Before President Obama’s self-admitted off-night in Denver, when he allowed Mitt Romney during the first presidential debate to conjure himself into someone he is not, some writers were hinting at and others were outright using the ‘L’ word. So sloppy had been Romney’s campaign and so error-free was Obama’s leading up to that night in Colorado that a burgeoning Democratic lead in the polls was building the narrative of an inevitable Obama win, perhaps by a landslide. But that seems to have changed. Now what?
Romney supporters and some knowledgeable observers use the 1980 Carter-Reagan election – when the bottom fell out from under incumbent Jimmy Carter in the closing two weeks of the campaign – as the model to project a Republican win next week. Other pundits think the 2000 Bush-Gore model will predominate. In that scenario, George Bush lost the popular vote but won the electoral vote, a result that could retain Obama in office. Other observers influenced by a Romney surge are proposing a Romney landslide. Hmmm. For my part, I am thinking 1948, when incumbent President Harry Truman came from behind and walked away with a hard-earned victory over Tom Dewey. I think this for several reasons.