THE US presidential election is only 99 days away and it looks like being very close.
This might seem surprising, in the context of Mitt Romney's ongoing "gaffe an hour" tour of Europe and the Middle East, which has hardly enhanced his credentials as a potential world statesman. But they see things differently in the US, and Mr Romney is undoubtedly a credible candidate where it matters. Currently the polls have him if anything very slightly ahead of President Obama, although the President has a very marginal lead in the key swing states. Mr Obama's very strong popularity across Western Europe (he is less favoured in Eastern Europe) should not blind us to the fact that back home his grip on power is increasingly fragile.
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