Stories about the Romney campaign's travails---with requisite finger-pointing---are blazing across the web today.
It's crucial to remember, though, that Obama has not put this thing
away yet---not by any means. Throughout September 2004, President Bush
led John Kerry by a 6-7-point margin. Kerry ate into that lead with the first debate. Bush ended up winning by a little over 2 points.
Romney, however, lags behind Obama by only about 3 points,
and that margin seems to be shrinking. A four-point swing, which John
Kerry pulled off against an incumbent in a much stronger economy, would
be enough to put Romney over the top.
By sending a clear, focused message on the economy and other issues,
Romney can decisively shift the momentum away from the Obama campaign.
The presidential debates present a major inflection point. The
electorate is dissatisfied with the status quo, but it also fears it
could be worse and is not yet fully sold on the alternative offered by
Romney. If Romney can lay out his own case for restoration and renewal,
one that will benefit a broad range of Americans, he can open the door
for a November victory. A Romney victory in November is no sure thing,
but neither is an Obama one.