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Romney's new commercials portray him as likeable, sympathetic, and kind to strangers.


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Meanwhile in campaign ops:

A series of new restrictions imposed, for the most part, by Republicans in state legislatures may also reduce Democratic turnout, if upheld by the courts. Florida and Ohio have cut back on early voting. Several more swing states, including Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, plan to start requiring voters to show certain forms of identification. Others have made it harder for potential voters to register.

These changes will affect over 5m people, according to the Brennan Centre for Justice at New York University. It says minorities, the young and the poor will be disproportionately affected. In Pennsylvania the leader of the Republican majority in the state House of Representatives declared that the new voter-identification law “is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state”.

Mr Romney’s admen also believe they will have an easier time propagating their message, centred as it is on the economy. Mr Obama, who would rather talk about almost anything else, has to craft different pitches for different slices of the electorate: to the young he highlights how he has kept interest-rates low on government-backed student loans; to Hispanics, he trumpets a recent executive order making life easier for illegal immigrants. Mr Romney, by contrast, can simply harp on about high unemployment which, as it happens, has hit young people, Hispanics and (by some measures) women especially hard.

This election is much, much closer than it should be.

Depending on what happens in the next 72 days, it could go either way.

Time for The Do-Over...

It's a bad economy. People lost jobs, can't find work, and can't afford to go to school. People lost homes.

We can debate whether it's the (past) President or Congress or Wall Street or Main Street that got us here, but people aren't interested in fairness.

And many will blame the President.

So this election isn't about Romney and Obama.

It's about continuing down the path we're on, or changing it.

Exactly. http://pandawhale.com/convo/5323/the-weekend-interview-with-steven-law-how-to-beat-president-obama-wsjcom

Honestly, with the hundreds of millions of dollars each side is spending, I can imagine how tough it must be.

Just consider the Lance Armstrong case. Did he dope or did he not? Well there's no physical evidence. But the USADA says his teammates did, we don't know what to believe.

Simply MAKING an accusation of cheating, means people will now think said person is a cheat.

But maybe we can just leave this conversation in the hands of James Carville: "it's the economy, stupid."

Oh no:

The sense that President Obama is "a fine person" but lacks the ability to solve the country's problems "has only widened and deepened with people in the middle." Undecided voters "are among the people who are the most sour about the economy and how Obama's doing his job," Mr. Law adds. Meanwhile, these voters see Mitt Romney as "a guy who fixes things."

Romney really could win this election. It's starting to sink in.

No. This election is about continuing the path we are on, or pretending we're not continuing the path we are on.

Well said, sir.

This election is much closer than it should be IN EITHER DIRECTION, imo. A strong Republican should be mopping the floor at least 15pts on Obama, and the Hope-and-Change Brigades should be crushing the lunatic GOP across the board.

My prediction: fantastically narrow Romney victory, enough for the left to claim illegitimacy.

My hope: The uncertainty of a House balloting.

The smart move for Obama and the Democrats is to drop out at the convention and endorse Hillary.

They'll never do that.

So you think we're looking at a repeat of 2000. Interesting.

Agreed that a strong candidate could really clean up in 2012. Too bad.

Of course they'll never do that, but there is a solid 'Obama is incompetent' meme among Democrats, particularly the DC/National crowd, and I think that's why Obama fundraising has dried up... And the persistent stories of Bill Clinton despising the guy in private: well when rumors refuse to die, they have a habit of being true.

Just watched a Bill Clinton ad extolling Obama.

If Clinton despises Obama then he's a really good actor.

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