THE RACE: Parties Are Looking Back To See Ahead

With President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney running neck and neck for weeks, both parties are looking back for guidance to the way ahead.

They see different models for winning.

At first, Democrats eyed 1984 for inspiration. First-term President Ronald Reagan suffered falling approval ratings and the aftermath of deep recession. Federal deficits were soaring, and Democrat Walter Mondale made them a top issue. Still, Reagan won by a landslide.

But he had a surging economy at his back. Deficits had improved. Inflation, peaking at 10.8 percent in November-December 1982, was down to 7.5 percent by August 1984, eventually falling to 7.2 percent in November.

Obama can't count on any such lift.

Unemployment was a brutal 8.3 percent in July and seems likely to stay in that vicinity for the next few months. No post-World War II president has been re-elected with unemployment over 8 percent.

Democrats now are eyeing 2004. President George W. Bush was burdened by two wars and a mostly jobless recovery. His approval ratings in the summer hovered around 50 percent. Yet Democratic nominee Sen. John Kerry had his own problems: his wealth, flip-flops on issues and difficulty in connecting with average Americans. Incumbent Bush won narrowly.

Republicans fondly recall 1980, when GOP nominee Reagan beat Democratic President Jimmy Carter. Weighing down the incumbent were a weak economy, energy shortages and a hostage crisis in Iran.

Some Republicans, concerned that Romney has failed to pull ahead despite the listless economy, also look to 1988, when Vice President George H.W. Bush overtook Michael Dukakis. Bush was helped by a strong convention speech, good debate performances and a fierce advertising campaign.

Romney spent Monday at his New Hampshire vacation home. Obama planned to raise funds in Connecticut after White House meetings.

__

Follow Tom Raum on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/tomraum. For more AP political coverage, look for the 2012 Presidential Race in AP Mobile's Big Stories section. Also follow https://twitter.com/APCampaign and AP journalists covering the campaign: https://twitter.com/AP/ap-campaign-2012

With 92 days left until Election Day, here are insights into today's highlights in U.S. politics

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service — if this is your content and you're reading it on someone else's site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers. Five Filters recommends: Incinerating Assange - The Liberal Media Go To Work.

Read More
URL Shorten : http://goo.gl/PcBHo
Description : They see different models for winning.
Rating : 5
Reviewer : HTDailyNews
ItemReviewed : THE RACE: Parties Are Looking Back To See Ahead
By
Your Ad Here

News Update Today