* Bad USA Today poll for Obama:
By more than 2-1, 63%-29%, those surveyed say Romney’s background in business, including his tenure at the private equity firm Bain Capital, would cause him to make good decisions, not bad ones, in dealing with the nation’s economic problems over the next four years.
Jamelle Bouie has noted that we won’t know whether the Bain attacks are working until the fall, when swing voters actually start making their decisions. But this does suggest that Bain attacks have not undermined the presumption of economic competence Romney has been enjoying.
* Alex Burns notes several reasons why these numbers may not be all that significant, though he also notes that the fundamentals remain very tough for Obama.
* Obama is up with a minute-long spot in nine states, a direct appeal to voters to see this election as a choice between two visions for the future, underscoring his hope that it won’t be a referendum on his performance:
The ad takes direct aim at the argument that cutting taxes on the rich and rolling back regulation will solve our economic problems, and makes it clear that the Obama camp is hoping to fight this battle out on tax fairness and entitlements — more favorable turf than the economy.
* Must read from Ed Kilgore on the real strategy behind the claim that Obama “demeans success,” and how it smacks of a threat from the “job creators” that the economy just might not do too well if Obama wins.
* Steve Benen also gets right to the heart of it: If Obama’s larger worldview is genuinely anti-private sector, as conservatives claim, then why the need to consistently lie about what he actually said?
* It’s good to see that CREDO Action has launched a petition pressuring Obama and Mitt Romney to reinstate the expired federal assault weapons ban.
Perhaps the ongoing carnage and death of American voters merits a debate in the context of the presidential campaign about what we should do to stop this from happening?
* Courtesy of Andrew Rosenthal, the fun fact of the day: Only one out of a dozen gun control laws introduced during the last three Congresses has passed into law.
* Rachel Weiner has another one: Obama’s mere presence has been enough to harden public opposition to gun control, which is particularly ironic since he’s done so little on the issue.
* And that gives me a chance to link (a few days late) to Ron Brownstein’s good explainer on why Dems should be cautious about assuming that guns are an automatic loser for them. (Good luck with that.)
* Nate Silver knocks down the ubiquitous assumption that undecided voters always break towards the challenger, though he still foresees some possible structural advantages for Romney.
* Jed Lewison has a good rundown of all the Tweets pillorying the Romney campaign for holding a “didn’t build that” ad with ... federal contractors.
* But today’s award for best political messaging of the day goes, hands down, to Senator Jon Kyl:
“Most prominently, we have a president who talks incessantly about class, particularly the middle class. Maybe you’ve noticed that.”