But if there's a new normal in a brutal global economy, might there be a new normal in U.S. politics that has yet to be examined and understood?
Blogs, Twitter and cable outlets spew out political tidbits and barbs at a dizzying pace. Minority voters play bigger roles, especially in pivotal states such as Nevada and Florida. Public opinion shifts dramatically on issues such as gay rights.
Obama turned the political world on its ear four years ago. Republicans hope Romney, a more conventional candidate, will prove that precedents and conventional wisdom still hold and that voters won't reward an incumbent when unemployment stays high, month after month.
EDITOR'S NOTE — Charles Babington covers politics for The Associated Press.
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