That’s not coming from an American pundit, but from Britain’s Daily Mail‘s Toby Harnden:
Romney may be a wealthy, somewhat aloof blue blood from Massachusetts but he is no John Kerry. Indeed, the central part of his biography – the turnaround businessman – is almost ideally suited to this election, which is likely to be a transactional one in which voters ask: “Who can best deal with this economy?”
Indeed. That’s what I’ve been saying for quite a while… this is going to be an economic election, and Obama’s record is a tremendous liability:
The slow improvement in the economy thus far in 2012 might not help Obama, just as better numbers did not stop George H.W. Bush losing to Clinton in 1992. In fact, Bush’s insistence that things were getting better when few in the country felt that way added insult to injury and made him seem out of touch.
Obama can’t talk about the economy being bad because he would be held responsible for it. But going too far in talking it up could be just as disastrous. Politically, he has to thread the needle.
So why does it take a Brit to tell us this?
If you viewed all this solely through the prism of media coverage and listened just to Washington pundits, you’d conclude that Obama has about an 80 percent chances of victory. In reality, his chances are much closer to 50:50, perhaps even with Romney holding an advantage (though many things can and will happen in six months).
This cognitive dissonance is partly because of a liberal tilt but also because most reporters and talking heads live in bubbles of comfortable affluence insulated from the economic pain most Americans are facing.
Read the whole thing. Really.