Obama V Romney: How Close Will It Be?

If Obama loses the Presidency, history will record that he did so at the first debate, when he was outclassed by an opponent whom he had badly underestimated. It is not as simple as that.

The problem for the President is that he has been unable to achieve all that he inspired Americans to believe was possible, when, in the stark reality of financial crisis and a polarised country, it was not. It is therefore a fact that the many things he has achieved go unremarked but his failures loom large. People are having a tough time and the incumbent will be blamed, even if there is a good deal of evidence that the US is weathering the crisis much better than most other countries caught in the economic storm.

At the margin, and this is clearly an election where margins count, perceived winners and losers who hold fast or shift their vote will decide what happens, yet the truth is that for a Democrat to win a second term in modern America is a tough call. Only Clinton managed this in the last forty-four years. Indeed since 1968 the Democrats have occupied the White House for sixteen years, the Republicans for twenty-eight. The natural inclination of America now is to favour small government at the centre, with individual States providing a sufficient level of government in the average person’s life. Essentially that is the confederate model and if slavery is taken from the picture, that is the model the majority of Americans now instinctively prefer.

The dynamics of the election are the opposite of what is generally portrayed by commentators. It is not Obama’s to lose, it is Romney’s to lose, as history, sentiment and the American Dream indicate the challenger ought to win. If Obama hangs on it will be an historic triumph.

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