* A new NBC/WSJ poll finds almost no Ryan bounce at all: Obama leads by four points, 48-44, down from six in July, and roughly the same as in May. Still, Obama’s numbers on the economy remain upside down at 44-54, and his failure to reach 50 percent suggests a very close race.
Meanwhile, 54 percent say the pick of Ryan will not make a difference to their vote.
* Also interesting from the new poll: Respondents are asked which candidate they agree with more on the Medicare voucher proposal:
Mitt Romney who says this proposal is a good idea because it would strengthen Medicare and reduce government costs for Medicare by giving future seniors more control over their own health care dollars and a choice between traditional Medicare and a variety of private plans.
... or ...
Barack Obama who says this proposal is a bad idea because it would end Medicare as we know it by turning it into a voucher system giving seniors a set amount of money to pay for their health care costs and leaving them to personally cover costs above this amount.
Fifty percent pick Obama; 34 percent pick Romney.
* John Cassidy on how the choice of Paul Ryan shows Mitt Romney has thrown his lot in with the ideological wing of the party — and with an agenda that just isn’t actually feasible in the real world.
* Yes, really: Paul Ryan is now invoking Joe the Plumber to attack Obama’s vision as radical. I recently suggested that the Romney “didn’t build that” attack had echoes of McCain’s Plumber attack; I didn’t expect the Romney campaign to actually resuscitate him.
* Evan McMorris Santoro on the Steve King quote heard ‘round the world: He’s never personally heard of anyone getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest, which perhaps sheds light on the thinking behind the Akin-King measure on “forcible rape.”
* An excellent Post editorial unmasking the more loathesome implications of Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comment — and noting its place in broader efforts to downplay rape to restrict access to abortion.
* Jake Tapper finds evidence that Obama stretched the truth in his remarks yesterday defending the tone of his campaign. Fair enough.
* Josh Barro on what Akin’s comments tell us about life in the right-wing anti-science bubble, and on how jarring it was for Akin to discover how his sentiments are seen outside of it.
* Relatedly, Joe Klein on how Akin is the “symptom of the disease” afflicting the GOP:
How did Todd Akin get nominated for the Senate in the first place? How did Christine O’Donnell in Delaware? How did Donald Trump surge to the top of the early presidential polls after his birther blather became public? Why do so many Republicans have so much trouble with evolution? Climate change? The non-difference between forcible and statutory rape?
* Ben Adler on Ryan’s stubborn refusal to change his most basic economic assumptions, and what that tells us about his alleged policy “seriousness.”
* Coinage of the day: Matt Miller on the “Drawbridge Republicans,” i.e., wealthy Republicans like Romney and Paul Ryan who are trying to pull up the drawbridge behind them, and the incredibly high stakes they’ve created for this election.