Editor’s note: This post is part of a weekly series by Dr. Owen that we will feature on on weekends until Election Day. They are part of a blog being run by Affan Chowdhry of the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail. The blog series will focus on providing a weekly campaign scorecard for each candidate.
This week's full blog post can be read at the Globe and Mail's website here.
Heading into the home stretch, the candidates are running neck and neck. The third presidential debate post mortems gave the edge to Barack Obama who showed he had a command of foreign policy issues while keeping Mitt Romney on the defensive. However, the debate victory proved hollow, as poll results showed that Mr. Romney was very much in the game.
National polls indicate that Mr. Romney has picked up momentum since the first debate; many show the candidates to be in a dead heat. A Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll had Mr. Romney pulling ahead of Mr. Obama in the popular vote for the first time. A growing number of voters have positive perceptions of Mr. Romney’s ability to handle the economy and his “economic empathy,” his capacity to relate to people suffering adversity. Independent voters are siding with Romney on economic issues.
Women voters are a decisive force in the election. Mr. Obama has witnessed his solid support among women voters erode. Women have warmed to Mr. Romney as they have gotten to know him through the debates. His wife, Ann, has been making the rounds of talk shows like The View and the Rachel Ray Show, where she shopped at Costco and prepared a budget meal. Mr. Obama is working hard to draw a distinction between himself and Mr. Romney on issues of women’s health and reproductive rights. He went on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno to make his position clear: “Rape is rape. It is a crime.”