Looking at the stark figures, you'd think Mitt Romney would be cruising in this election: The unemployment rate has been higher than 8% for a record 42 months, six in 10 Americans think the US is moving in the wrong direction, and 41% strongly disapprove of President Obama's job on the economy. Plus, Romney is likely to spend far more than Obama in the campaign. So why is Obama still pulling his weight in key states? It's a matter of "nature vs. nurture," writes Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post.
"The backdrop on which the campaign is fought matters (nature), but so, too, does the kind of race each candidate runs (nurture)," Cillizza notes. And Obama is nurturing his campaign well, attacking Romney on Bain, his tax returns, and more in effective ads. Meanwhile, Romney managed a host of bad press for his overseas trip. "The incumbent has been winning the day-to-day battle," Cillizza concludes. That may not, however, be enough: John McCain was winning on the nurture side in 2008 until the world economy crumbled and "political nature took over." It remains to be seen whether nature or nurture will win this year. Click for Cillizza's full column. (Read more Mitt Romney stories.)