* Obama is more trusted than Romney on job creation — according to Rasmussen! This comes after CNN and the Post both found them tied on the economy, so it’s fair to ask if Obama is successfully neutralizing Romney’s main advantage.
* Jonathan Cohn: Romney is avoiding specifics on everything from Medicare to Obamacare to taxes because specificity would make his plans less popular by revealing how they would actually impact people.
* CNN finds Obama’s approval rating up three points, to 51 percent; the question now is whether the bump will hold.
* That tracks with Gallup’s final convention analysis, which finds Obama enjoyed a three point approval bump to 50 percent — or more than three points, if you look at his six point lead over Romney.
* Also: Gallup’s economic confidence index surged last week and stayed high after the weak jobs report, meaning the convention may have been responsible for reviving optimism about the economy.
* And Ed Kilgore points out in a good post that the surge in confidence was partly driven by independents, not just Democrats. As Kilgore asks, was the convention “a rhetorical stimulus package”?
* Pew finds that Republicans are hearing bad news about the economy in far greater numbers than either independents or Democrats.
* Joseph Cera offers a political scientist’s version of my theory of the race, i.e., that voters may be taking a longer and more nuanced view of the economy and Obama presidency than the Romney camp anticipated.
This, on the problem with the GOP’s "are you better off than you were four years ago” question, is notable:
Although the determinants of the current economic situation are complex, it is very easy to point to the banking collapse at the end of the 2nd Bush term as the origin point for every major economic problem that we currently experience. Rather than being forced to explain the slow pace of the recovery, Democratic speakers were placed in a position where they were essentially being asked to highlight how the Obama administration cleaned up a Bush administration mess.
* What is Romney capable of if he really starts to think he’s losing? Mike Tomasky games out all the potential ugliness, and asks whether there are any more culture-based attacks that voters even care about.
* Today in right wing media, courtesy of Steve Benen: Fox News manages to conclude that the unemployment rate doubled while Obama was in office.
As Benen notes, Fox contributor Laura Ingraham’s question was priceless: “Other than Fox News, where are you really seeing those statistics?”
* I’ve been remiss in not covering the Chicago teachers’ strike, but Laura Clawson points us to a poll showing that despite all the tsk-tsking in the media, a plurality of Chicagoans supports the strike and a majority says Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s handling of it is average or below.
* David Kurtz on Joe Biden’s tragic loss of half his family and what it says about his character and his 9/11 speech.
* Government has exploded in size under President Obama! Or, you know, maybe it hasn’t done that at all .
* Right wing radio hosts are claiming an Obama victory will end the GOP, a hint of the intraparty civil war we may see if he does win, after the right starts claiming a real conservative would have defeated him.
* And Paul Ryan quietly begins running ads in Wisconsin, asking voters...to reelect him to his House seat. Plan B?