1. New political science study suggests vagueness is a real asset for candidates; Dylan Matthews reports.
2. A broader look at the post-debate polls…and the post-convention polls, in light of the fundamentals models. By Matthew Dickinson.
3. Of course I’m with Ezra Klein, who says that he’ll “take political scientists looking at thousands of polls over multiple elections over pundits freaking out after the first few polls following the first presidential debate.”
4. A great timeline of Mitt Romney’s position(s) on taxes during this campaign, from Travis Waldron. Note: published late this morning, so it could need updating.
5. Andrew Sullivan on Mitt Romney’s tax plan: “show us the math.”
6. Is Romney’s tax plan even fuzzier now? Suzy Khimm has the details.
7. Ed Kilgore argues that the key goal for Barack Obama in the rest of the debates is to explode the myth that Mitt Romney is a moderate.
8. Or, as Kevin Drum has it: “Romney's business career taught him a lot about the power of market research and brand management. It's nice that he's found a new career where he can put that to use, isn't it?”
10. Claims that the Bureau of Labor Statistics published phony numbers on employment last week are a bad joke, but some might want to know why the two pieces of the BLS picture didn’t appear to match. Lawrence Mishel goes through the numbers carefully, and shows why it happened.
11. But if you’re still in the market for a first-rate Jack Welch takedown, Felix Salmon has it.
12. Great catch from Dana Millbank: Paul Ryan, Darrell Issa, and House Republicans may be upset about Libya now, but they’ve repeatedly voted to slash spending on diplomatic security.
It’s almost as if cutting government spending means cutting the things that government does.
13. The best debate comeback of the year, from Tammy Duckworth.
14. Perceptions of the ideologies of Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown in Massachusetts, passed along by John Sides.
15. Something to watch: there’s only a minor leadership fight going on right now in the House Democratic caucus, but that’s not going to last. Michael Catalini reports.
16. Abby Rapoport on “True the Vote.”
17. And Jonathan Capehart gets it: “Memo to Democrats: ‘Chill’ the [bleep] out, people.”