The polls are currently tracking a close race between Obama and Romney. According to a recent Gallup Poll, Romney is polling at 50%, with a four-point lead over Obama, following a steady increase in his numbers among likely voters following the first presidential debate.
That this is surprising goes without saying. Despite last month’s strong employment data, Obama is still losing ground in key swing states, such as Florida.
A recent report by ABC News notes that Romney is "making up serious ground" with Latino voters in the state. This suggests that Romney’s message is resonating with communities hard hit by the recession.
Although Romney’s comeback has been impressive, the facts on the ground have not significantly changed. The key swing states that are set to determine this election, such as Ohio, will be decided by the working class vote. And it has been these communities that have suffered the most under the current economic conditions. Overwhelmingly, the relief for these hard-pressed communities has come in the form of fiscal stimulus, the kind of government spending that Paul Ryan lobbied for to aid his hometown, Jainsville, Wisconsin.
Just as importantly, a recent New York Times article reports that current income inequality has hit historic levels. The paper reports a study finding that "the top 1% of households now hold a larger share of overall wealth than the bottom 90% does." Even worse, these soaring levels of inequality will have real consequences on the economic recovery implemented by either candidate.
It is important to keep in mind that Romney’s current policy proposals guarantee a return to the same economic policies of the Bush years: more tax cuts, aid to corporations, investments in unsustainable energy and an aggressive foreign policy on issues such as Iran that guarantee an expansion of military spending.
At this point, the public should avoid being carried away by theatrics and remember that the country’s economy is at stake. Thus, the debate tonight is an opportunity to critically assess those policies and can be followed here, live at PolicyMic.