If you simply read the mainstream media coverage you’d think the election was over, not a dead heat. You’d think Mitt Romney was hopelessly unlikable, rather than only slightly worse off than the president in his favorable/unfavorable numbers, according to many polls. You’d think the party was hopelessly divided by the Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) and Mitt Romney rift. (Ron Paul didn’t win a single primary and his son Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) commended the Republican National Convention for including a Ron Paul tribute and recognizing his concerns about the Fed.)You’d think the party was burdened by the abortion plank, although its nominee (who favors three exceptions for abortion) is much more closely aligned with public opinion than is the president.

You’d think Romney’s “radical views” would make him unpalatable to swing states like New Hampshire, Ohio, Florida, Iowa and Wisconsin. Instead these states are nip and tuck.

Is this the media swimming in its tide of bias? In part. But it’s also a function of thousands of media people straining to make news out of small crumbs, to create drama and conflict. It’s boring, I suppose, to say from tea party faithful to New England moderates, the party is united behind a candidate that six months ago was almost on the ropes before his comeback in Florida and his tough wins in Ohio and Michigan.

This convention is not talking about banning abortion or immigration. Tuesday night was “We built it” night with speaker after speaker talking about the need to aid small business and to alleviate burdens like Obamacare. It is the sort of bread-and-butter appeal by which moderate Democrats like Bill Clinton forged a majority against a lackluster president with virtually no policy ideas.

Rather than lay out the actual race — a failed president against a newly energized and unified GOP — the media “cover” a different race. The coverage is perfectly uniform and entirely divorced from reality. Whatever the motive, the media will be hard pressed to explain how such an extreme and divided party is poised potentially to win back the presidency and the Senate.