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Baseball and campaign history show he has a big challenge. Does the leader on July 4th win?
There’s a baseball saying: “The team in the lead on July 4th will win the pennant (division) that dates back at least to this reference from 1955 http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1129871/index.htm. That’s good news for the Yankees, Rangers and Washington if it holds true this year (the other races are too close to call).
Speaking of Washington, how does this hold for Presidential races? According to Gallup, from an article written in June, 2000, before 1996, three of four races featured the challenger coming from behind to win http://www.gallup.com/poll/9898/2000-presidential-election-midyear-gallup-report.aspx. Since 1996, the leading candidate has won the election every time. Good news for Obama and bad news for Romney. What’s changed leading up to 1996? The campaign’s have started much earlier making it harder to forge a comeback.
Gerald Seib wrote today in the Wall Streeet Journal about “The Issues that Keep Obama Afloat.” He noted the President’s 50-42 lead in swing states and Romney’s high negatives. That Obama leads is also stated on www.RealClearPolitics.com and on www.intrade.com where his lead has grown since the Supreme Court ruled on Obamacare.
Obama has successfully attacked Romney on his perceived strength as a businessman with negative advertisements about Bain Capital. He’s successfully taken a page from the Republican campaign against John Kerry. By attacking Kerry’s military record, his perceived strength was undercut. Romney’s challenge is to undercut Obama’s perceived strength—but what is that strength? Being likeable? Being calm under stress? Being a good family man? It’s not easy to identify which will make it much harder for Romney to overcome the Obama lead. This helps explain why conservatives, including Rupert Murdoch are advocating changes in Romney’s campaign strategy.