Ezra’s campaign spin analysis:
The Romney campaign believes — and polling confirms — that Republicans are fired up to fire the president. They don’t need to worry about voter enthusiasm. But they do worry about voter confidence. If Republicans don’t believe they can win, they may not turn out to the polls. They don’t like the former Massachusetts governor enough to turn out on his behalf. So as they see it, confidence is their friend: Every Republicans wants to say they helped turn Obama out of office.
The Obama campaign believes — and polling confirms — that Democrats aren’t particularly fired up about the president. But they’re very fired up by the idea that Romney might become president. For the Obama campaign, then, voter enthusiasm can be squelched by voter confidence: If Democrats don’t think Romney can win, they may not be motivated to vote.
I remember musing earlier this year – and this is not Captain Hindsight speaking – that Obama’s problem might be motivating his base after the ecstasy of 2008. A sense that Romney could actually win – a period when Romney was ahead in the polls – might actually help Obama fight complacency. Here’s hoping it does.