I spent this holiday weekend camping and hiking in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Unit. When I powered up my laptop this evening, I was interested to see what might have changed in three days. The answer is: not much. Romney and Obama are tied for the first time in a while in the RCP average. That is mostly on the strength of the Rasmussen poll, which gives Romney a four point advantage. Gallup continues to hold stable, with a one point advantage for Obama. It doesn't look like the Republicans got any bounce out of their convention.
Can the Democrats get a bounce? I don't know, but the current currents don't seem favorable. Here's The Politico:
Delegates at the Democratic National Convention here are the truest of true believers, decked out in red, white and blue "Obama '12" buttons and energized for the fall campaign.
But even they are echoing the question Mitt Romney and the Republicans posed at their convention: Are Americans better off than they were four years ago?
These delegates are worried about the still-sluggish state of the economy and want to know what President Barack Obama is going to do about it in a second term.
The "are you better off than four years ago" is a very unfortunate meme to have buzzing around the Obama campaign. If you don't believe me, ask Governor O'Malley. From the National Journal:
A day after saying, no, the country was not better off than it was four years ago, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley reversed course on Monday and said, yes, indeed it was.
Obviously, the general situation of American is not better after four years of Barack Obama in the White House. See Forbes. While Obama has spent much of that time blaming Bush, the next President will have no one to blame but Obama.
The problem Obama now has is this: his faithful want him to explain how he will right the ship over the next four years. So far, this has been something of a mystery. Either he has a good answer or not. If not, then the best he can offer is four more years of the same. If he does have an answer, then the obvious question is why he didn't figure it out, say, two or three years ago.
Mr. Obama is obviously hoping for a change in economic trends after he is safely reelected. That's what I would be hoping for if I were on his staff. That doesn't leave him much to run on now.