Where the presidential race stands, and where it could go

It’s July 4, a brief midsummer break for politics and a good opportunity to take stock of where the presidential race stands and what might shift in the weeks to come. Begin with the most basic fact – the 2012 election has been a close contest so far and seems likely to continue that way. The candidates represent two large, very distinct and almost equal-sized electoral coalitions, each of which commands the loyalty of more than 40% of voters. [cont.]

David Lauter, Los Angeles Times