http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...8b6262c-03d9-11e2-8102-ebee9c66e190_blog.html Why Obama is winning The Morning Plum: Why Obama is winning By Greg Sargent A new National Journal/Heartland Monitor Poll out this morning finds Obama leading Mitt Romney nationally by 50-43 among likely voters. The poll probes voter attitudes towards the economy in a very interesting way that really explains why Obama may be winning re-election. The key takeaway is the pollâs confirmation that Romneyâs theory of the race â which is built on the âare you better offâ question â seems to be flawed, as Iâve repeated far too often. Ron Brownstein explains: The survey also shows why it may be difficult for Republicans to center the election on the famous Ronald Reagan question to voters that the party highlighted at its national convention last month: Are you better off than you were four years ago? That question divides likely voters almost exactly in thirds: in the poll, 31 percent say they are better off than four years ago, while 34 percent say they are worse off and 34 percent say they are about the same. Romney, predictably, wins more than four-fifths of voters who say they are worse off; the president, equally unsurprisingly, attracts almost nine in 10 of those who consider themselves better off. Crucially, though, Obama holds a commanding 57 percent to 34 percent advantage among those who say their finances are unchanged. One reason for that critical tilt in his direction: Voters who say their finances are unchanged also say, by a resounding 53 percent to 33 percent margin, that they believe the country has been better off over these past four years because Obama, rather than another candidate, won in 2008. Overall, 48 percent say they believe the country is better off because Obama won in 2008, while 41 percent say the nation would be in a stronger position today if another candidate had won. A majority of those who say they remain financially stagnant still support Obama and say the country overall is better off because of his presidency. People are just not holding Obama responsible for our economic woes in the manner Romney had hoped. Thereâs also this: In a related finding, 47 percent of likely voters said they believed Obamaâs economic policies helped âavoid an even worse economic crisis and are laying the foundation for our eventual economic recovery.â By contrast, 45 percent said that his agenda has ârun up a record federal deficit while failing to end the recession or slow the record pace of job losses.â Republicans sneer when Dems argue that things could have been worse and are on track to get better later. And itâs a difficult argument to make. But the voters that count just may prove willing to accept this case. Perhaps they are being realistic about the severity of the crisis and depth of our problems, are willing to give Obama more time to fix them, and are concluding Romney doesnât have any answers of his own. Romneyâs initial calculation seemed to be that voters have concluded Obama was such a resounding failure that all he had to do was show up with a smile on his face to win the presidency. That hasnât worked, however, which is why heâs now attacking Obama over anything he can lay his hands on, no matter how trivial or absurd. The economy remains a millstone for Obama, and thereâs a long way to go. But for now, voter thinking about the economy and the Obama presidency simply isnât following Romneyâs script. It may be tracking more with Obamaâs framing of the race, which was forcefully established in Bill Clintonâs convention speech and is being amplified by heavy advertising in the swing states.