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Obama slips ahead of Romney in key polls. More than a bounce? (+video)

President Obama's post-convention poll bounce appears to be real. Some Romney supporters are worried, but he has two major advantages: an economy that continues to falter under Obama's watch and the ability to raise and spend money on campaign ads.

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Among other things, Romney needs to say more about why he failed to mention the war in Afghanistan – the longest war in US history – in his convention speech. (The most memorable reference in Tampa came in Clint Eastwood’s bizarre performance when the actor called for bringing home all US forces immediately – which brought a roar of Republican approval.)

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“Leave aside the question of the political wisdom of Romney's silence, and the opportunities it opens up for President Obama,” wrote William Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard. “What about the civic propriety of a presidential nominee failing even to mention, in his acceptance speech, a war we're fighting and our young men and women who are fighting it? Has it ever happened that we've been at war and a presidential nominee has ignored, in this kind of major and formal speech, the war and our warriors?”

Romney also needs to smooth out the apparent differences he has (or at least has had) with his GOP ticket partner, Rep. Paul Ryan.

He says abortion is OK in cases of rape or incest, which Ryan has opposed. The two took opposite positions on the auto industry bailout, and Romney has criticized the automatic cuts in defense spending that Ryan voted for as part of last year’s debt ceiling deal.

“I thought it was a mistake on the part of the White House to propose it. I think it was a mistake for Republicans to go along with it,” Romney said recently.

Some Republicans have been less than thrilled with the Romney campaign so far.

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, a former congressman from Florida, is one.

"Romney will lose if he doesn't dramatically change his strategy," he tweeted Saturday night. "Negative ads won't substitute for conservative ideas."

"Romney has been clear he will avoid specifics on balancing the budget and shrinking government. Not the Reagan and Thatcher way," he wrote. "The truth is that Thatcher would have lost in 1979 and Reagan would have lost in 1980 if they had run as timid a campaign as Mitt Romney."

Some GOP insiders are worried as well.

“Their map has many more routes to victory,” a top Republican official told Politico.

Still, there are 58 days until the election, and Romney has at least two major advantages: the ability to raise and spend more money, particularly on the negative advertising that has come to mark both campaigns; and a faltering economy that’s continued under Obama’s watch.

The all-important debates – not to mention two more monthly jobs reports before Election Day – could decide it all.

Obama vs. Romney 101: Where are the sharpest divides?


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