Mitt Romney was down in the polls in August and struggling with his message. Since the first debate, though, he has turned his campaign around. Now the president is struggling. Can he come back?

Tobit says there is time: “He can recover. The middle is still mushy. Romney supporters might get cold feet. We could see a case of early buyer’s remorse.” RegisUrgel argues, “Obama needs to do well Monday at the debate. If he does, it is unlikely the Romney turn-out-the-vote machine, although it is better than John McCain’s, can beat the Obama campaign. The President showed last Tuesday he responds well to pressure.”

And, of course, readers disagreed as to whether President Obama had anything to turn around. (Jimward21 writes, “Why would he want to turn the race around? He’s going to win.”)

As for those convinced Romney now is in the lead in key swing states, they are convinced he all but has this in the bag. D123451 argues: “There’s only two ways Obama can recover. ...One, he needs a real plan to fix this mess by Monday, a real one that’s bold. He probably doesn’t have the staff to come up with something that’s better than Romney’s plan, so that one is off the table. Two, he has to have an October surprise that [would] shame every American from voting. . . .You have to remember Romney has already been accused of giving women cancer and other looney accusations during the summer. In other words, even if the big dark fiery place freezes over, Romney will be our 45th President of the United States.”

From my vantage point Romney has reversed the momentum in the race, eliminated Obama’s lead in national polling from August-September and is now ahead in a number of key battlegrounds while Obama is struggling to nail down states like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Nevertheless, with foreign events, another set of jobs numbers and one more debate, it would be foolish for the Romney team to take anything for granted. One can imagine that either Romney will win decisively (i.e. accelerate his momentum) or Obama will eke it out. But the onus is on Obama to persuade voters to vote for him, not against the cartoon character who fizzled when the real Romney showed up for the debates.