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Top Soothsayer Likes Obama over Romney

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Dr. Larry Sabato, one of the country’s leading political prognosticators, admits there’s still time for some twists and surprises in this year’s presidential election. But, based on a detailed analysis he gave at a dinner here last night, you may want to consider placing your bets on President Barack Obama prevailing over Mitt Romney in a fairly close race.

In a talk to the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth, Sabato said Obama has a strong organization, a lot of luck, and historical precedent on his side. Romney, by contrast, leaves people cold and beat a weak field to snag the GOP nomination, he said. Most importantly, Obama is looking these days like Bill Clinton, not Jimmy Carter, Sabato believes; Romney, meantime, is resembling 2004’s John Kerry–another tepid pol from Massachussetts challenging a polarizing president.

The economy is “bad, but not terrible,” like it was under Carter, Sabato added: “It could be just enough for the president to pull through.” Romney’s best shot to make the race competitive? Knock it out of the park in Wednesday night’s first debate, Sabato said. Obama can be drawn into showing an unattractive prickly side, Sabato said after his talk, as he did in 2008 debating Hillary Clinton.

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