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September 16th, 2012
07:16 AM ET

Letters to the President #1336: 'Riding the polls'

Reporter's Note: President Obama certainly must be following the polls, although probably not as closely as he is following my daily letters to the White House.

Dear Mr. President,

Perhaps you have noticed how the polls seem to be swaying a tad in your direction lately. Congratulations. I don’t mean to be premature about that, because heaven knows plenty can still change between now and Election Day, but it seems as if that small advantage you’ve been enjoying for some months is opening up a little bit wider.

Why? Well, who knows?

Obviously your party put on a nice convention, but I’m not entirely convinced that it made all that much difference. After all, the bulk of the audience watching it was probably people who are going to vote for you anyway. Mitt Romney seems to have made a few ill-chosen statements lately, and you’ve been pouring the advertising money out there, so both of those might be helping your cause. Hard to measure such things.

Heck, it is fully possible that people are simply rallying around you the way Americans always rally around the sitting President when we are under duress as we have been for the past week with all that turmoil overseas.

Like I said, who knows?

What I do know is that advantages are hard to come by in close contests, and whenever you get one it is important to hold on like grim death. (I’d give the same advice to Mitt Romney, btw.) Because candidates don’t have to win by a landslide. They don’t have to win by a lot. They don’t have to win by even a substantial margin. They just have to win by a few votes, and if you have that edge on your challenger now…and can hold it…that is the race.

Again, best not to pop the champagne yet, but it would seem you can at least start playing toward an end game with a leader’s strategy in mind.

Hope all is well. Call if you can.

Regards,
Tom