Now that the Republicans have chosen their nominee and polls have started to tighten (no, I'm not referring to Gallup or Rasmussen, but to the latest from Pew) we're seeing something emerge that I think gives President Obama a strong advantage going forward. But you have to dig beyond the horse race numbers that are all the media tends to report.
I have to thank Steven Benen for putting this information from both the latest CNN and WaPo/ABC polls into graph form so its easy to read.
Here's the details from CNN:
And here's the same from WaPo/ABC:
What this tells us runs contrary to much of the media narrative about President Obama over the last few years. No, the American people don't find him weak, elite, professorial and aloof. They find him likable, in touch with their concerns, inspiring, strong, and trustworthy.
While many of us who classify as political junkies tend to focus on the policy and process of this administration, these are the kinds of things low information voters count on to decide who to vote for. Some refer to this as "the guy you'd like to have a beer with" syndrome. But I think it goes deeper than that. It comes down to who you trust to be a good leader. And right now President Obama is beating Romney on that one by a mile.
Of course, this is exactly why folks like Karl Rove will go after President Obama on these very qualities. But I'm betting on the fact that the American people have had over 3 years of watching this President at work. They've made up their minds about him. It will be Romney's job to find a way to pull up his own numbers on these kinds of things. So far, he's not off to a great start on that one.