When British politicians are called upon to embarrass their parties at conferences they tend to sing or recite poetry but the Republicans drag up a film star to talk to the furniture which to anyone outside of America just about sums up Mitt Romney who it is widely perceived over here as a bit of a comedy figure who is on a hiding to nothing but history suggests we shouldn't be so quick to dismiss the man waking up as President this November.
An AP-GfK poll this week showed Obama on 47% with 46% favoring Romney but in the 10 swing states where the battle is won or lost, Obama is currently leading in 9 of them, if only slightly, so it is close but Obama does not have history on his side.
No president has ever won an election with his poll rating below 50% at this time of the election cycle and the last person to win an election with unemployment above 7.8% was in 1936, US unemployment today stands at 8.3%.
Some more damning statistics for the Obama re-election is consumer confidence which is measured by the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan sentiment survey, which shows consumer confidence is below the crucial 50 threshold and the incumbent lost in each of the prior three instances where this metric touched the 50 level: in 1975, 1979 and 1991.
Good news for Romney supporters but Ladbrokes still have Obama at 2/5, and Romney at 7/4 but there is a long way to go yet and much more furniture to be spoken to.