Politics for Breakfast 29/09/12

The polls today are exactly the same as yesterday. That doesn’t give me much to talk about,but it does illustrate the relative tedium of the election cycle. For large parts of it not very much happens. We’re in a lull at the moment as the candidates prepare for the first debate, which will be absolutely crucial for Romney. Obama merely has to not slip up to maintain his lead. Romney has to convince the nation that he has a consistent message and that he’s better suited to the job than man already doing it. It’s a big ask at the best of times, and with Obama having the 47% hammer to beat Romney with he’ll find it incredibly hard going.

One of the interesting statistics at the moment is Obama’s approval rating. He’s currently on 49.9% approval, which is re-election territory. it’s particularly interesting when contrasted with the percentage of Americans that believe the country is on the right track, 56.3% believing that it isn’t. It would suggest that a large number of people are willing to believe that Obama is doing the best he can in difficult circumstances, and that he may deserve a second chance. The belligerence of the House Republicans may well have some bearing on that. It’s been painfully obvious that Obama has been unable to push through a lot of his plans, and that may come back to haunt the GOP in the elections. What looked like great short term gains against the President at the time may have damaged them in the long run.

It being the weekend, I expect little movement in the polls tomorrow either. In fact, I expect little will change until November, when it will tighten slightly as the remaining floating voters finally pick a candidate. To stand any chance, Romney really needs a surge of at least two points, to put him with in touching distance and to convince the floating voters that he stands a chance of winning. No-one likes to vote for a loser, and if he looks out of the running by the end of October, that will have an impact on voting decisions.

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