Romney Wave or Obama Squeaker?
As the GOP Convention convenes in Tampa and Republicans eagerly await Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech, the sense is developing among several analysts that either Romney will pull away at the end in a modest ‘wave election’ and win a bit more handily than the current thinking, or, Obama ekes out a narrow victory.
That is very logical, and similar to the Reagan-Carter 1980 election model whereby Reagan passed the key ‘threshold of credibility’ during the debates to allow voters to feel comfortable in dumping Carter.
Presuming a strong convention speech — it’s hard to blow it — Mitt Romney will go into the critical debate phase of the campaign highly underestimated in his debating skills vis a vis Obama. Intrade and other insider spectators (mostly from DC) continue to give Obama the advantage, and generally believe he will squeak out a win with a state by state strategy — treating the presidential race as a series of statewide contests.
That’s a smart strategy for Obama, and essentially the only plausible means towards achieving a structural electoral college victory. That is still the conventional wisdom.
But with the economy in the tank, Obama’s unfav creeping ever higher, Obama hovering at 45/46/47 in a variety of key battleground states — and an underestimated Mitt Romney — I’m betting Romney, like Reagan, will pass the credibility threshold and win by 3-4 points. The corollary benefit of that small wave will be the GOP taking control of the Senate with 51 seats.