How to beat President Obama

Mr. Law says Mr. Romney is fortunate that the president has focused on character assaults. If Democrats had persuaded voters that Mr. Romney’s agenda was wrong for the country, the perception would be hard to change at this stage of the campaign. But, says Mr. Law, when Mr. Romney presents evidence that he’s a “decent, competent, successful” person, the “negatives can fall away very quickly.”

The persuadables encompass roughly 8% of American voters who call themselves undecided, plus perhaps another 3% on each side who are leaning toward one candidate but potentially available to the other side. Mr. Law is working on the people who swung left four years ago: “When we do focus groups, we only talk to people in the middle who voted for Obama in 2008 but are undecided.” …

The Crossroads chief believes that the president’s greatest vulnerability is that he is “increasingly perceived as a deliverer of controversy. What he produces is controversy and fights and clashes. What he doesn’t produce is the result that people want. And when people look at Romney they look at somebody who doesn’t strike them as terribly ideological and if he has a fault, that’s it, right?”