The Obama campaign and the media have overplayed their hand. By suggesting, for three weeks, that the election is over, they created consternation among Republicans and conservative critics that blunted the effectiveness of Mitt Romney’s message. Yet in so doing, they also forced Americans to consider, for the first time, what another four years for Barack Obama would actually mean. The race is tightening as a result.

Whatever voters think of the two candidates, whatever Democrat-heavy samples the pollsters use, there is one basic fact that cannot be fudged: people are unhappy with the state of the country. They believe it is heading in the wrong direction, and want to see a change. Retaining the same man who has governed for the last four years–two without effective opposition–is not a way to change things, and voters are beginning to see that.

Obama is not running on the promise to change his policies–only to accelerate them, to give Americans more of what he gave them in his first two years. And in case people are having difficulty remembering what that was, eager Democrats–anticipating victory–are reminding them: “immigration reform,” “climate change,” “healthcare,” and–yes–”jobs,” which for Democrats means more stimulus and more public-sector bailouts for cronies.

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