Just about all of the economic data tell a similar story. Things are better today than they were in 2011 but not as good as they were earlier in 2012. The trend early in the year was good for the president, but now it's heading the other way. The number of Americans who believe their finances are in good shape is down from four years ago but up from last summer.
In the midst of all of this, 48 percent now trust Romney more than the president on the economy. Forty-four percent (44 percent) trust the president more. The good news for Romney is that he has the advantage on the most important issue of the campaign. The good news for the president is that Romney's advantage has been shrinking in recent months.
In short, the reality the political pundits too often miss is that what happens in the economy matters more than what happens in the campaigns.