Mitt Romney Will Be the Next President of the United States...
*Unemployment increases over 9.5%
*He is able to navigate the remaining days until the election without providing details on his tax reform plan
*If polls among independent voters swing another 5-7% in his favor
*Only if he improves his performance in the vaunted "Swing States..."
*Lightens his attack message on his opponent
*President Obama performs poorly in the upcoming debates
*He releases at least 3-5 more years of his most recent tax returns
*These newly released tax returns don't reveal anything unappealing to the American public. (Ex. paid no or very little in the way of taxes in those years)
*He avoids any significant campaign scandals, blunders, etc.
*Can redirect the "conversation" back to Obama's first four years
Given the degree of contempt for President Obama, its a bit of a surprise to me that things are as close as they appear between the two men. What's evident to me is that the Republican primary field was weaker than first thought and that Conservatives have over-played their hand thinking that "America" wants what the average "tea party" fan wants. They don't. While that group of Americans may honestly believe that Barack Obama is destroying the United States from within and trying to transform her into a Western European style Democracy, the average Joe or Jane Blow doesn't agree with them.
Romney would be well advised to stop demonizing Mr. Obama as quickly as possible. The voters that find that message to resonate with their voting attitude, weren't going to vote for Obama in the first place. Even if they're luke-warm about Mitt Romney the candidate, the contempt/fear for Obama is quite strong and will come through loud and clear in November. Even if Romney would lighten his portrayal of Obama, those far right votes are in the bank.
If Romney would praise the President as a fully American, success story that tried but sadly, failed in his efforts to revitalize the American economy, I say that's a message that works in the undecided zones across the country. Romney should focus almost singularly on the economy. Obama's economy.
If he doesn't, and continues trying to paint Obama as something not quite as American as the rest of us are in terms of direction, he runs the risk of insulting the voters who have yet to decide who they will vote for in November. I see Romney's upside in the debates as a draw. Obama is more comfortable in that setting and knows very well what questions are coming. He will be prepared. Unless Obama goes crazy during the debates and acts like someone who wants to make us less American (which he won't) the average undecided viewer will see one candidate straining credulity to convince us that yes, Obama's a bad guy. Which won't fly.
Romney makes assumptions about the undecided at his own peril. He needs to move away from the hard line right and back towards the moderates in the middle. If he succeeds at tempering his message in such a way between now and Election Day AND successfully address his personal income tax matters not to mention provide a believable rationale for his proposed tax policies-Barack Obama will be a one term President and Mitt Romney will be sworn into office next January.