Two weeks of Republican and Democratic conventioneering concluded last night with President Obama's speech accepting the nomination of his party. Whether one considered his speech brilliant oratory or just a good effort, in many ways it was typical of speeches given by incumbent presidents.
The Romney vote share has been quietly and slowly increasing for a month. This under-the-radar shift is being driven in part by a simple line from a straightforward political speech. And it has the potential to be a game changer.
If you have limited time to devote to following the presidential election this fall, I suggest you follow the data on just three states: Florida, Virginia, and Ohio. Mitt Romney's only likely path to victory over Barack Obama is to win those three states.
The Obama-Romney margin at the national level, 1.3 percentage points as of today, is right at the edge of conventional levels of statistical significance; the probability that Obama leads Romney in national level voting intentions is about 80 percent.
If this election had been held in the fall of 2011, Obama would have lost. But in the late summer of 2012 he is in reasonably good shape.
Polling shows more support for stricter gun laws than press coverage would suggest. A few new polls show continued broad support for a variety of stronger gun laws, and for the presidential candidates to devote more time to this issue.
For the most part this is to be expected, as Obama has a significant advantage in the youth vote in the general electorate as well, but to see this preference among young service members and veterans may mean that the era when it seemed that Republicans had a lock on the military vote is coming to a close.
While there are ways to present information more effectively, the extensive social science research we review in our New America report suggests that misperceptions are very difficult to counter.
Republicans will almost certainly enjoy an advantage in turnout this year but it won't be because of their greater enthusiasm.
In the days ahead, we should not look at the polling coverage and simply throw up our hands. On the contrary, there are many ways to improve our current gun laws without infringing on the rights of law-abiding citizens.
With 106 days to go, the race for the Presidency is a slug fest that is only going to get tougher and tighter. Here is our up-to-the-minute assessment of the political and economic environment.
Forget his personality. Those pesky voters ultimately want to know what you are planning to do in that public office to alleviate their perennial misery. In this sense, Christie's conservative message is the right kind at the right time: fiscal.
Christie jumped on each news story, using it as further evidence that the legislature couldn't be trusted with taxpayer's money. With no one trying to defend the indefensible, Christie's had an appreciative audience to himself.
If things are so horrible and bad with the economy why haven't Mitt Romney's numbers jumped through the sky and Barack Obama's numbers plummeted in the latest polls? I don't think that any smart reader of polls can tell you today who will win in November, but campaign research suggests that Romney will have a much tougher time than Obama moving forward because of VP pick scrutiny, national debate preparation, the changing of national and international issues will require him to be more specific in his positions, and the like. Obama has the advantage of incumbency and stronger favorability than Romney; Romney's main political advantage is that he's not currently in any elected office to see how he'd perform in this economy. So, if business background is a winning message, where's the Romney effect?
Obama's support is already in the single digits with Republicans. How much less likely to vote for him can Republicans be?
In the last 10 days, team Obama has gone on the offensive, using a two-pronged issue strategy: one economic, and one social, that for about 48 hours put the Romney campaign on its heels.