What if instead of Mitt Romney versus Barack Obama, the presidential race were No Name Republican versus No Name Democrat?
In his critique of Mitt Romney's campaign, William Kristol, the editor of the conservative Weekly Standard, noted that over the last five elections, Republicans presidential candidates have averaged 44.5% of the popular vote.
A quick check of the statistics shows that over the same period, Democratic presidential candidates have averaged 48.4%. (The remaining 7.1% went to third-party candidates, most notably Ross Perot in 1992 and Ralph Nader in 2000).
Now take a look at Gallup's tracking poll -- Obama 48%, Romney 44%. In other words, as of this week, the two candidates are each drawing pretty much exactly the vote that the average candidate of his party has drawn over the last two decades. They are, in other words, acting as generics -- representing the massed partisan armies on either side of America's political divide.