A close election, but here’s the important point: Romney has never led
Nate Silver notes that Mitt Romney has never held a lead over President Obama by any substantive margin in the polls.
“That makes this an extremely odd election. You would figure that at some point over the past year, Mr. Romney would have pulled into the lead in the polls, given how close it has usually been. John McCain held occasional leads in 2008; John Kerry led for much of the summer in 2004; and Michael Dukakis had moments where he was well ahead of George H.W. Bush in the spring and summer of 1988. But Mr. Romney, if there have been moments when his polls were ever-so-slightly stronger or weaker, has never really had his moment in the sun.”
“Instead, the cases where one candidate led essentially from wire to wire have been associated with landslides: Bill Clinton in 1996, Ronald Reagan in 1984, Richard Nixon in 1972 and Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952 and 1956.”
“There is almost no chance that Mr. Obama will win by those sort of margins. But this nevertheless seems like an inauspicious sign for Mr. Romney. If even at his high-water mark, he can only pull the race into a rough tie, what pitch can he come up with in October or November to suddenly put him over the top?”