The economy is set to decide the election results. Mitt Romney and his campaign team are clearly targeting Obama's economic policies.
In Bill Clinton's ultimately successful run for the White House in 1992, a phrase written on a white board at campaign headquarters caught the eye of political reporters - “The economy, stupid”. This became an unofficial slogan for the campaign, and to this day you will often hear people use the phrase “it's the economy, stupid!” or some variation on it when talking about the key point on a political campaign. However much it may be aped and changed, to a certain extent elections are always about the economy (stupid or otherwise), and this year's White House battle is no different.
Republican challenger Mitt Romney and his campaign team are making no secret of their main point of attack. They view incumbent president Barack Obama's economic record as being weak, the US economy's slow pace of recovery as being the fault of the president, and they are making sure to highlight the difficulty in putting jobs into the economy at the forefront of the political agenda. While other issues will be addressed - including, no doubt, a stream of less than gallant attack ads from both sides - the economy will be a recurring theme of the remaining campaign time.
With that said, as per our review, Obama is seen as the comfortable favorite to be the winner when the electoral college votes are totted up in the first week of November - so if is economic record is a valid point of attack, why is he likely to succeed at the polls? Commentators vary in terms of their opinions on this, but among the strongest arguments are the fact that the financial crisis of 2008 happened under the administration of a Republican president - which in turn has left Obama fighting fires - and the fact that a hostile Republican opposition has blocked many of Obama's initiatives, leaving his hands tied.
In fairness to both sides of the argument, the truth is that the election is about more than the economy, and that as incumbent Obama was always likely to have the advantage in this November's election. Indeed, the continuing challenge that faces the economy not just of America but on a global front means that the presidency is seen by many as a poisoned chalice - which may have discouraged gifted contenders on both sides from announcing an intention to run in this election.
One thing is for sure; whoever wakes up on the morning of November 7th with the mandate to run America for the next four years will need to have one eye constantly upon the economic picture if they are to be remembered fondly. Obama, who cannot run in 2016, will want to leave a powerful legacy if elected. Romney, for his part, will know if elected that he faces a plate-spinning act the like of which he has never seen before if he is to avoid going down in history as a one-term president when the 2016 election is done.