Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Simple Math

Mitt Romney seems intent on making the whole case for his candidacy on the economy's poor performance and on his (Romney's) superior qualifications and background in the private sector actor. Some problems:

1) The Obama campaign has been hammering Romney on his Bain years and it appears to be resonating with voters ... -1

2) People want to know that, even if Romney can fix the economy, he's credible as a foreign policy actor. He just returned from a trip that suggests otherwise ... -1

3) Many have criticized Romney for running strictly on his biography and failing to offer clear ideas for how he would fix the economy. But he has offered a tax plan. Brookings finds that Romney's tax plan would actually increase the tax burden for 95% of Americans while cutting taxes for the wealthiest 5% ... -1

So that's a negative 3. What effect has it had on the race? None, so far. The national polls don't show much movement. If anything, they show Romney closing just by a bit but nothing really. The state polls seem to be moving in favor of Obama if anything. But ... nothing really.

Then none of it matters, right? I wouldn't quite say that. All of this is laying a foundation for the race to come. It is setting the strategic environment. I guess we might say the ingredients for the cake are being gathered. So, while we don't know what the cake will look like, the chef is going to be constrained by what is in the kitchen and what's not.

Nate Silver's forecast has moved around very, very little since it was introduced. But, right now, it is near the high point for Obama's chances of winning - 69%. That sounds about right to me.

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