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The national picture looks crazy stable, with Romney inching a smidgeon closer over the last several weeks, despite Mitt Romney's really bad Bain weeks. However, Pres. Barack Obama isn't running a national campaign, so it always bears watching how he's doing in the States That Matter.
The last week featured a flood of polling from the GOP firms Rasmussen and We Ask America, yet Obama continues to enjoy a significant battleground state advantage according to the TPM polling composites.

Michigan is looking more like it should ... thanks to Rasmussen's latest in the state (Obama 48, Romney 42). Obama's Ohio advantage continues to surprise, and even Rasmussen couldn't pretend otherwise (Obama 47, Romney 45 in their latest). We Ask America, a GOP firm, had Obama winning Wisconsin 49-42—more evidence that the Badger State ain't going Red this year.

Colorado is tight or not depending on whether you ask GOP pollster Alex Castellano's outfit (Obama 45-44), or Democratic pollster Garin Hart for Obama Super PAC Priorities USA (Obama 49-42). It all averages out to a tied race.

But aside from the question of who is beating who, my point from last week remains—look at Mitt Romney's numbers:

Of the 14 states, Romney doesn't hit 44 percent in half of them. He only breaks 45 percent in two of them. Meanwhile, Obama fails to hit those numbers only in the two states that have been lean-Republican from the start—Arizona and Missouri. Altogether, these numbers add up to a 332-206 electoral lead for Obama.

The parallels with this election and 2004 are strong. Back then, Americans weren't happy with George W. Bush's handling of the White House despite liking him personally. The opposition nominated an uncharismatic, fumbling Massachusetts rich guy against the wishes of the activist party base.

The big difference is that the 2004 national electorate was more willing to flirt with a change. At this point of the game in 2004, Kerry was beating Bush 46.5 to 43.8 percent in the Real Clear Politics composite.

The fact that Obama is running well ahead of that—against an uncharismatic and fumbling opponent like Romney, only bodes well. In 2004, we thought that despite our tepid feelings for Kerry, our hatred for Bush would be enough to win the election. In 2012, conservatives will find that their hatred for Obama will similarly be insufficient to get them the White House given the unlikeable stiff they nominated.

Originally posted to kos on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 11:03 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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