State of the Race

7:13 a.m. E.T.

My “Morning Joe” Take on where Obama-Romney stand going into the week:

MIKE BARNICLE: The President did so much damage to himself in that debate that that’s resulted in the race being as tight as it is right now. What do you hear Mark?

MARK HALPERIN: Well, I spent Friday and Saturday in Ohio with Governor Romney. And let’s go back to the sort of the fundamentals we talked about for the last year. The model for the Obama campaign is that 2004 Bush campaign that Richard talked about. And, one of the principles there is you have to make the other guy, the challenger, unacceptable. And one of the things — and this is based on reporting and, again, a little bit of touch and feel of being out in the field — one of the things that struck me about being in Ohio this weekend is Romney is seeming like an acceptable alternative. His strong debate performance, the better press coverage. He may be strong enough in Ohio and in the other battlegrounds that voters look at him as acceptable and, given the state of the economy, that has been the big worry of the Obama campaign all along. That’s why we’ve heard so much about Bain Capital. That’s why we’ve heard so much about his Swiss bank account, his personal taxes, etc. It’s going to be interesting to see if the Obama campaign tries to drive some of that personal stuff and, if they don’t, and, again, if Governor Romney emerges as acceptable that may give him enough of a chance to win Ohio and enough of those battlegrounds to get just over 270.

Watch the video above.

Related Topics: Barack Obama, Mark Halperin, Mitt Romney, Morning Joe, MSNBC, 2012 Elections, Analysis, News, Polls, The Page, Video

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