Polls are meaningless, except when they support your point of view or your candidate.
That's why I have to cite the latest Gallup data that has the president with a 4 point lead over Mitt Romney, and, more significantly, a significant lead across 12 battleground states. This latter finding is the first time since Gallup has been tracking Obama vs. Romney that the president has had an advantage in the states most likely to decide the election.
So what's going on here? There has been a lot of news in the recent week, and most of it, as Ed has argued, doesn’t seem to have been good for the president. On the surface, his signature achievement was kicked around — even ridiculed — by the Supreme Court and gas prices passed the $4.00-a-gallon pain threshold. So maybe the poll is wrong. It happens: not only can the screening of respondents and the weighting of results be off, but also on occasion you simply get a bad sample. But, if you, like me, want to have a happy moment, you can think that the long primary season has not only dulled Republicans' enthusiasm for the fight — plenty of evidence for that in the poll, by the way — but also some of their wanderings in the wilderness of right-wing social issues may have caused harm among independent voters. Moreover, perhaps swing voters did not cheer as loudly as core Republicans in response to the spectacle of the Supreme Court handling an important representation of democracy — the duly debated and passed health-care law — as it if it were wet clay to be molded in their image.
Gallup, you are one smart pollster. At least today.