This recent Gallup poll very clearly illustrates the basic dynamics of the 2012 Presidential race. President Obama’s strength is that people just don’t like Mitt Romney. They don’t think Romney is likeable, they don’t think he understands people, and they don’t think he is particularly trustworthy. On the question of who is more likeable Obama holds an incredible 23 point lead. From Gallup:

Likability vs. the Economy, August 2012

The one thing keeping Romney in the race is that the American people have concluded that Obama has done a terrible job with the economy and as a result almost anyone would probably be better. That is why Romney needs the election to be completely focused on how bad a job Obama did with the economy, unfortunately for Romney his campaign has done a poor job controlling the debate. Instead of a focus on the economy, the past few weeks have been dominated by tax returns, Medicare, and abortion.