Obama Gains Momentum As Romney Fails To Articulate Vision
The latest polls tracking the 2012 presidential campaign show Obama at 49% with Romney lagging behind at 43%. Why is Obama still ahead? Romney’s refusal to release more than a single year of tax returns, in addition to his estimate for the current tax year has clearly taken a toll.
Romney’s favorability rating has now fallen to a full 14 points lower than President Obama’s where Obama leads 49 to 35. The only faint silver lining for the Romney camp is that Obama’s favorability rating is well ahead of his vote lead - indicating possible doubts about Obama are linked to the economy, the only issue on which Romney seems to be able to maintain an edge. On economic issues, Mitt Romney has a lead of 43% to 36%.
The American public strongly prefers Obama man to man. Romney’s inability to connect with the average American and repeated gaffes and negative attacks have taken their toll. However voters continue to have substantial doubts about President Obama’s leadership on one of the key issues facing the country – the economy.
This reveals a fundamental weakness of Romney. Although he is favored on what most Americans consider the most critical issue facing the US, he remains far behind in the vote. This, coupled with his failure to attract support from critical segment of the population – Hispanics, Blacks, and working women a fueled a sense of crisis within the Romney campaign.
Romney Fails To Articulate Economic Strategy
Why? Attacks focused on his break-up of companies and job outsourcing while at Bain and his refusal to release tax records from past years – something now standard for decades in US presidential elections and a practice his father initiated – have clearly hurt him, but the simple truth is that Romney has failed to communicate what he plans to do to fix the economy. His failure to develop or communicate any economic plan, fiscal strategy or set of realistic proposals leaves people slightly bewildered and confused as to what he would actually do if he were able to win the election. People are left with a vague feeling that he might be better on the economy, but they have no clear sense of what he would do differently.
Now on a gaffe ridden international trip that’s earned him the condemnation of the European press and generated several more negative news cycles for the Romney camp he needs to focus on his failure to develop an economic vision for the country immediately upon his return. And before presenting his plan to the American people, he needs to reverse himself on the decision to withhold his tax returns and get that mistake behind him. If he proves unable to articulate a clear vision of what he plans to do to help improve the economic situation for the average American his support will continue to fall.
The Obama campaign has been doing an excellent job in recent weeks both of staying on message and directing devastatingly effective attacks upon Romney’s perceived failings. There is no reason to believe that they will let up any time soon. If Romney is unable to articulate a vision to fix the economy before the Republican convention, it’s difficult to foresee how he will have a shot at winning in the fall.