Can Mitt Romney defeat Barack Obama?
The short answer to the above question is, not likely. Does that mean Obama will be reelected? No, I doubt it.
There are a whole panoply of reasons Romney will not defeat Obama. One is this election will be like most other presidential elections where an incumbent is running for reelection. To Americans such a change runs against their nature and they are reluctant to make changes without overwhelming compelling reasons.
The negatives for Obama are nearly overwhelming.
The economy and prices for fuel and food are out of control. It doesn't matter whether all our woes are or are not something Obama has to answer but since he's in charge of the ship of state which is taking on water he will get the blame if the ship sinks. It is already listing heavily to port. Any more leaning to the left and we'll all be in for a swim.
Something which may help Romney is Obama needs to rebuild his coalition of four years ago. Can he motivate the black community to the extent he did in 2008? I doubt it. Ditto for the other groups currently friendly toward Obama.
The election will hinge on a few factors. Can Obama motivate his constituencies using something other than his old "hope and change" slogan from his last election? With all the bad news concerning the economy will that change the attitude to hopelessness and no change? That will depress some of Obama's base.
With gasoline prices out of control we have a daily reminder of a major failure for Obama. For many people who commute any distance to and from work gassing up for more than $50 at a crack is a serious pain in the gas. Slowly the fact the Obama Administration was reducing the amount of oil extracted from federal lands is down, not up. The message will be that even a small improvement in petroleum production can have a serious impact on the price. The decision to not approve the Canadian pipeline will always be near the surface which will no doubt be on Romney's list of complaints.
Keep in mind steep increases in gas prices is tantamount to a pay cut for the average working person. The money going into the gas tank has to come out some part of the economy. For many that will severely impact their ability to maintain their lifestyles.
The presidency is not going to the winner but to the non-loser. The left will try to deflect our focus on what matters most and attempt to frighten old people and women into not voting for Romney.
The secret to Romney's success will be by not getting into a battle with Obama over social issues. Those issues are already cast in concrete. The primary focus must be financial.
Are you better off than you were four years ago? Did you get Hope and Change as promised?
It's the economy stupid.
It's the economy stupid.