Mitt Romney is out with a new ad on welfare:

In this ad and in the Mitt Romney-Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) campaign rollout, the Republicans are making the case that President Obama never supported work requirements, so the latest change in allowing state waivers is only par for the course. In a larger sense it is part of the underlying theme — What would he do in a second term? — that is aimed at convincing voters that Obama, without a threat of another election, would follow his natural instincts, which are far left, in a second term.

Meanwhile, the Obama team is still tied up in knots over the “Mitt killed her ad.” DNC chairman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), who over the weekend wouldn’t acknowledge that the Obama super PAC is a Democratic group, tried to walk back her dopey attempt at evasion. And Republicans are delighted to send around a reminder of Robert Gibbs’s hypocrisy on outside ads and a clip featuring Gibbs struggling to explain where Obama’s Medicare plan is. It seems that Obama’s team is starting out the day weak on substance and a bit defensive.

A word about the latest national poll from Battleground Poll/Politico showing the race in a statistical dead heat. As a poll of likely voters, it is in line with daily tracking polls from Rasmussen and Gallup. It’s a far cry from CNN and Fox polls of registered voters in which the Democratic portion of the electorate was much higher. The Romney team’s own polling analysis, not surprisingly, mirrors the surveys from Battleground /Rasmussen/Gallup. The pro-Obama media has leapt on the CNN and Fox polls, spinning a storyline that Romney is in all sorts of trouble.

Who’s right? We don’t know and won’t know until we get closer to the election and all the polls start using a likely voter screen. In the meantime, this once again demonstrates the fallacy (and laziness) in spinning “analysis” based solely on polls that may have nothing to do with the reality of the race. For now, watch local polls and coverage in battleground states and check the split in the Democratic-Republican electorate used by pollsters. And then forget it. All of the data will change once the impact of the Ryan selection is felt and both sides hold their conventions. Unfortunately, you’re not going to find such sober restraint in most of the campaign coverage.