The U.S. papers led with Romney stories again. The New York Times (NYT) has “Daunting Path Greets Romney Before Debates” and the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has “Headwinds for Romney in Latest Poll Results,” both on the front page. The stories largely expand on points we discussed yesterday. The WSJ story talks about how Obama is pulling ahead in critical swing states—especially Iowa, Colorado, and Wisconsin—and is maintaining his lead in Ohio and Virginia. The NYT story expands on some of these points and adds a good graphic that lays out state-by-state comparisons.
The papers also highlight deeper issues with the campaign. The Financial Times (FT) has “Romney adviser quits campaign” (p. 5), which discusses that Tim Pawlenty—a former Republican candidate himself—has stepped down as cochair of the campaign and mentions a pointed nonendorsement by the Club for Growth, an antitax lobbying group. “Cash Low, Romney Striving to Find New Large Donors” (NYT, p. A12) expands on the financial issues facing the Romney campaign, which I discussed briefly yesterday, and “Obama, Allies Outspend GOP Rivals in August” (WSJ, p. A6) is consistent with Romney having financial issues as well.
The Romney campaign clearly has some ground to make up. I expect the coverage to turn at least one more time before the election, but the issues covered by the three papers certainly do exist.
That said, the race is not over. On Wednesday, Commonwealth hosted a call for our advisors regarding the election, with Michael Boland, a political analyst at Dome Advisors. (For Commonwealth advisors, a recording of the call is available on COMMunity Link®.) Boland’s take—backed up by quite a bit of analysis and detail—was that the race is still wide open. The polling, for a variety of reasons, was not definitive either way, and the electoral map still had clear paths to victory for both candidates. I agree with his analysis, but I think the trend of the data at this point clearly indicates a tilt toward Obama. Intrade.com supports this, with Obama’s chances up to 72 percent, as I write this, and Romney’s down to 28 percent.