If you believe what you read, watch or hear in the news, Mitt Romney’s campaign is sinking fast. After Romney’s ill-spoken remarks at a private fundraiser were made public last week, the media were quick to declare his campaign on life support.
This week, polls show Barack Obama ahead in several key swing states. But according to political experts, what goes down must come up – and vice versa. Presidential campaigns are driven by drama, and as any “Days of Our Lives” fan knows, no plot stays in one place for long – that’s why they call it a “story arc.”
A candidate is either on the way up or on the way down. Any slight misstep by Obama at this point could lead to the next feeding frenzy by the press, resulting in a rebound for Romney. And with each candidate under the media microscope, it doesn’t take much to turn a miss into a mile. With just 41 days to go until the election, the question is, whose bounce will matter most?
In those last crucial days, what story will the media be telling? Are they biased towards one side or another, as many have complained? Who will the voters believe - and how will it affect the final outcome?
Thomas Patterson, Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and author of books on politics and the media, including The Vanishing Voter and Out of Order