* With a weak jobs report on tap, Michael O’Brien smartly notes that the national numbers matter less than the complex calculus swing state voters will make about their own circumstances in the next few months.
* Brian Beutler prepares us for the job numbers, and they look like they’re going to be seen as extremely disappointing, at least in some quarters.
* A new Post poll finds Obama leading Romney among registered voters in Virginia by seven points, 51-44, a state that could be key to offsetting Rust Belt losses.
Economic pessimism is offset by this: “The coalition of Virginians that propelled him to victory in 2008 — young voters, suburban Washingtonians, women and African Americans — is largely intact.”
* Another key finding: According to the Post polling team, Obama is leading Romney by 56-38 among women in Virgina, where Romney is hunting for female votes today and tomorrow.
* By the way: Be sure to check out the Post’s new interactive polling tool, which lets you poke around in the internals and get complete trends over time.
* Legal expert Trevor Morrison explains the signficance of my question about Mitt Romney and Obama’s executive order on torture, and gets at the broader issue: How would Romney legally revive it?
* John Dickerson on how Romney’s empathy deficit and wrongness about the auto-bailout will complicate his quest for the Ohio working class whites who will decide whether he becomes president.
* As Rachel Weiner notes, Elizabeth Warren’s handling of the silly Native America heritage controversy has been inexplicably inept, though Dems continue insisting it’s a minor blip.
Republicans are not on air on Hispanic media AT ALL so far, according to NBC/Smart Media Delta. President Obama, on the other hand, is going unchecked for two weeks, spending $435,000 — and $730,000 total so far this cycle — through mid-May with Hispanic media buys in Denver, Las Vegas, Orlando, Tampa, and Miami....Look at those states where the president is advertising: Colorado, Nevada and Florida. Can Romney win the White House without winning at least ONE Western state?”
* Bold pronouncement of the day: Chuck Schumer has this to say to Capital New York about the Senate map:
“I think every one of our incumbents is going to win.”
* Dem challengers have outraised GOP incumbents in 20 key House races, which could matter in offseting the flood of super PAC money that carries major weight in Congressional races.
* Interesting postscript to the “dead or in jail” Ted Nugent affair:
Nugent, whom Mitt Romney personally reached out to in order to secure his endorsement, told CBS that he spoke with the Romney camp again after the incident and that they “expressed support” for him.
* And Jonathan Capehart gets it exactly right on Ric Grenell:
Grenell should never have taken the job in the first place. But once there, Romney should have defended not only the man but his right to pick him.
Update: I meant to add this one: Jonathan Cohn on what Grenell has revealed about the real Mitt Romney.