Sunday, September 09, 2012

Will "more of the same" from Romney change anything?

By Richard K. Barry

Nate Silver makes an interesting point that Mitt Romney has never taken the lead over President Obama by a substantive margin in the polls.

That makes this an extremely odd election. You would figure that at some point over the past year, Mr. Romney would have pulled into the lead in the polls, given how close it has usually been. John McCain held occasional leads in 2008; John Kerry led for much of the summer in 2004; and Michael Dukakis had moments where he was well ahead of George H.W. Bush in the spring and summer of 1988. But Mr. Romney, if there have been moments when his polls were ever-so-slightly stronger or weaker, has never really had his moment in the sun.

He cites other presidential races in which one candidate led from beginning to end, notably Clinton in 1996, Reagan in 1984, Nixon in 1972, and Eisenhower in 1952 and 1956. All of these elections ended in a landslide, though Silver is quick to add that no one expects that here.

Still, it does seem like a bad trend for Romney.
If even at his high-water mark, [Romney] can only pull the race into a rough tie, what pitch can he come up with in October or November to suddenly put him over the top?

It really does beg the question. What can Romney say that persuadable voters have not heard before? What could possibly change between now and November?

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)

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