681507013With the Republican and Democratic National Conventions completed and the party bases energized, the real campaigning begins as the candidates focus their efforts more aggressively on swing states.

The Democratic Party has demonstrated that it knows how to rally its base and energize support. In light of post-convention polling, the same cannot be said for the GOP.

Gallup reported that Obama leads Romney by about 4 percent in poll conducted over the first week of September. Although this signals a bump for Obama since the DNC, it is far from a large enough cushion to promise re-election.

To ensure that Obama is a one-term president, Romney must put an end to his stale campaign strategy. He needs to brand himself as the best candidate for the job, rather than merely as an acceptable alternative to Obama. Romney must invigorate his campaign by discussing policy before the national debates in October, explaining how his platform will revive the economy, help the middle class and ameliorate the budget deficit.

Despite Obama’s recent gains, Romney has plenty of time to exploit the less-than-stellar job report released this week, unfortunately timed on the same day as Obama’s acceptance speech. Although the unemployment rate fell by .2 percent, the decrease is in large part due to the fact that fewer Americans are actively searching for work. Only 96,000 jobs were created in the month of August, compared to the 135,000 jobs-per-month average of last year. Despite the energy of Obama’s convention speech, the jobs report does little to support his efforts to defend his economic plan.

In response to the new unemployment numbers, the Romney campaign would be wise to target advertising in swing states where unemployment is the highest.

This brings to mind a few key toss-up states: Nevada, Florida and North Carolina. Nevada currently suffers from a 12 percent unemployment rate, while Florida and North Carolina’s rates are at 8.8 and 9.6 percent, respectively. These battleground states will provide the best return on investment if Romney chooses to advertise aggressively.

We know where the President stands, and we know the policies he wants to put in place. But Romney has been all rhetoric and no discussion. While his RNC speech was inspiring for Republicans, it failed to connect policy objectives with the RNC’s 30 million viewers — many of whom were moderates and independents.

If George W. Bush was able to galvanize support from his base and inspire confidence in moderate voters in 2004, Romney can certainly obtain an edge over Obama in these next two months. After both conventions, Americans understand that Obama and Romney are great husbands, fathers and friends, but what’s important now is to end the ideological warfare and commence the rebuilding of this nation.

Daniel Pierro is a sophomore in the College.

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