Obama must convince disillusioned voters to give him another chance

Obama and Romney are about equal in the polls. Photo: Reuters

If you ever wondered why this Presidential election could be so close given the flawed candidacy of Mitt Romney, visit Pontiac in Michigan.

This old industrial town, with its famous heritage as a car manufacturing centre, is solidly Democratic. This should be Obama-land.

Heavily African-American and unionized, it's difficult to imagine that a multi-millionaire venture capitalist like Mitt Romney would get any votes, even if he calls Michigan his home.

Thousands of residents are leaving in pursuit of an elusive job. Unemployment is at 30%. Disappointment seems to be at 100%.

The big car factories are closed. Pontiac is unable to reinvent itself because its workers were great at building vehicles and never saw the need to learn other skills.

The housing crisis has left the city scarred. So it's easy to understand that President Obama's phrases like 'hope and change' don't sound hollow. They sound absurd.

Economic conditions are worse than four years ago and many of the people who voted for the President in 2008 are deeply disillusioned.

Obama's best hope to win the battleground states is a negative one - to persuade voters that Mitt Romney would be even worse.

How sad. How different from 2008.