In the 2012 presidential race, there has been a rash of bad news for the challenger. As I understand it (superfucially) presidential races to swing back to the incombent as it gets closer and closer to the election, which means challengers need to build a comfortable lead early on.
The link from Juan Cole has a list of polling problems confronting the Romney campaign, but the news from CNN/NBC/Washington Post polls may be even worse. According to those polls, Obama has pulled even with Romney on the question of who would handle the economy better. That was Romney’s ace in the hole.
“Polling has consistently found that President Obama has the edge over Mitt Romney when it comes to character traits such as likability, honesty and empathy. Obama also has long held a big lead regarding who would best handle social issues. Basically, the only thing Mitt Romney had going for him was that he was perceived as best able to handle the economy, which is the issue voters care most about. After the conventions, however, Romney seems to have lost his main advantage.”
“The post-convention polling shows Obama is now tied or even slightly ahead of Romney on the issue of who would be best for the economy. The CNN poll found among likely voters, 50 percent think Obama would be best able to handle the economy compared to 49 percent for Romney. Just a week earlier, Romney had the edge with 51 percent believing Romney would be better for the economy, and 45 percent chosing Obama.” -Jon Walker of Firedoglake