* Ezra Klein explains why Republicans support Obamacare’s individual provisions: Dems embraced ideas Republicans used to support, before Obama put his name on them.
* A new NBC/WSJ poll finds that Obama leads Romney among registered voters nationally by 47-44, which is well within the margin of error. But in a dozen swing states, Obama leads by eight, 50-42.
However, economic pessimism is running high, with a plurality of 49 percent saying they’re less optimistic about the economy versus 43 percent who say the reverse.
* More from the NBC poll: 60 percent of Americans think Obama inherited the current economic conditions from his predecessor, versus 26 percent who blame his policies. But:
Yet when asked in a separate question whether the president’s policies have helped or hurt the economy, 33 percent say they’ve hurt; 32 percent say they’ve helped; and another 32 percent answer that they haven’t made much of a difference.
* Dan Balz digs into this: “Mitt Romney says he would lead on immigration, he just won’t say how.”
I’d only add that Romney is accusing Obama of failing to show leadership on an issue that he won't take clear positions on.
* Gallup finds that Obama edges Romney in a variety of personal characteristics, but also finds, perhaps dangerously for Obama, that Romney gets the edge on who can best manage government, 53-45.
Romney has a slight edge on who is a strong and decisive leader, too. This could again be the presumption of competence Romney seems to be enjoying.
* A World Bank economist does a comprehensive analysis and concludes: Democratic Presidents are better for the economy.
Also: Obama ranks ninth out of the last 12, which isn’t great, but he’s also ranked just behind economic miracle worker Ronald Reagain.
* Chart of the day: Mother Jones illustrates the rightward drift of the Supreme Court, which, interestingly, may also be helped by Obama’s choice of two justices who may be less liberal than their predecessors.
* Senate leadership on both sides says a deal has been reached on extending the low student loan rates, averting a showdown that could have blown back in unpredictable ways on both parties.
* But the deal needs approval from House Republicans, and as Alex Bolton notes, they surprised McConnell by not agreeing to his negotiated payroll tax cut deal, throwing the GOP into temporary chaos.
* And forget Florida. Ed Kilgore on how the war on voting (that’s “voter fraud” to you, lib) is alive and well in Iowa. Nifty snark:
There’s not a question in my mind that these people would reinstitute poll taxes if the courts and Grover Norquist would let them.