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2012: Are you better off?

“Barack Obama, who made history when he was elected president four years ago, would make a different kind of history if he wins re-election in November: The first incumbent in at least a generation to claim a second term when most Americans say they aren't better off than they were when he moved into the Oval Office,” USA Today writes. “In USA TODAY/Gallup Poll nationwide and in the 12 top battleground states, most voters say the situation for them and their families hasn't improved over the past four years, the first time that has happened since Ronald Reagan famously posed the question in his debate with President Carter in 1980 — a contest Carter lost. Even so, President Obama, who in 2008 became the first African American elected president, maintains a slight lead over challenger Mitt Romney in the battleground states likely to decide the election, 47%-44%. That's better than his standing in the non-battleground states, where Romney leads 47%-45%.

In a new Monmouth national poll, Obama leads Romney 45-41% among registered voters, but it’s just 46-45% among the voters most likely to vote.

“Mitt Romney’s cash advantage over President Obama and the Democrats more than doubled in July, as intense Republican fund-raising and heavy spending by Mr. Obama and his allies left Mr. Romney and the Republican National Committee with $62 million more in the bank than the Democrats at the end of last month,” the New York Times writes. “Mr. Obama’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee spent $91 million in July, significantly more than the $75 million the Democrats raised, underscoring the investments Mr. Obama made in technology and field staff as well as nearly $40 million his campaign spent on advertising that month. While Mr. Romney continued to husband his resources for the fall — he spent less than half of what Mr. Obama did on advertising — conservative ‘super PACs’ and other outside groups stepped into the breach, spending millions of dollars on ads attacking Mr. Obama.”

Politico: “Romney opens up big cash lead.”

A CEO who backs Obama for president also gave money to Paul Ryan, CNN Money reports. "I'm squarely a supporter of the president, and he is absolutely the right man for the job," Benioff said Monday. He likes Ryan’s focus on the debt and deficit and “has a long-term vision that is admirable.” But: "I don't think his budget is a good idea in today's world. It would put us back into recession. But he is putting the right issues on the table and has a long-term vision that is admirable."