President Obama was counting on being the more likeable one. “Fifty percent of Americans now have a favorable opinion of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, up from 39% in February and his highest by 10 percentage points. His current 41% unfavorable rating, though, leaves him with a net score of +9, after being at -8 in February.”

You can count on Politico to fan the flames. “With memo, race issue flares in campaign.”

Count this among the bad economic news of the week. “Hewlett-Packard is planning to cut about 30,000 jobs to save money that it wants to spend on product development and sales, according to company officials familiar with the plan.” Gulp.

Count on Democrats to do everything to force a massive tax increase. “As for John Boehner’s goal of an early extension of the Bush tax cuts, it’s going to be an uphill climb. Democrats want to raise taxes, not cut them. But at least the GOP will have a coherent growth-and-jobs message. They can tell the public how important it is to avoid falling off the massive tax cliff which looms ahead. Deflationary fears can ease. And they can make it plain to voters that the GOP has a growth message in these perilous economic times, while the Obama Democrats do not.

Count on the Dems to nominate a fatally flawed candidate to run against the reformer-governor. “Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett, who is running against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in the upcoming state recall election, allegedly awarded illegal no-bid contracts to a campaign donor, according to two metal recycling firms who are threatening to sue the city.” Oops.

Count on Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to get down to basics: “If you keep the way these entitlements work intact, with little changes here and there, and then more tax increases, you are just putting us on the European path to austerity.”

Count on Obama’s rewriting of past president’s bios (by “inserting gratuitous references to our Beloved Leader”) to be a favorite metaphor for conservatives. “Let’s set aside the colossal ego of someone who treats his predecessors as mere precursors of himself. . . .And set aside the drooling sycophancy of those dreamed up this scheme, and then carried it out. What’s chilling is that a president who treats his office as nothing more than a prism for reflecting his own virtues, is never going to admit his own policies might be why we are experiencing the slowest economic recovery in modern history, persistent high unemployment, the collapse of respect for America around the world – and why 70% of polled Americans say we’re on the wrong track.”

Count on the pundits who rushed to judgment to ignore this. “Medical examiners found evidence of marijuana in Trayvon Martin’s system after he was fatally shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer, an autopsy report released Thursday shows. . . . Also in the package is a photo of suspect George Zimmerman with a bloody nose taken the night of the fight. A paramedic report says Zimmerman had a 1-inch laceration on his head and forehead abrasion.” Hmm. None of this was in the prosecutor’s charging document, was it?

Count on more of this. Notice that “media inquiries into Romney’s Mormon faith is deemed as not only legitimate but necessary, whereas inquiries into the Obama-Wright relationship was (and is) [sic] considered insignificant, unrevealing, and even unseemly? There’s a deep theological reason that explains this difference in approach: Romney is a Republican, while Obama is a (liberal) Democrat.” Indeed.