Romney's in better shape than the national polls suggest

Though Romney has certainly been bloodied a bit — we all know how he won’t release a lot of his tax returns — the polling from those states and nationally suggests he’s suffered mere flesh wounds. We won’t really know if the Obama campaign managed to cut deeply enough to cause a lingering infection until the general election campaign is in full swing.

But if the infection doesn’t materialize, that will mean the Obama campaign spent tens and tens of millions for nothing. On June 23, Obama was up in the RCP average by 2.4 points. Yesterday, two months later, 1 point. All that spending, and Romney’s position actually improved…

September will begin with Romney holding a gigantic financial advantage — and he will be using it closer to the election, when (assuming it’s well-conceived and useful) such spending will be far more effective than summer ads. Even more important for Romney was his vice-presidential pick. The selection of Paul Ryan has proved to be a spectacular success, and spectacular in unexpected ways.