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Election 2012: How Romney might lead on new Washington terrain

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Though he’s struggled as a communicator throughout much of this year’s race, Republican strategists vow that Mitt Romney’s greatest challenge has been being a great political candidate. As president, communication is still key, of course, but a different kind of messaging is needed. Says Republican pollster Whit Ayres, ”Romney’s ability to analyze a situation and find points of agreement is critical for governing effectively. Being a candidate is more about drawing distinctions and highlighting differences, as opposed to finding areas of agreement.” But can any amount of diplomacy guarantee that Romney’s policies gain momentum? The answer might hinge on the margin of victory. Another GOP pollster, David Winston says, ”When you win by a large percentage, that gives you momentum.” Though the way this race is shaping up, the only sure thing is that neither candidate seems likely to win by a landslide.