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Pollster.com election algorithm, above (Obama 48.3-45). Here is the electoral map, Obama at 317. No, we are not back to pre-convention baseline.

Bloomberg:

Republican Mitt Romney is facing headwinds in his presidential bid and has scant time to regain his footing after two weeks of distractions that have given President Barack Obama an opening to seize the edge in a close contest.

Even as Romney tried to transform his latest stumble into an attack against Obama, there were indications yesterday that he is failing to win over voters, leaving some Republicans anxious about his prospects, uncomfortable with the tone and management of his campaign and impatient for him to turn the contest around.

Nate Silver:
As I observed on Tuesday, and as The New Republic’s Nate Cohn also found, Barack Obama seems to have received a much clearer bounce in some types of polls than others.

Although there are exceptions on either side, like the Gallup national tracking poll, for the most part Mr. Obama seems to be getting stronger results in polls that use live interviewers and that include cellphones in their samples — enough to suggest that he has a clear advantage in the race.

Gail Collins:
You may be wondering whatever became of Ryan, who was such a big sensation when Romney first picked him as a running mate. Since Tampa, he seems to have fallen off the face of the earth, resurfacing every now and then to put up another ad for re-election to his House seat in Wisconsin.

It’s not all that unusual for a vice-presidential candidate to go low-profile. And it is totally not true that Mitt Romney strapped Paul Ryan to the top of a car and drove him to Canada. Stop spreading rumors!

Reuters:
A Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday showed that more than two in five registered voters, or 43 percent, viewed Romney less favorably after an excerpt of the video was shown to them online.

In the video, Romney portrayed Democratic President Barack Obama's supporters - which he said was 47 percent of the electorate - as people who live off government handouts and do not "care for their lives."

Nearly six in ten, or 59 percent, in the poll said they felt Romney unfairly dismissed almost half of Americans as victims in his remarks made to donors in May at a private event at a luxury home in Florida.

BTW, that same poll has Obama +5 with Likely Voters and +11 (yes, +11) with Registered Voters. Likely Voter screens are bizarre in some polls.

Gallup:

Americans have a more negative than positive immediate reaction to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's comments, secretly caught on video, about the 47% of Americans whom he said are Obama supporters and dependent on the government. Thirty-six percent of voters say Romney's comments make them less likely to vote for him, while 20% say the remarks make them more likely to vote for him, and 43% say the comments won't make a difference.
Pew:
Not only does Obama enjoy a substantial lead in the horserace, he tops Romney on a number of key dimensions. His support is stronger than his rival’s, and is positive rather than negative. Mitt Romney’s backers are more ardent than they were pre-convention, but are still not as enthusiastic as Obama’s. Roughly half of Romney’s supporters say they are voting against Obama rather than for the Republican nominee. With the exception of Bill Clinton in 1992, candidates lacking mostly positive backing have lost in November.
News Hour:
MARK BLUMENTHAL, The Huffington Post: I think one of little nuggets from the Pew Research survey that really stood out for me was the percentage of African-Americans who said that they're paying a lot of attention to the campaign. I think it's 70 percent.

GWEN IFILL: Is that more or less?

MARK BLUMENTHAL: It's exactly the same as in 2008. And if that signals the same level of engagement and turnout, there are a whole bunch of states on the election dashboard we run that are tipping blue, they are going to stay blue that have large African-American populations that will turn out heavily...

ANDREW KOHUT: Well, by gender, we have men about evenly divided between the two candidates and a very sizable Obama margin among women.

There is both an education and an income effect, where the Republican candidate does somewhat better.

But race is the big factor. Romney leads among white voters. And most of that lead is concentrated among working-class white voters, not white college graduates.

So, class matters. Race matters.

One of the interesting things that we have done in this poll is, we have looked at whether racism, a set of attitudes which are correlated with racism has any greater impact on the propensity to vote for Obama than it had in 2008. And it was there in 2008. He won despite still the undercurrent of racism.

We are not a post-racial society. That wasn't true then. But it's no less true now or no more true now.

Harry Enten:
Historic wins within reach for same-sex marriage in November's state ballots

Four states have ballot measures on gay marriage this election, and polling suggests handsome wins in at least three

Mark McKinnon:
Well, the release of the Romney tape was a moment that certainly revealed something about him. But not what I was hoping for. Just the opposite. It reveals a deeply cynical man, who sees the country as completely divided, as two completely different sets of people, and who would likely govern in a way that would only further divide us.
Henry Olsen (AEI):
The problem with Mitt Romney’s comments about the 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay taxes isn’t just that they are highly misleading and damaging politically. They also severely misstate and undermine conservative principles at a time when many Americans desperately want an alternative to Obamaism.
Charles Blow:
Romney’s feeble explanations reek of insincerity and desperation.

And I think I know why: he’s terrified.

Romney is trapped by a desperate desire for legitimacy. He is a square — in more ways than one — trying to squeeze himself into the conservative circle of trust.

Daniel Henninger (WSJ, subscription):
It has been reported that Barack Obama doesn't believe Mitt Romney is up to the responsibilities of the presidential office. This is said to be among the reasons he believes it important to defeat Mr. Romney.

So one must ask: Why does Mitt Romney want to defeat President Obama?

The answer to this question is fading daily from public view. Instead, the subject at the top of most political conversation is the quality of Mr. Romney's campaign staff, especially since Mr. Romney has fallen behind the president in swing-state polls since the conventions. Commenting on these stories, other political professionals are saying the complaints are predictable and dismissible. That is not true.

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