Obama and Romney: Comparing the Odds
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.