With an economy seemingly on the road to recovery and a bitter Republican primary battle still fresh in people's minds you would think Romney has little chance of achieving victory in November.
Indeed the latest polling coming out of key swing states shows the president with a commanding lead, the polling on independents is especially worrying for the Romney camp , but with the right strategy and by concentrating on some key areas it is still possible for Romney to ride to a relatively comfortable victory in November.
Support Women's Rights
For starters Obama's lead in the polls has only been a recent occurrence and there is evidence to suggest Rick Santorum and his so called 'war on women' is largely responsible. There has clearly been a large shift in support to Obama by women and Romney now has a chance to rectify this since Santorum has now bowed out of the race.
He has to clearly and unequivocally show support for women's rights in the realm of health care. This does not necessarily mean he has to change his stance back to being pro-choice but reassurances clearly need to be made that he supports access to contraception and an understanding of its obvious benefits to women's health.
Whether the media has skewered the Republicans' response to Obama's mandate that health insurers offer birth control coverage even in the Catholic Church, this has clearly had a detrimental effect on the Republican brand with a large proportion of women, especially independents.
There are plenty of religious leaders out there who support contraception and he needs to attract them to his camp to show there is religious virtue in the support of women's health.
End the War in Afghanistan
Right now there is a pro-war consensus within the two main parties. No high level politician on either side has been willing to make concrete statements that Afghanistan is unwinnable and that it's pointless to carry on fighting against the inevitable. The Taliban are Afghani's and the fact is they already have a major say in national politics, just look at the endorsement Hamid Karzai gave to controversial proposals on the restriction of women.
This was clearly an attempt to ingratiate himself with the Taliban leadership, as he knows that once NATO forces leave his government will have no chance of maintaining what little central government control it has outside of Kabul.
Whether the Republican leadership will be able to stomach a platform of early withdrawal is debatable, but if Romney shows some courage and leadership he can outflank Obama. Ron Paul's campaign has clearly shown there is traction to be gained by preaching a limited foreign policy agenda. All the polling has showed support for the war to be dropping precipitously. Tragic recent events have brought the subject back to the forefront of the national conversation, much to the Democrats chagrin.
Running on a policy of earlier withdrawal is not without historical precedent either. Nixon's campaign in '68 is a model which Romney can use. Even though Nixon ended up aggravating the war in Vietnam with his incursions into Cambodia, he showed how a Republican could appear strong on foreign policy whilst campaigning on an anti-war platform.
Support Sensible Immigration Reform
The failure of the Dream Act however unpopular it was with the Republican rank and file has and will prove to be a major headache for the Romney campaign.
Republicans can no longer count on the support of a large swathe of Hispanic voters. Recent polling gives Obama a six to one lead over Romney, this is a potential electoral time bomb not just for this election but for the future as well.
Republicans used to be able to bring in a significant proportion of the Latino vote, this was especially crucial in George Bush's victory in 2000 but the hostile reaction of Republicans to recent immigration reform bills has angered the Hispanic community and pushed them towards the Democrat camp.
To counter this Romney needs to be brave in his choice of VP and do all that's necessary to persuade Marco Rubio, the Hispanic United States Senator from Florida, to accept his invitation onto the ticket. As well as helping bring in Hispanic voters nationally this will improve his chances in Florida immeasurably. Only once since 1964 has the sunshine state not voted for the presidential winner.
Rubio is already formulating a Republican alternative to the Dream Act and this is clearly a proposal Romney needs to put front and centre in his general election campaign. Vague statements and press releases about the need to look into immigration reform will not be enough. Major speeches and policy proposals will need to be implemented into the campaign to show how serious on the subject he is to Hispanics.
Whether Romney and his campaign team have the dexterity and courage to implement these proposals is yet to be seen but the fact remains November's election is very winnable but at the same time could become disastrous for the Republicans. Their fate at this point is still in their hands and what they decide to do from now until November will decide whether Obama has a second term.
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