Romney aides believe strongly that this race will play out like the 1980 campaign, in which President Jimmy Carter led Ronald Reagan for much of the race until Reagan broke through just before the election.There are lots of reasons the analogy won't work, though perhaps Mitt Romney will ship off some Bain laid-off workers to Iran to try and relive that bit of history.
The reason it doesn't work is because it's not true. Pres. Carter did not lead Reagan for much of the race until a final break through just before the election. Here's polling composite trendlines from that race, compiled by GWU political scientist John Sides:
Obviously, Romney hasn't enjoyed any leads, nor is Obama stuck in the 30s. Instead, we have this:
Of course, this isn't the first time that a foundering GOP campaign has looked to Reagan's bid for inspiration. The last one to do so? The McCain campaign.
We all know how that turned out.