Why is the presidential race so close? I've heard it said that the media have conspired to make it appear that way because a tight horse race is more interesting to watch, more suspenseful, but many polls are independent of the press. (It's the same theory that holds that the World Series always seems to go the full seven games because there's more advertising revenue in it if it stretches out.) Besides, there is little difference in most of the poll numbers regardless of affiliation, with the exception of Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight, which has almost always given Obama a sizable lead, at least where the odds are concerned.
So how do you explain it?
Is it because of the economy? Perhaps, but the economy is improving. Is it Obamacare? Is it the fabricated perception that Barack Obama is a weak president? Have the Republicans successfully convinced Americans that his foreign policy has lowered America's stature around the world? Is it because of race? Is it because he lost the first debate, the single misstep in a nearly flawless campaign thus far?
But Obama won the last two debates. Unemployment is down. He has huge voting blocs sewn up. He has substantial leads with Latinos, women, young people, blacks, liberals, gay voters, union voters and teachers, and he's making inroads with white males. The elderly know that, unlike his opponents, he will never change Medicare or social security, so it's probably safe to say that he's at least holding his own with that group. He saved the auto industry, dispatched Osama bin Laden, insured millions of children, signed the Lilly Ledbetter Act, got us out of Iraq and increased oil production in the U.S. The list goes on.
On the other hand, practically every day the press reveals some new dirt on Romney and Ryan or they get caught with their feet in their mouths. Romney insulted 47 percent of Americans, he pioneered outsourcing, he blatantly flip flops on almost every issue, he lost the last two debates, his foreign policy is wishy-washy, he came out against saving the auto industry, he was opposed to going after bin Laden, his stewardship of Bain caused thousands of lost jobs, he repeatedly distorts the truth, he refuses to reveal his tax returns, he paid less in taxes than his secretary, his five-point plan doesn't add up. It was recently revealed that he's connected to suspiciously faulty voting machines in Ohio. And the list goes on.
Sure, he has untold millions in PAC money backing him. But nothing seems to stick to Romney. Voters seem to be ignoring or overlooking his negatives. Sure, memories are short, but how can you forget something that keeps popping up on a regular basis? It doesn't make any sense.
Ronald Reagan was known as the Teflon President because he managed to float unsullied through crisis after crisis.
Is Romney the Teflon candidate?