Advantage: Romney

Despite the fact that Barack Obama had a better second debate, Mitt Romney still has the momentum. Consider:

  • Romney is competitive in Pennsylvania. Granted, the poll was taken before the second debate, so perhaps President Obama has regained the lead, but the fact that Pennsylvania is even in play ought to shock the Romney camp. And a poll that shows Pennsylvania in play may well encourage fence-sitters to believe that it is acceptable to vote for Romney

  • Romney is just a point behind in Ohio, with a margin of error of 4 percentage points. This poll was taken after the second debate.
  • Romney is behind in Michigan, but within the margin of error. This poll was conducted before the vice presidential debate and the second presidential debate, but it shows that Republicans are increasingly enthusiastic about Romney. I doubt anything happened in the last two debates to diminish Republican enthusiasm, though to be fair, the last two debates may have increased Democratic enthusiasm.
  • Romney has all but erased an 11 point Obama lead in Wisconsin.
  • Even if Romney loses Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, the president now has to devote more resources to winning those states–states which he believed that he had won. This allows Romney to focus on more winnable states like Ohio, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada (I do not for one moment believe that Romney ought to concede Wisconsin, Michigan or Pennsylvania; at the very least, he ought to make the president fight for those states).

Of course, part of the reason why Romney is doing well is because the president’s campaign is back to blundering.

The Obamaphiles were once quite sanguine about their candidate’s prospects. I don’t think that is the case anymore.