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What, Me Worry?

August 1, 2012

The conventional political wisdom seems to be that President Obama is in a very tight re-election battle.  Almost every day some esteemed talking head says that President Obama’s chances of winning a second term are “no better than fifty-fifty.”  But here’s the thing:  the facts say otherwise.

The facts say that Obama is headed for a win – and, in the Electoral College, which is where it counts, it will be a big win.

Take a look at the Electoral College projection at RealClearPolitics.  In the last couple of weeks, RCP has moved Wisconsin and Michigan from the toss-up column to the Obama column, giving the President a lead of 247 – 191, with eight states and 100 electoral votes up for grabs.  Out of those eight states, Obama needs to win only Florida, where RCP has him ahead by 1.5 percent.  And if you toss out the four polls from the first half of July and look at only the three polls from the second half of July, Obama’s RCP lead stretches to 4 percent.

In fact, Obama leads in all eight of the RCP toss-up states except North Carolina, where he trails Mitt Romney by 0.4 percent.  This isn’t what fifty-fifty looks like.

Meanwhile, over at FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver’s computer model gives President Obama better than two-to-one odds of winning the election.  He projects a popular vote win of 2.4 percent, and an electoral vote win by a margin of 57 votes.

The New York Times reported today on three new polls giving Obama the edge in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

Even conservatives are giving national network voice to their frustration that Romney won’t release more than last year’s tax returns.

All of this on the heels of a foreign road trip that was intended to bolster Romney’s base and show him as a statesman, but instead showed that Romney lacks tact, empathy, and any awareness of people’s sensitivities.  When Charles Krauthammer calls the conduct of the Republican Party’s presidential nominee “incomprehensible” and “unbelievable,” you know it was bad.  Romney succeeded in taking what should have been a bask in the glow of Olympic glory and turning it into a PR flak’s nightmare.

David Brooks complained on Monday that “Mitt Romney has run the closest thing to a policy-free race as any candidate in my lifetime.”

We haven’t even gotten to the debates.  Fifty-fifty?  I don’t think so.

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