KAMPANJ | Mitt Romney påminner lite om Stefan Löfven. Det ser hyfsat ut i opinionen men ännu har han inte talat om hur han tänker lösa landets problem.
Som The Economist skriver i en ledare:
In theory, Mr Romney has a detailed 59-point economic plan. In practice, it ignores virtually all the difficult or interesting questions (indeed, “The Romney Programme for Economic Recovery, Growth and Jobs” is like “Fifty Shades of Grey” without the sex). Mr Romney began by saying that he wanted to bring down the deficit; now he stresses lower tax rates. Both are admirable aims, but they could well be contradictory: so which is his primary objective? His running-mate, Paul Ryan, thinks the Republicans can lower tax rates without losing tax revenues, by closing loopholes. Again, a simpler tax system is a good idea, but no politician has yet dared to tackle the main exemptions. Unless Mr Romney specifies which boondoggles to axe, this looks meaningless and risky.
Men det finns också mer positiva aspekter som talar för Romneys valkampanj. I huvudartikeln i samma nummer skriver The Economist bl.a. följande:
George Romney, father of the present Republican presidential nominee and himself a candidate for the White House in 1968, used to joke that his campaign had been “like a miniskirt: short and revealing”. By analogy, his son Mitt’s bid for the presidency has been more of a crinoline: long and cumbersome.
Republicans have defied expectations by quickly rallying around Mr Romney, his campaign notes, whereas Democrats seem down in the dumps. In the latest Economist/You Gov poll, only 35% of Democrats said they were very enthusiastic about voting, compared with 50% of Republicans. Women, young people and minorities, the bedrock of Mr Obama’s electoral coalition, are notably lukewarm. Last time a presidential election hinged on turnout, in 2004, it was the Republicans who managed to muster more of their troops.
New data on voter registration bear out the Romney camp’s optimism. A recent study by the Third Way, a centrist Democratic think-tank, found that the number of registered Democrats in eight swing states had actually declined by over 800,000 since 2008, despite the gradual cranking up of the Obama turnout operation over the past year. (Republican registrations have also fallen, but by less than 80,000.) That is all the more remarkable because minorities’ share of the electorate is growing, whereas that of the white working class, a Republican mainstay, is shrinking.
Mr Romney’s admen also believe they will have an easier time propagating their message, centred as it is on the economy. Mr Obama, who would rather talk about almost anything else, has to craft different pitches for different slices of the electorate: to the young he highlights how he has kept interest-rates low on government-backed student loans; to Hispanics, he trumpets a recent executive order making life easier for illegal immigrants. Mr Romney, by contrast, can simply harp on about high unemployment which, as it happens, has hit young people, Hispanics and (by some measures) women especially hard.
Polling suggests that on the issue voters consider most important, the economy, they have soured on Mr Obama. A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, which showed Mr Obama four points ahead of Mr Romney, nonetheless found that voters had more faith in Mr Romney when it came to improving the economy, by a margin of six points […]. Similarly, voters rate Mr Obama’s handling of the economy nine points lower than they do his overall performance, according to the Economist/YouGov poll. That gives Mr Romney an opening, and explains why his campaign dwells endlessly on the miserable state of the economy.
Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget ovan är The Economist den 25-31 augusti 2012.