Polls, even the right's pet ones, have shown the president leading outside a statistical deviation for weeks.
Great wailing, handwringing, self-flagellation, forehead-smacking is abroad in the land.
Campaign is in disarray. Don't let Mr. Romney out. Need to let Mr. Romney be himself. He's too moderate. He's not moderate enough. He got caught fomenting class warfare. Time to fire the staff (at least the waitstaff...)? Top (including right wing) pundits, strategists, unnamed experts and other "sources", even the Murdoch&Ailes and EIB network sales forces say it's awful. (OK, everyone but Gov. Christie.)
Strategists: All according to plan. The whole media, in whose common interest is "a dead heat", following their business model, allies with us, will leverage us at least until it's "neck and neck" again. The debate will be a "tie" (of course). But we'll leverage that.
The narrative becomes: "The Comeback Kid, the turnaround expert who can be The Comeback Kid with the economy and Libya and Syria and Egypt and Iran and... and... Look, the bandwagon is gathering steam!" Baked into the plan.
Merely lowballing debate performance would be blatant and weak.