The Independent Market Observer

9/27/12 – Romney Rebound Postponed Again

Posted by Brad McMillan, CFA, CAIA, MAI

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This entry was posted on Sep 27, 2012 9:55:33 AM

and tagged Politics and the Economy

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Another bad day for Mitt Romney in the papers. The race in Ohio, which, according to the polls, is increasingly in favor of Obama, hit the front pages of the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) with “Electoral Drama Shifts to Ohio” and the Financial Times (FT) with “Romney’s options narrow as poll gaps widen.” Both articles highlight how critical Ohio is to the Republican’s national chances. The WSJ also has a useful map on page A6 that outlines exactly what states are in play, while the FT offers a look at the Ohio race in a special analysis piece on page 11, “Race for the rustbelt,” that highlights some of the state-specific issues in detail.

The race did not make the front page of the New York Times (NYT), but that paper did have a similar analysis by Nate Silver, whom I have recommended before, on page A19: “Romney’s Tough Path as He Trails in Ohio.” Silver provides an excellent breakdown of how past races have evolved and what that may mean for the race going forward. Worth reading.

Another relevant article that provides good context is from the FT, “Fears over Medicare drive older Pennsylvania voters towards Obama” (p. 2). As I have mentioned before, the selection of Ryan as vice president certainly sharpened the distinctions between the tickets, but not necessarily in a way that’s favorable to the Republicans.

As the clock ticks down, it is getting harder to see how Romney can make headway, barring some sort of blowout debate performance or unforeseen disaster for the Obama campaign. Pretty soon, it will be time to start planning for the full implementation of Obamacare—and for higher taxes.

Even if Romney were to win, though, taxes would still go up, as he has started to admit. “Romney Tempers Tax Plans” (WSJ, p. A6) describes how Romney is now saying on the stump that although he plans to decrease rates, the actual tax bills will decrease little if at all. This harkens back to the Martin Feldstein op-ed I highlighted several weeks ago and confirms my conclusions. While I appreciate Romney’s honesty, I am not sure that his admission makes sense politically.

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About six weeks to go. It should get even more interesting.

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