USA Today poll out
Three remarkable statistics:
(1) Romney's favorable/unfavorable rating is in roughly the same neighborhood as the President's.
(2) Romney gets stronger marks than Obama for handling the economy.
(3) About the same proportion of Republicans say they'll support Romney as Democrats who say they'll back Obama.
Oh -- and the generic congressional poll shows Republicans with a six-point lead -- a shift from the seven-point Democratic lead last August.
It's early, and all this could change. But it's noteworthy.
So why is all this happening? Two meta-reasons, in my view. First, Romney seems to be actually a pretty nice guy, and voters are beginning to see it. Second, the more the President campaigns -- and the more openly partisan he becomes -- the more he becomes a failure in voters' eyes, given his initial promises to bridge the partisan divide. When you're out shouting and name-calling, it's tough to make the argument that the Republicans are the only reason the atmosphere in Washington is so nasty.
Finally, the press. The press coverage of the last week -- from the WaPo anti-Romney bullying story to the cover of Newsweek with the President encircled by a rainbow halo -- reminded Americans that the MSM just isn't credible when it comes to covering the President and his opponents.