The vote is six weeks from today and the former Massachusetts governor trails President Barack Obama both in national polls and, more importantly, in eight of the nine crucial swing states that will decide the election.
Efforts to claw back some ground on the incumbent since Obama received a significant boost from the Democratic Party Convention at the beginning of the month have fallen into disarray due to a series of campaign missteps.
After rushing to judgment over Obama’s response to the anti-Islamic film that spawned protests in the Muslim world, Romney was embarrassed by a secretly-recorded video in which he wrote off almost half the electorate as “victims” who were dependent on government handouts.
Under the U.S. system, each state is awarded a certain number of electoral college votes and on election night a candidate needs to reach the magic 270 figure to emerge victorious. The swing states with the largest number of electoral college votes up for grabs are Florida (29), North Carolina (15), Ohio (18) and Virginia (13). Polling of nine swing states shows Romney leading only in North Carolina and trailing by more than four percent in both Ohio and Virginia.