With the Supreme Court health care ruling out of the way, operatives on both sides now see just a handful of inflection points that could shape the arc of an increasingly calcified, close race between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
In a campaign in which news cycles burn hot and fast — and then out — in a matter of hours, very little has happened to actually shake up the campaign since the primaries ended. In one national survey after another, the race is a 3-percentage-point affair in which Obama hovers just below the 50 percent mark, and Romney stays around 45 percent.
“It didn’t take long for the race to get locked in. There’s no reason to think that it won’t stay locked in,” said Democratic strategist Steve Murphy.
Neither candidate is predisposed to throw the long ball; both are running campaigns that lay out little by way of future vision — Obama has been nonspecific about a second term, and Romney has played keepaway on some key policy planks — and neither has much incentive to change course.
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