Hey Liberals, Mitt Romney Can Still Beat Barack Obama

The Obama campaign should feel no more assured of victory than the Romney campaign

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"Desperate Republicans dream of Mitch Daniels as white knight" (Daily Kos).

"Two Charts That Should Terrify Republicans" (TalkingPointsMemo)

They trumpet favorable economic news: "The Dow Jones industrial average has soared 62 percent since President Obama took the oath of office during some of the darkest days of the Great Recession." (Associated Press)

They've all but triumphantly spiked the ball in the endzone—and it's not even spring!

[See a collection of political cartoons on the economy.]

According to Eric Boehlert of Media Matters, the spluttering conservative noise machine has been reduced to 1) arguing that improving unemployment picture and rising approval ratings for Obama are phony; and 2) rooting for high gas prices to stall the recovery.

I myself predicted that Obama will defeat Romney (who will be the nominee). But I did so as a more or less disinterested observer. I don't really care which one of them wins. On the night of November 6, I will neither be spiking the ball nor crying in my beer.

So I'm offering some unsolicited advice to liberals: You don't have this thing in the bag. This race is going to tighten up.

[See a collection of political cartoons on Mitt Romney.]

Former Gov. Mitt Romney is a terrible candidate, as I've argued here for months. But there will come a point when he wraps up the GOP nomination, and the party is not going to stay as depressed as it seems right now. Weak primary and caucus turnout (which I've also cited) are not necessarily harbingers of low turnout in November. Rank-and-file Republicans will remember that, though they may hold their nose while voting for Romney, they hungrily desire the end of the Obama administration.

I'll be curious to see signs of white knuckles and clenched teeth on the blogs and Twitter feeds of those I've cited above. Maybe it will be a less-than-great jobs report. Maybe it will be a disappointing quarterly GDP growth estimate. Maybe gas prices really will spike this summer, and significantly constrain consumer spending and dampen overall growth. Maybe it will be a combination of all these things that upends the feeling that Obama is now on a cakewalk.

[Check out our editorial cartoons on President Obama.]

The point is, it's a long time from now to November. A lot can, and probably will, happen.

All things being equal, the Obama campaign should feel no more assured of victory than the Romney campaign.

  • See pictures of Mitt Romney
  • See pictures of Obama behind the scenes
  • Vote now: Will Obama be a one-term president?