3. Intellectual exhaustion. The Obama campaign is out of ideas. On the economy, Obama has used virtually everything in his progressive toolkit. Nothing has worked. And so the president, unable to defend his record in the first term, is left with no compelling vision to offer in a second term. Witness his speech in Ohio yesterday. It was billed as a “major” address on the economy. But it was widely panned even on the left for being empty and uninteresting. The president himself cannot articulate why his agenda in a second term would be more effective than what he’s done in his first term. He’s running on empty.
4. A formidable opponent. The Obama campaign’s attempt to disqualify Mitt Romney on grounds that he’s too extreme to be president has fizzled. Whatever complaints one may have about Romney, being an extremist is not a plausible one. As Bill Clinton admitted, Romney has been a governor, had a “sterling business career,” and “crosses the qualification threshold.” Since securing the GOP nomination, Romney has made few unforced errors. He’s begun to repair the damage he had sustained. He’s shown impressive discipline and focus as a candidate. He’s outraising the president. And Governor Romney’s campaign is, at least as of now, clearly superior to the president’s.
5. The late break. In most presidential elections, undecided voters break in large numbers for the challenger. If someone is undecided about an incumbent they know well, they will usually cast their ballot for the challenger. That’s particularly true when the country is suffering from economic difficulties and the political fundamentals are bad for the person occupying the Oval Office, which is certainly the case today.