Incumbent Presidents enter a reelection campaign with a number of distinct advantages. The command a bully pulpit, able to make news and usually dictate the issues the public is discussing. They can use the levers of power to direct federal spending and initiatives to certain parts of the country. They can generally attract far more campaign donors, giving them the ability to out-spend their opponent. And, more importantly, they’ve already built the coalitions and alliances necessary for victory. If they are Democrats, they have the added bonus of a compliant media who will deflect criticism and cast negative attention on their opponent. And yet, Obama is very likely to lose in November.

This weekend, the Associated Press published a fairly good analysis of the state of the campaign. Including “solid” and “leaning” states, Obama had 247 electoral votes to Mitt Romney’s 206. The race to get to the 270 votes needed to win would come down to seven states, according to the AP analysis; Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia.

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