This being the Jewish New Year, a time for reflection, I’m going to heed the calls of some of our more conservative readers and refrain from passing another negative judgment on my old pal Mitt Romney. Instead, I’ll merely pass along ten headlines from the weekend. Once you’ve read and digested them, there’s a little multiple-choice test.
1. “POLL FINDS OBAMA IS ERASING ROMNEY’S EDGE ON ECONOMY” (New York Times, 9/14). From the beginning, the best thing Romney has had going for him is a widespread perception that he would do a better job than President Obama in handling the economy and creating jobs. As recently as July, a CBS News/New York Times poll showed him with an eight-percentage-point lead on this key issue, which has now been erased. According to the latest CBS/Times survey, fifty per cent of respondents said that Obama would do a better job handling the economy, and just forty-four per cent said Romney. Among “likely voters,” Obama’s lead was smaller—one point rather than six—but still.
2. “ROMNEY AT RISK OF LOSING EDGE ON DEFICIT” (Washington Post, 9/16). In most polls, the budget is just about the only other issue where Romney has held an advantage. In an April ABC News/Washington Post poll, for example, he held a whopping lead of seventeen percentage points—fifty-four to thirty-seven—on the question of who would handle the deficit better. But in the most recent ABC/Post poll, that lead has narrowed to just three points. Other polls show a similar trend.