Something has happened, but is it a turning point?

Something has happened after the Republican and Democratic conventions. There’s talk of a turning point, but I am not sure about that.

It is clear, however, that President Obama has expanded his lead over Mitt Romney in all the polls. In the latest Gallup, for example, Obama has increased his lead from 47 to 46 percent before the conventions to 50 to 44 percent now.

We don’t know if this new trend will hold, but nervousness seems to have increased among Republicans. Conservative columnist Michael Gerson in the Washington Post:

“With less than two months until the election, Romney is left with dwindling opportunities to reshape the dynamic of the race.”

No reason to worry, pleads conservative National Review in an editorial, in which it admits that Obama and the Democrats had a better convention:

“Romney is nonetheless in the hunt, and he may even enjoy the great advantage, in politics as in life, of being underestimated.”

And in today’s Washington Post, Dana Milbank describes a press conference with Republican leaders in the House of Representatives, to which the party’s vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan belong, where Romney’s name never even came up. Not once. Symptomatic of Romney’s problems?

Even wise, independent political observer Charlie Cook at the National Journal points to a number of problems in the Romney campaign, which have resulted in a campaign that should not be this close with such a weak national economy.

So something has happened. Is it permanent? Probably not. There is too much left of the campaign and too much, like now in Libya, can happen. Meanwhile, all eyes are on October 3 and the first of three televised debates between Obama and Romney.


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