Since it became clear that Mitt Romney would win the nomination, I've felt like this election has been strangely similar to that of 2004. When I say that, I mean in terms of incumbent vs. challenger not Republican vs. Democrat.
It is really hard not to find Mitt Romney reminiscent of John Kerry. Both are stuffy, rich white guys from Massachusetts who lack the public speaking ability of their opponent. Both stick their foot in their mouths often and it just proves how disconnected they are with the people. And both have a tendency to conveniently change their positions over and over again when it is politically advantageous.
In 2004, the incumbent party had the much stronger convention and saw a surprisingly large bounce out of it; much like this year. John Kerry won the first debate handily in 2004 as Mitt Romney did this year and it tightened the race basically by undoing the post convention bounce. The Vice Presidential debate were eerily similarly, with the incumbent V.P. pretty much schooling the young candidate. George W. Bush recovered and effectively fought the last two debates to a draw. Obama recovered a bit better, but the key in both cases was the poor first debate performances were made up for with the 2nd and 3rd debate.
I think the most significant comparison between the two campaigns is this: The challenging party is not enthused about their candidate, but are just wanting to get rid of the incumbent. Liberals hated George W. Bush as much the right hates Obama. However, that didn't seem to be an electoral advantage. Bush hovered around 50% approval as Obama has, but the challenger was less popular in both cases.
I think Obama is in a better position heading into election than Bush was in 2004 though. Obama seems to have bigger lead than Bush did in the polls (both national and swing state) and his electoral path is a clear and likely one.
Probably another post tomorrow night about the election (my apologies)
Thanks for reading