There’s little doubt in the mind of Utah State University Political Science Department Chairman Mike Lyons expects Mitt Romney to be the Republican challenger to President Barack Obama in the 2012 election.So who would win if the election were being held today? Lyons says it would be very close and he expects it will still be very close between the two candidates a year from now.On KVNU’s Crosstalk show Tuesday, Lyons said a lot of analysis is going on among political scientists as they look at other elections where the economy has been bad and how that can affect a presidential election. Lyons said there are other factors that work for and against Obama and Romney.”President Obama still has a charismatic presence, he’s still African-American and that still hurts him to some extent,” Lyons said. “And Mitt Romney is LDS and that hurts Mitt Romney to some extent. “Mitt Romney is not particularly charismatic. He’s solid, he might be a very good president but he’s not the kind of magnetic campaigner that ideally the Republicans would like to have at the head of the ticket.”Although some Republicans don’t like the fact that Romney is a Mormon, Lyons says he does not think that would keep them home from the polls because they want Obama defeated.
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