Obama’s durability, according to polling and interviews, is the result of a unique connection with voters as someone who broke racial barriers in 2008, his ability to evade much the blame for the recession and a brutally effective campaign.
Romney’s inability to capitalize on trends with the economy and national mood that would normally create a wide opening for a challenger is in large measure a reflection of his own defects as candidate and failure to sell himself to voters, according to these same sources, many of whom are Republicans hoping to beat Obama.
“He came into the general election with a very negative [image] rating and he has not effectively addressed that,” said longtime GOP pollster Jan van Lohuizen, who worked for Romney in 2008. “What they’ve been doing for five months hasn’t worked. At some point, they need to come to the conclusion that it’s not worked.”
“We’re running a good campaign so far but we’re not running a great campaign,” said Rep. Tom Cole R-Okla.. “We’re going to have to run a great campaign to beat this guy.”
Below are the three political engines that are helping Obama defy the traditional laws of political gravity: