The End Is Nigh! So ... Vote for Me

I briefly mentioned this in my previous post, but the latest Romney video offers a view from Iowa, where—if the narrative is any indication—the economy is in terrible shape. But this message is undermined by actual facts on the ground. For example, the joblessness rate in Iowa has dropped over the last year to 5.2 percent, which is close to full employment:

Yes, the unemployment rate has yet to reach pre-crisis levels, but it’s not as if Iowans are living through some Obama-generated dystopia. The same is true for the country writ large; the economy is somewhere between not-quite-bad and not-quite-good, and accordingly, voters are sharply divided on Obama’s performance. Republicans are more likely to see the negative side of things, while Democrats are more likely to emphasize the positive.

If Romney wants to win, he has to convince voters that, yes, we are living through a dystopia of economic misery. The danger, of course, is that if he leans too hard, he risks turning off voters with negativity.