What has been touted as one of the worst weeks for the Romney campaign doesn't seem to have affected the GOP presidential nominee too much. According to this morning's Rasmussen Daily Presidential Tracking Poll the president and are in a statistical tie at 46% each.
After the gaffe about the 47% and his press conference, where Romney said he could have said it "more elegantly," the mainstream media had all but written off Romney's campaign. The media and the Obama campaign attacked Romeny for his comments after the attacks in Egypt and Libya on U.S. diplomatic posts, that criticized the Administration for apologizing for the anti-Islam video.
The Obama administratin also released an ad in Pakistan outlining that it condemns the video and that the U.S. rejects insults against any religion. Based on the violent protests this weekend, it is doubtful that the video has any effect on the population.
Although the IG report released on Operation "Fast and Furious," along with the week long step-dance by the administration, characterizing the attacks on the Benghazi consulate as a spontaneous attack, did not get much mainstream coverage, Romney didn't suffer that much.
Foreign policy has been seen as one of the presidents strong points, particularly with the death of Osama bin Laden, the end of the war in Iraq, and eventual troop pullout out of Afghanistan. Some 68,000 Americans remain in Afghanistan, and all the surge troops have now been removed.
In light of the protests from North Africa to Pakistan, along with Western nations like Australia, Belgium and France, the president's foreign policy has come under the radar and may be an opening for Romney, especially during the debates.
As some lawmakers put it "Bin Laden is dead" is not a foreign policy. With the emergence of the influence of al-Qaida all over the Middle East and Pakistan, along with the Taliban in Afghanistan, the talking points have run into a dead end.
"Green on blue" killings by Afghan troops of NATO troops and an attack on Camp Bastion in Hellmand province have demonstrated that there is infiltration of the Taliban or al-Qaida into Afghan security forces. The Taliban wants a stake in an Afghanistan after NATO withdraws. The have been on going negotiations between some Taliban leaders and the Administration and there is an active effort to get them back on the table.
The eventual outcome in Afghanistan is seen by many as a return to the status quo, prior to the invasion 11 years ago. As a result there are calls to withdraw all NATO troops now.
The U.S. is under an agreement with Afghanistan has a decade-long commitment to Afghanistan at a cost of $4.2 billion, half of which is footed by the U.S.
With the crisis in the Middle East, Pakistan, the diplomatic posts attacks, Fast and Furious and a struggling economy, Romney has enough openings to punch a hole into the Obama campaign rhetoric.
With a race in a statistical tie in the polls nationally, the battle will continue for the swing states. While both candidates have the support of their bases, there are still some undecideds in the mix.
Overall Romney has come out of last week relatively unscathed, although the secret video and his comments on the attack on the stataement on the embassy attack have put his campaign off-message and him on the defensive.
The tight race will be decided by how Romney handles the next month and a half and the three debates with the president. Then the real poll will be conducted on Nov. 6.