The most recent polls from RealClearPolitics show that the presidential campaign continues to remain close nationally. The race is also tightening in two important battleground states, Florida and Virginia But President Barack Obama continues to maintain a lead in most of the swing states that would decide the election. Even more importantly, the president still retains his advantage in Ohio, which is a state that every Republican who became president has won. In last night's debate, the pressure was on Romney to do something that would change the dynamic of the race in those swing states, particularly in Ohio.
Throughout the summer and before the two conventions, the race was very closed both nationally and in the battleground states. It was expected that the Republican convention would give Romney a bounce, which would allow him to take the lead in the presidential race —but that bounce did not really materialize. On the other hand, the president added to his small lead after the Democratic Convention but a convention-generated bump has a tendency to dissipate soon after. But the 47% comment that Romney made during a high-end fundraising event must have helped not only to solidify the president’s lead but to expand it in those crucial battleground states.
Many conservative activists have been questioning the validity of the polls and there is some small discrepancy in many of the polls. Not every poll paints the same picture, but most of the polls have consistently shown that the president has maintained a narrow lead in the national polls and a more comfortable advantage in many of the swing states.
There are about five weeks left before the presidential election. Since the president has a lead in the national race as well as in the swing states, Obama is more likely to win if current trends persist. That's why, in the debate last night, the pressure was on Romney to say something in order to upend the status quo that currently favors the president.
Last night, despite his strong performance, Romney still did not spell out how he would create more jobs and provide more opportunities to Americans who are still struggling economically. His on-the-spot reversals about his plans showed that he is fully aware that the public at large would not support what he intends to do as president. In the remaining weeks, it is likely that the spotlight will shift back to his walking away from many of his past positions that he has been campaigning on since the start of the presidential election. Hence, his abrupt volte-face and his continued opaqueness of his plan would unlikely be enough to convince voters in the swing states whom he would need to win to reach 270 electoral votes, which are needed to win the presidency.