A new CBS News/New York Times poll that shows Mitt Romney pulling two points ahead of President Obama figures to get plenty of play today. That’s fair enough – what else are we going to talk about on a lazy mid-July day? – but let’s not get carried away about what the results mean, at least not yet.
The poll gives Romney a 45-43 percent edge over Obama, the first time Romney has led in the survey since early January. Obama’s approval rating, according to the poll, has fallen to 44 percent, a drop of four points since last the last survey and a dangerously low level for an incumbent. A key reason for the change can be found in respondents’ assessment of Obama’s economic record; just 39 percent approve now, compared to 44 percent the last time around.
Given how much of the political media’s recent coverage has been focused on Romney’s taxes and business background and his (supposedly) blundering and inept campaign, the results certainly raise the question of whether any of it has mattered at all to voters, and if the Romney campaign’s decision to simply run against the “Obama economy” and say nothing else might end up working after all.
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