On the eve of the last presidential debate, the national polls have President Obama and his opponent, former Massachusetts Governor Romney running neck and neck. If Obama does falter and loses his re-election bid, these would be the top three reasons why:
1. The turnout for this election is depressed
Obama won a historic portion of the electorate in 2008. He managed to win by large or unprecedented margins in most of the major categories. This time around, Obama still leads by a large margin in the registered voter portion of the polls, but not the likely voter sections. Which means that people still like Obama, they just don't intend to go to the polls and pull the lever for him.
Why would that be? Many Obama supporters are very disillusioned. For example, Conor Friedersdorf recently wrote an article titled, "Why I Refuse to Vote for Barack Obama", in which he, a former Obama supporter, outlines why he would not be going to the polls for him this time around. The author disagrees with Obama mostly on foreign policy issues, like indefinite detainment, drone wars, and the current U.S. torture policy. While Friedersdorf won't be voting for Mitt Romney either, he finds that he cannot support the President's current policies either, and thus will be voting for a third party candidate. Obama could conceivably bleed supporters from a thousands of people just like the author of the article.
Another reason that some Obama supporters may not be going to the polls is because of voter suppression. I have already written an article about that, and since then there have been new developments. Most of the laws have been struck down by various courts. However, because these laws were struck down or suspended at such late dates, there is widespread confusion about exactly what is required at the polls, and when the polls are open. Such confusion often leads to voters throwing up their hands and not venturing out to vote.
2. People trust Romney more on the economy
"Romney is a businessman, he knows what to do to get the economy going again." I've heard variations of this theme from several people that I know. It's a matter of touching blind faith, repeated like as a mantra, like the characters in Idiocracy repeating with assurance "Brawndo’s got what plants crave." Rather than looking at Romney's specific policies, and determining whether or not they are likely to restore the American economy, we instead are reassured that because a businessman is in charge, he will automatically know what to do to fix things, rather than wreaking them even further. Which leads me to...
3. Americans have a very short attention span
The economy is still not (and may never be again) at its glorious heights of the early part of the new millennium. While Obama has managed to staunch the gaping wound that was the economy when he first came into office, the country still has not fully recovered. Some people forget that the country was in a free-fall when Obama was elected, and his actions prevented it from going completely off the rails. Even more forget that one of the reasons the economy plunged off the cliff is because of the same policies that Romney is espousing now. This includes Romney's advocating an across the board tax cut, which much like Bush, he promises won't explode the deficit. As some wag one put it, it's like having an arsonist set your house on fire, decide that the fire company is not putting your fire out fast enough, and calling the arsonist back over to complete the job. Americans childish impatience definitely shows up most visibly in this area.
So there you have it, my top three reasons why Obama would lose the election. Why do you think Obama might lose?