Once-Listless Presidential Race Attracts Intensity In Closing Weeks

The 2012 presidential race, once viewed as a dreary grind of a contest, has picked up a surprising amount of intensity this month.

Just a few weeks ago, the race was perhaps most remarkable for how unremarkable it was.

Throughout 2012, Obama predicted the race would have its ups and downs. But through the Republican and Democratic conventions, polls consistently showed the president with single-digit leads, and it appeared Romney might not ever capture momentum.

But Mitt Romney's spirited performance in the first presidential debate has injected new life not just into his White House aspirations, but the campaign as a whole. Recent weeks have seen a flood of support at campaign rallies and events, major upticks in donations to the campaigns, and a new electricity to a once joyless 2012 campaign. 

Republican strategist Ford O'Connell says the change in enthusiasm can be simplified down to one simple change: voters actually believe Romney can win the election.

"Americans like winners," O'Connell said. "There is no better cure for a lack of enthusiasm than instilling the belief in voters that a candidate can win."

Read more from Justin Sink at The Hill

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Analysis & Political Strategy