7 Factors That Could Affect Election
Jobless figures, debates loom large
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2012 1:15 PM CDT
Mitt Romney speak in Orlando, Fla., last month.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – The presidential race is tight and expected to remain so, meaning both candidates will likely opt to play it safe from here on out, writes Politico. But it rounds up seven factors that could tip an "otherwise static race," including:

  • Unemployment figures: The monthly numbers are likely to mean bad news for President Obama through November, though Mitt Romney may benefit only from a "dramatic" increase.

  • Credit downgrade: If the US gets hit with a second downgrade on Obama's watch, it could do serious damage to his prospects.
  • Debates, conventions: Most strategists see the debates as the biggest potential game-changer for the candidates, and each must work on avoiding the "smug and testy" label. As for the conventions, Romney is likely to get the bigger boost given the fired-up GOP base.
Click for the full list, which says Romney's VP pick is unlikely to have a big impact.