By Chris Kofinis and Frank Luntz - Daily Finance
Well, here we are: Election Day!
After $2 billion in total campaign spending, three presidential debates, hundreds of campaign ads, and thousands of campaign appearances, the presidential race is ... wait for it ... a tossup.
- Strongly Dem (179)..Dk Blue
- Likely Dem (58)........Lt Blue
- Barely Dem (44).......Blue Border
- Exactly tied (42).......White
- Barely GOP (24).......Red Border
- Likely GOP (49) .......Lt Red
- Strongly GOP (142)..Dk Red
270 Electoral votes needed to win
Now, if Barack Obama wins tonight, it will be in part because the American people believe he understands their problems and those facing everyday Americans -- and because he spent months defining Mitt Romney with brutal advertising in Ohio. It will also be because the Romney campaign made several fundamental errors, including not doing enough to define their candidate earlier in the process and failing to reach out more effectively to women in their 30s and 40s, and Hispanics.
If Mitt Romney wins, it will be in part because he convinced enough people that he could solve Americans' day-to-day economic problems -- and because he crushed Obama in their first debate. It will also be because the Obama campaign believed that negatively defining their opponent was even more important than effectively explaining what Obama would do if he was reelected. And it will mean that Mitt Romney made a stronger case than Obama to independent voters that he could do a better job on the economy.