If history is any guide, don't count out Dudley Do-Romney
Hub Blog won't even bother linking to doom-and-gloom Romney stories because you've probably already read and heard about the current conventional wisdom: Mitt Romney's campaign is faltering and many pundits think he's now in an electoral hole too deep to get out of. He's a goner. He's a loser. He's not going to beat Obama, blah, blah, blah.
But if history is any guide, the current campaign phase he's now in is almost eerily familiar, as I've noted before
on Hub Blog.
If you recall his 2002 gubernatorial race (and I do - check out Hub Blog's archives from the fall of 2002), Mitt wasn't performing well at this point in the campaign against his Dem rival, Shannon O'Brien. There were the same complaints: He was too timid, too squeaky clean, too late, too fuzzy on the issues, too stagnant in the polls. Remember the Dudley Do-Right comparisons? But then he began revving things up, admittedly under pressure from frustrated supporters, attacking O'Brien and the prospect of a Three Amigos Hack State Government in Massachusetts (i.e. Sal running the House, Trav running the Senate, and Shannon in the corner office) -- and he turned things around some time in September 2002.
I'm not saying history is about to repeat itself. But Mitt does have a record of first trying out the nice-guy, Dudley Do-Right approach, throwing supporters into fits of despair and depression, followed later by relentless assaults on his opponent. He can still pull this race off. The polls are close. The economy is not working for millions of Americans. In so many ways, it's still his race to win. Knocking off an incumbent in this type of environment is not unprecedented. Jimmy Carter and George Herbert Walker Bush can attest to that fact. Mitt also has a ton of money to still drop on Obama, whose campaign supporters seem to be getting a little too cocky these days.
I still think this race is a coin toss.