"Unemployment at 8 percent, unrest in the Middle East, economy growing very slowly, yet [Obama]'s still beating Romney, who may be the most uninspiring candidate to ever run for the presidency," one Democratic insider said.
"Thank goodness for Obama's secret weapon as revealed on SNL: Mitt Romney," another added.
Also unhelpful: Romney's team and their chosen strategy, many said.
"Romney appears to be on worse track than economy," one Republican said.
"Romney still not closing the sale. Boston is not using one-third of the arguments and research available to blitz the Dems," another assessed, but added a silver lining: "But Obama is still below 50 percent, and the economy still sucks."
A Democrat noted, "It's tough to win when your strategy is shooting yourself in the face every day, which is about the only thing the Romney campaign can do consistently."
Others attributed Obama's edge to the inherent challenges of beating an incumbent. "It is very hard to beat an incumbent president, even one who doesn't deserve reelection," a Republican said.
Nevertheless, several insiders also said that it was too early to call the race for anybody, particularly with three presidential debates left on the general election calendar, trouble brewing in the Middle East and the economy still struggling to recover.
"This is still closer than people think and money does work," one Democrat said, alluding to Romney's formidable fundraising advantage, aided by GOP-allied super PAC money.
"Romney remains competitive virtually everywhere he needs to win, despite weeks of feckless campaigning," another Republican added. "This means that voters are cringing at the idea of four more years of Obama."
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