The latest Real Clear Politics average shows President Obama ahead of Mitt by 1.4%, so the race is essentially tied.
What troubles me is that I think the people who have already decided to vote for Mitt are unlikely to change their minds. I’m not expecting some big shocking revelations about him between now and November. You either care about Bain, his Massachusetts record, Romneycare, the flip flops and phoniness, his inability to identify with and connect to average working people, or you don’t.
As the challenger, events that unfold in the next few months, like the disaster that is Europe, won’t take votes away from Mitt. But as the incumbent, Obama has to take responsibility for whatever happens on his watch, even when it isn’t really his fault and is beyond his control. He may not have championed the euro 20 years ago as a brilliant idea, but its demise will hurt him. To paraphrase Harry Truman, “The euro stops here.”
I believe Mitt is likely to pick up votes from current Obama voters as well as most undecideds. We know the economy isn’t about to take off any time soon, things are likely to get worse before they get better. I can see a scenario where the stock market tanks as the price of filling our tanks soars, where events seem to be spinning out of control and no one knows where the bottom is, so that voters flee Obama and rush into the waiting wooden arms of Mitt, not out of love, but out of fear, that other extremely powerful human emotion.
Europe isn’t going to crash and burn in time for the effects to fade before the election, but Europe won’t wait till mid-November either.
I would say the calendar favors Mitt. He’s not likable? We elected Richard Nixon — twice.