National polls suggest that Obama holds a small, perhaps meaningless lead as he awaits a new jobs report Friday that could bring bad news similar to last month's. Romney is offering few details of his own health and economic proposals for now, perhaps thinking outside forces will dislodge the president.
"When it's a 2 or 3 point race, that's not good for an incumbent president," said Republican strategist Rich Galen, who is not affiliated with Romney's campaign. "Obama's political career is totally dependent on Angela Merkel holding the eurozone together," he said, referring to the German chancellor and Europe's financial woes, which could further hurt the U.S. economy.
An eventful June began badly for Obama. Anemic job-creation numbers followed news that Romney'scampaign was raising more money than his. Things got worse when Obama told reporters, "The private sector is doing fine," a line now featured in countless GOP attack ads.
The month ended better for Obama. The Supreme Court struck down much of Arizona's strict anti-immigration law, a law the president opposed. Then the justices upheld the 2010 national health care law, a victory that nonetheless forces Obama to keep defending an unpopular mandate to obtain insurance or pay a fee, which the court labeled a tax.
"Last week was a reminder to the American people of who the president is fighting for," said Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki. She cited "access to health care" and "immigration reform."
"But we're looking ahead, and we know this race is going to be really close," she said.