Larry Sabato and Kyle Kondik hve written a thoughtful piece on the 2012 election.  Snip:

By contrast, the Republican Convention in Tampa, Fla., Aug. 27-Aug. 30, is vital. Mr. Romney today is slightly underperforming John McCain four years ago. Sen. McCain received 45.6% of the national vote and 45.4% in seven key swing states (Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia)—whereas Mr. Romney is scoring just 44% nationally and 44.5% in the swing states, according to Thursday’s RealClearPolitics average of polls. There are Republican-leaning voters who still must be brought into the fold, and a solid convention that defines Mr. Romney positively in personal and policy terms could give him a modest but durable bounce.

Economics may drive the election somewhat, but international developments also may determine the election as well.