Let's start your Thursday off right with a flurry of new polling data. First, the national numbers. Rasmussen's daily tracker shows Governor Romney leading President Obama by four points among likely voters:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows Mitt Romney attracting support from 47% of voters nationwide, while President Obama earns the vote from 43%.
Rasmussen also has fresh data out of Ohio showing both the presidential and the Senate races exactly tied. Gallup's latest tracker also has Romney ahead among registered voters, leading Obama 47-45. The president's job approval/disapproval rating is 45/49. Meanwhile, Purple Insights is out with a new poll of swing state voters, which shows a bump in support for Romney. The former Governor has taken a small lead in three of the four key states surveyed. Before we delve into those specifics, here are some overall numbers from the twelve battleground states covered (New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada):
Head to head: Romney 47, Obama 46
Obama Job approval/disapproval: 43/51
Obama favorability/unfavorability: 47/49
Romney favorability/unfavorability: 45/48
Biden favorability/unfavorability: 41/48
Ryan favorability/unfavorability: 45/39
Notice the only name above water in that bunch. (Caveat: His "not sure" numbers are also the highest). Romney-Ryan lead Obama-Biden on the economy and on which ticket can deliver real change. Obama-Biden lead on Medicare, but not by much -- and this poll was taken before Romney began his onslaught against Obama's cuts. More people support the Romney-Ryan budget than Obama-Biden's. As for the four swing states highlighted in this survey, Romney is now ahead in Florida (by 1), Ohio (by 2) and Virginia (by 3). Obama holds a three-point lead in Colorado. Also revealing, in the three states leaning toward Romney, Obama's job approval is precisely the same: A perilously low 42 percent. In Colorado, it's 45 percent. All of this data is encouraging for Republicans, who have yet to showcase their new ticket at their national convention. Mitt Romney is also sitting on a huge pile of cash, which he can't legally tap until he's officially the nominee. In other words, all of the states in this poll (with the possible exception of the Minnesota head-scratcher) will hear a lot from the GOP campaign in September and October. In any case, this is an extremely tight race.