The net effect — and something I don’t think many conservatives understand — is an economy that is very different than that of 1980 or 2008. Those were years when things were collapsing on Election Day, and the party in power lost badly.
Right now, this economy is looking like that from 1992 or 1960. In those years, the incumbent party lost power, but they were relatively close elections, especially at this juncture. One can envision scenarios where either could have played out differently.
It really isn’t that far off the economies of 2004 and 2000, where the incumbent party narrowly won the popular vote.
So I wouldn’t expect Romney to achieve a major breakthrough anytime soon. The economy isn’t so bad that it would cause people to give up utterly on Obama. It is improving, albeit more slowly than he — or the country — would like. That could change, but if it doesn’t, Romney is not going to run away with this election.