With the convention season finally behind us, it is good to stop and take stock of where we stand. This is the first of three parts analyzing of the current state of the presidential race. It begins with an examination of arguments that Obama will win. Tomorrow I will make the case that Romney will win. On Friday, I’ll present some closing thoughts.
Overall, I see Obama as a slight favorite. Most analysts seem to think that assessment is, if anything, too bearish for the president. That makes this article a little easier to write than tomorrow’s. A good starting place is probably this piece, which I wrote back in January: “Gingrich and Romney Are ‘Unelectable’? So Is Obama.”
Its premise was pretty straightforward: Obama’s fundamentals were so weak that he faced an almost impossible task; at the same time, Romney and Gingrich were such terrible candidates that he just might make it happen.
So why have things changed, and why have they changed in Obama’s direction? Let’s go through the factors I examined back then. Remember, I’m writing the “Romney wins” piece tomorrow, so there will be pushback on most of these at that time: