By CNN's Jack Cafferty:
2012 is no 1980, and Mitt Romney is no Ronald Reagan.
At least that's the message coming from many Republicans to their party's presidential candidate.
Politico reports that comparisons to the 1980 race - when President Jimmy Carter lost to Reagan in a landslide - just don't hold up.
One Reagan biographer calls the comparison a "stretch" and says Romney needs to do a lot more at this point to win than Reagan did.
For starters, President Barack Obama remains personally popular among Americans despite a grim economy. Obama's approval is at around 50%, compared with 37% for Carter at this point in 1980.
Although Reagan trailed Carter in some polls - kind of like Romney - his unfavorable ratings weren't increasing. Romney just isn't connecting with voters like Reagan did.
What's more, Reagan was the overwhelming favorite of the Republican base; compare that to Romney: Many conservatives have never warmed up to him.
Another big difference between 1980 and today is the electoral map. Reagan ultimately carried one in four Democrats in that election. It's hard to imagine Romney ever pulling that off in today's highly polarized electorate.
Also, 32 years ago there were gas shortages and double-digit inflation and double-digit interest rates - or stagflation.
Nonetheless, one top Romney adviser says the 1980 race shows there's no need to panic if Romney is down in the polls at this point.
Plus it's not the first time Obama - a weakened, liberal incumbent with a troubled economy and problems in the Middle East - has been compared to Carter.
Here’s my question to you: How is Romney-Obama like Reagan-Carter?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
By CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Election Day is six weeks from tomorrow, but tens of millions of Americans will actually cast their ballot before November 6.
Early voting has already started - and by the end of the month voters in 30 states will be able to cast absentee ballots or vote early in person.
This includes voters in key swing states like Iowa, North Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire.
It's expected that more than one-third of voters - or more than 40 million americans - will vote early this year. According to Politico, in 2008, early and absentee voters made up more than half of all voters in some states. In Colorado, 79% of people voted early.
And that's not lost on the candidates. In a tight race, early votes could make the difference in who wins the White House.
Both the Obama and Romney campaigns are working to get their voters out early. It's something the president's campaign did very well last time around..
Early voting has also changed the way candidates and their campaigns approach the elections - and us.
For starters, it's not worth saving up all those precious advertising dollars until the last days and weeks of the campaign if one in three voters will have voted by then.
Also, it increases pressure on the candidates since any gaffe or controversy that happens now could be the last thing early voters remember before they cast their ballot.
And with modern technology and all the problems that can happen at the polls on election day, it seems fair to ask why we even have an Election Day where people have to go to the polls.
Here’s my question to you: How would you change the way we hold elections?
Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.
And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.