Today I appeared on the Massachusetts/Vermont radio station The River to discuss the state of presidential race (click here for the audio), and why President Obama is ahead. I said, in short, that Obama is winning because of the issues.
This is not what your hear in the punditocracy. We hear that Mitt Romney is a terrible candidate. We hear that he has no positive agenda. We hear that Obama has run a ruthlessly negative campaign. We hear the electoral map favors Obama. We hear the demographics favor Obama.
To the extent that the above is true, it all comes back to a more fundamental point. America is a center-left country right now.
If America was center-right, if America was disgusted with ObamaCare, the stimulus and the regulations, then Romney wouldn't have it this hard.
He would not make so many gaffes. He would not have constantly to duck specifics and dance around his past record. His business record would not be a problem. The electoral map would not have so many states immediately out of reach for him. The gender gap and race gap would not be so enormous.
Further, the attacks from Romney would be drawing more blood. Obama doesn't sweat the "Solyndra" smears. He repeatedly touts his record of support for "home-grown clean energy." He doesn't worry about being called a redistributionist, he stands by his call for asking more of the wealthy to help "pay down the debt."
Romney's problem is the Republican Party's problem. Whatever frustrations people may have about the pace of recovery under Obama, it is still clearly remembered that Bush-style conservatism is what wrecked the economy in the first place.
And no one the Republican Party has taken any responsibility for that, publicly learned any lessons from that, or proposed any new ideas because of that.
That's why Obama is winning.