In the latest Post-ABC poll, 43 percent of voters express favorable opinions about Obama’s economic agenda, while 40 percent say the same of Romney.

Compare that relative parity on economic plans to the 20-point edge Obama held over McCain in a 2008 election eve poll, and you begin to grasp the challenge before Obama when it comes to winning the economic argument this fall.

Go slightly deeper into the numbers, and Obama’s economic issues are even more acute. Among electorally critical independent voters, nearly three times as many have intensely negative impressions of Obama’s plan than positive ones. The news isn’t great for Romney either, though; independents break exactly 2-to-1 strongly against his economic plan.