Updated 10/01/2012 10:08 AM
On the Agenda: 'Big Mo' no guarantee of success in presidential elections
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It was George H.W. Bush who back in 1980 won the Iowa Caucuses and claimed what he called the Big Mo — the big momentum
Today, polls report President Barack Obama has the Big Mo, but anyone who thinks this race is over should remember two things.
One, George H.W. Bush and his Big Mo ended up losing the nomination to Ronald Reagan and two, Jimmy Carter was winning that year until the debates and a fumbled Iranian hostage crisis shifted the Big Mo to Ronald Reagan in the final two weeks of the campaign.
This year was supposed to be a presidential race with only about 5 percent undecided, but for the last two months, that term has been replaced with a new and bigger group — the persuadables.
President Obama is doing very well in most of the battle ground states despite continuously bad unemployment numbers. One financial type recently said we have been watching the wrong metric. He said an improving housing and stock markets are seen as an improving economy which has helped the president.
But presidential debates and especially the first one have a long history of dramatically shifting the dynamics. Mitt Romney is perfectly capable of putting President Obama on the defensive.
Plus, a destabilizing Middle East and European financial crisis may yet provide a stunning October surprise.
But the “47 percent” video remains a defining albatross and Governor Romney has staggeringly low personal likeability numbers.
And while anti-Obama passion inspires Republicans, the Democratic National Convention seems to have closed the enthusiasm gap.
Three months ago, Democrats were on the ropes. The President was in trouble. Republicans looked to take over the Senate and gain seats in the House.
None of that seems likely today, but elections turn on a dime.
Republican Super PACs are poised with huge amounts of money. Despite unsympathetic court decisions, new voter laws in many states still favor Republicans. Most Americans still believe the country is heading in the wrong direction with 47 percent saying they will never vote for the President.
Fasten your seat belt. The fun is just beginning.
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