We may be witnessing the final days of the Obama Presidency

Bill Neely says Mitt Romney, left, is within touching distance of winning the Presidency. Photo: Reuters

Get ready for a big shock.

Mitt Romney is within touching distance of winning the Presidency.

I'm not saying he will win. Only a fool would say that and no-one can say it with certainty from now until election day.

But we may be witnessing the final days of the Obama Presidency.

Two weeks, ago the race seemed beyond Romney. Three weeks from now he may win it, after two nationally televised debates that have shown seventy million watching Americans that there is, in fact, a viable choice on November 6th.

In last night's debate Romney again presented himself as a credible President in waiting.

Sure, he didn't have the runaway victory over Obama he had in the first debate, but the momentum is still with him.

Earlier this year, the polls showed Obama losing to an unnamed, composite Republican.

Voters were - and still are - unhappy with the direction the country was going in.

They were looking for an alternative. Once Romney was chosen as the Republican candidate, things changed.

Obama took the lead. Voters didn't like what they knew of Romney. But in the first debate Romney came across as the moderate, switched on, aspiring, optimistic businessman many remember from his days as Governor of Massachusetts.

They took a second look, liked what they saw and Romney has never looked back.

Republicans began to believe they could win. And they can.

In 2000, the Democrat Al Gore was leading the polls before the three TV debates. After them, he was losing. He never caught up.

Democrat Al Gore, left, lost campaign momentum during televised debates in 2000. Credit: Reuters

George Bush was elected President after Florida's votes were counted again and again and after the Supreme Court sided with him.

But if Gore had won his home state of Tennessee or had won New Hampshire, he'd have won. His complacency cost him the Presidency.

Spin forward to today and look at Obama. Two weeks ago, he was ahead in all of the swing states.

Not any more. Romney has an edge in Virginia and Florida.

Obama is still leading in the biggest prize of all, Ohio, without which no Republican has ever won the White House. But the gap is closing.

Foreigners often struggle to work out why countries ditch their leader. Why on earth did Russians hate cuddly, reforming Gorbachev? Why, asked Americans, did Brits get rid of the Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher?

Russians and Brits know the answers. Today, Europeans in particular, still star-struck and inspired by Obama's historic election four years ago, still can't quite believe that Americans would toss him out. But they just might.

His record is patchy at best. He didn't keep many of his promises, regardless of the tough hand he was dealt. Americans are fed up with years of decline.

Most of them like Obama personally, but that's not enough.

Many of them who voted for him feel proud America has had its first black President. But now it's time for a change.

There's no question now, it will be a fight to the finish and close on the night and it probably will come down to Ohio.

But don't be surprised if it's President elect Mitt Romney exactly three weeks from now.

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