON EWALL 5 years ago from usa

      Nathan Orf

      Allow me to add some links instead of a long post.

      Know the candidates, THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA fails to report.

      The President's Speech Distorts the Truth

      Paul Ryan on Fox News Sunday Chris Wallace

      Joyce Foundation's Board of Directors was Barack Obama,


      Plan for the US Government?


      President Barack Obama is hailing PAYGO legislation

      The President and his party violate the terms of Pay-Go, the Republicans argue for pay-go law. Taxes or spending has to be deficit neutral.

      The Obama's don't want this video to be seen in 2012

      President Barak Obama - Advocate of Democracy and Revolution

      Obamacare – Anatomy of Government Fraud

      The Egyptian People Demand President Mubarak Leave The Country Egyptian people are protesting in Cairo and Alexandria

      the President supports.’’ the truth ‘’ Friend or Foe?

      To be elected in 2008 Obama made some promises to the American people if elected.


      President Barak Obama delivers the State of The Union speech

      In Nov. ,the people will be the judge!

    • William Young profile image

      William Young 5 years ago from Eaglle Grove, Iowa

      Nathan, very well written hub! Obama seems to have an edge in the polls right now, which I saw Brit Hume on Fox News today put it this way--"Obama seems to be defying gravity." What he said was that history has shown that a president with the kind of economic numbers that we have would not be leading in a race, but Obama has managed to keep his poll numbers up. Don't count out Mitt Romney yet. I realize that Chucky Todd and Rachel Maddow think this race is over and Chris Matthews really wants to feel that tingle of excitement in his leg that he would feel from an Obama victory...But this race is far from over.

    • Nathan Orf profile image

      Nathan Orf 5 years ago

      Deb Welch,

      Thanks for commenting.

      What holes, exactly? From where I stand, Romney cannot even decide what he stands for. At least with Obama, I know that he means what he says, but I'm afraid I can't trust Romney to stand up to his very own principles. He just comes across as a quick talking "I'll say anything to get elected" politician to me...

    • profile image

      Deb Welch 5 years ago

      I look forward to the Debates. Romney is resolute and was born with a silver spoon and he is not a smooth talking silver tongue full of deceit as we have learned of Mr. Obama. Romney appears strong as a real American whereas our present President has holes in him no matter how much song and dance he does to charm the masses. Good Hub.

    • Nathan Orf profile image

      Nathan Orf 5 years ago


      Fair point. Ann Richards once said of George H.W Bush "He was born with a silver foot in his mouth!"

      Poor Mitt. He has exactly the same problem...

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

      I agree it could be anyone's race but if Romney is going to successfully debate, he's going to have to get his brain and his mouth engaged so they are on the same track. lol