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2012: Another poll, another virtual tie

A CBS poll shows Obama and Romney essentially tied, with Obama up 46-45%. The headline of the poll story, though: “Ahead of speech, Romney faces empathy gap.” From the story: “Only 41 percent of Americans said Romney understands their needs and problems, compared to 54 percent who feel Mr. Obama understands their needs and problems.” 

“If the presidential election were held today, Romney and Obama would be more or less tied, the latest polls show. But on one voter test, Obama has a clear advantage: Whom would you rather have a beer with?” AP writes. “Or, if you don’t drink (as Romney doesn't), whom would you rather have a cup of coffee with? Or take with you on a road trip (with or without your dog)? Or invite over for dinner? Simply put, there is a likability gap. This may seem trivial compared to questions like, say, which candidate you think will better revive the economy or safeguard the nation’s nuclear weapons. But election after election has demonstrated that how voters feel about their candidate matters. A lot. It buoyed Ronald Reagan and helped sink John Kerry.” 

“A Pew Research Center survey shows an overwhelming majority of people have high regard for those they consider wealthy, with almost half saying they’re smarter and harder workers. At the same time, a majority says the wealthy are greedy and pay too little in taxes. One-third say they’re dishonest,” Bloomberg writes. “More than six in 10 Americans say the Republican Party, which is holding its national convention this week, favors the wealthy, according to the poll released today.”

“The price tags this year are expected to be nearly $55 million for the Democrats and roughly $73 million for the GOP,” the New York Daily News writes. “Funding for the spectacles starts on one’s tax return, with the box titled ‘Presidential Election Campaign’ that offers each taxpayer the option of putting $3 in taxes toward the public campaign financing system. Roughly one-third of taxpayers check the box. From that pot of gold, the Federal Elections Commission this year is throwing each party $18.2 million in convention cash. And Congress gives each party an additional $50 million to offset the convention security costs taken on by state and local agencies.”

CONNECTICUT: “A new Quinnipiac poll in Connecticut finds Linda McMahon (R) edging Rep. Chris Murphy (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 49% to 46%,” Political Wire writes  

The Philadelphia Daily News: “Arlen Specter has been hospitalized with a serious illness, friends of the former longtime U.S. senator have confirmed.”