Once you take into account the usual post-convention bounces in poll numbers, it is fair to say that the gap between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney remains within the margin of error. Last weeks weak job numbers, however, guarantee that the economy will remain the priority issue for most voters, and the race is expected to stay a close one until the first debate between the two candidates.
This being said, this election will be about more than economic indicators at the end of the day. Character and vision will take on an importance of their own when we enter debate season. Mitt Romney still hasn’t succeeded in conveying a clear idea of the kind of president he will be.
After the last three years Obama cannot regain the luster of 2008, where his historic quest attracted a herd of new sheep, and he hasn’t succeed in showing that he has a record and accomplishments to defend. The Republican account of a Carter-like leader with a far left radical agenda seems to be a narrative that (conveniently filtered through the media) plays only to hard core conservatives. Against the record of the Golfer and Chief, a more compelling Romney should have given the Romney a decided advantage coming out of the convention season. But that did not happen.
Focus is now shifting to the first presidential debate, which will be held on Oct. 3. Until then, both parties will concentrate on the key swing states, with Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, North Carolina, Wisconsin and New Hampshire quite possibly shaping the outcome of the election.