When Obama ran against McCain, his campaign was filled with idealistic platitudes of Hope and Change. Those slogans were appealing to many people after 8 years of Bush.
Those slogans don't fit so good now.
Jimmy Carter got elected in 76 because of the same thing. People were tired of Nixon and Watergate. Carter won because he ran against Nixon not Ford.
Just like Carter, Obama isn't a very good president. Ideology doesn't create jobs. Ideology doesn't manage crisis, or bring down the debt. All the empathy in the world for the little guy doesn't do them any good if they can't find a job. Coupled with Obamacare which is Obama trying to create a legacy, his tenure at president has been all about ideology and not about performance.
If people were working, they wouldn't care as much about healthcare or the government taking care of them. That's what we saw when Reagan was elected. People railed against Reagan as a statist, "just an actor", a fuddling old man. Yet, he brought the country back from the brink. Yes he grew government, and spent a lot of money but people didn't care because it was boom times. Reagan knew how things works. He was a good leader and he knew how to get things done.
Romney is same way. He knows how to run things and get things done. Yeah, he is not as conservative as some people wish he was. He is a neo-con in others eyes. The thing is that he knows how things works. He knows how to get things done.
For you third party guys. I feel your pain, I lean libertarian myself. The problem is that a third party candidate is never going to be elected President until they build a base in local, state and federal office. There is just not enough base to support them yet. Build a local and state base of support and then go after bigger and bigger offices. I will be working on that after I am done working on Romney's campaign.
Interestingly enough, most of the people I've met in the campaign, particularly the young ones are libertarians. They are tired of the move to the left by the Republican party. In the mean time, we need to slow the fall and the only one who can do that is Romney at this point.
"It does not take a majority to prevail... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men. " -- Samuel Adams