I actually worked on a senatorial campaign in 1980(a college semester credited project) and I can tell you Jimmy Carter couldn’t inspire a cat to walk out of a paper bag... pretty much any other of the top Republcans who ran for the nomination including George HW Bush in 1980 would have beaten Carter in 1980.. all it took was a decent showing in a debate and Carter was done.. Romney (of 2012) would have destroyed Carter too.... 53% of the electorate were not ready to toss out Obama yesterday no matter who would have run against him..
Whatever. Like I said, he won 49 states in 1984. I don’t GHWB could have done that. And maybe Romney would have beaten Carter. But that still doesn’t make Obama Reagan. Let’s see how his second term goes, and then we can start comparing him to Reagan. It’s not going to happen.
That is the weakness of Romney, he lacked the ability to change anyone’s mind about anything during his years of running, Reagan formed the electorate to fit him, for when that election day came.
The good candidate decides what election day looks like, he inspires his own party deflates the other party, and converts voters to his agenda and his leadership.