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October 1st, 2012
09:41 PM ET

Letters to the President #1351: 'Poll vaulting'

Reporter's Note: President Obama and Mitt Romney continue to close in on their big debate on Wednesday, just like I continue writing every single day to the man in the Oval Office.

Dear Mr. President,

Did I see a little movement in the polls this morning? Yes, I did, and I’ll bet you did too. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Pretty much every advantage in political races these days is fleeting, and if I were you I would be sounding the klaxon for all hands on deck at campaign headquarters right now.

I mention it, because I have noticed that you look pretty comfortable on the trail these days. Lots of nice, relaxed smiles…big waves…jokes…all the signs that say you are a confident president coasting into a solid second term. For your sake, I hope it’s an act. If a few weeks of good poll numbers have you actually easing up and assuming you will win, you could be making a dreadful mistake.

The American electorate is fickle, unsettled, and short tempered. The candidate, who thinks he has the race in the bag today, may be packing his bags tomorrow. And make no mistake about it: The Republicans are formidable foes, no matter how much some of your Democratic pals may dislike and insult them. (And they do…I’ve heard them.) Sure, Romney has made some stumbles, and he’s had some weak poll showings since your Democratic convention. But the luster is wearing off of that event now…the race appears to be sliding right back to where it was before all the kerfuffle, with you just barely a squeak ahead.

Granted, if you can hold that edge, it is big enough for you to win. But it is also small enough for you to lose.

If I were you or Mitt Romney (well, first, America would be really confused) I would be waking up every single day saying “This is the first day of the race. I must run as if my political life depends on it.” Because in a race this close, that is pretty much the case…and it looks like it just might be getting closer.

Hope all is well. Are you watching the Bears tonight? I can come over if you want. Just call to let me know if I should bring extra ice.

Regards,
Tom

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