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Romney trails Obama, but key numbers break his way


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article.php?id=50785Human Events:

Now that Rick Santorum has "suspended" his campaign, we can stop pretending and can say what has been clear for weeks: Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee for president. The general election campaign has begun.

 

In some quarters, it is assumed that Barack Obama will be re-elected without too much difficulty. There are reports that staffers at Obama's Chicago headquarters consider Romney's candidacy a joke.

 

One suspects the adults there take a different view. For the fundamentals say that this will be a seriously contested race, with many outcomes possible. Obama's job-approval numbers in the realclearpolitics.com average of recent polls hover at 48 percent positive, 47 percent negative. That's on the cusp between victory and defeat.

 

Obama leads Romney in recent polls by 48 to 43 percent. Note that Obama's percentage does not exceed his job approval. And Romney does not maximize the potential Republican vote.

 

Romney carries bruises, some self-inflicted, from the primary process, and his unfavorable numbers far outnumber his favorables. He got more negative than positive press coverage (interestingly, on Fox News as well as mainstream media) even as he was winning the nomination.

 

One reason is that his campaign and the super PAC backing him have spent most of their ad dollars battering down successive rivals who rose in the polls. The positive case for Romney has gotten much less of an airing.

 

But general elections involving sitting presidents usually turn out to be verdicts on the incumbent. Challengers who meet minimal standards tend to win if most voters want the incumbent out.Scissors-32x32.png

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