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2012: Romney ahead in Florida

Here’s our take on the new NBC/WSJ poll: “Despite a volatile and eventful past few weeks in the early presidential contest, President Barack Obama continues to hold a small – and slightly narrowing – lead over Mitt Romney… But given the public’s pessimism about the economy and the direction of the country, Romney finds himself well within striking distance in an election that has the potential to be as close as the 2004 race between Republican George W. Bush and Democrat John Kerry.”

Here’s the Wall Street Journal’s take: “Voters remain deeply pessimistic about the nation's future and uncertain of President Barack Obama's ability to set the economy on the right course… The president tops the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, 47% to 43%, when Americans are asked their choice today for president, a lead little changed from last month and within the poll's margin of error. But the poll found much to stir concern within the burgeoning Obama re-election campaign.”

Romney is up six points (47%-41%) in Florida, according to a new Quinnipiac poll out today. The race was essentially deadlocked earlier this month and Obama had a seven-point lead in March.

Bloomberg: “Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are on track to raise more than $1.5 billion to finance their presidential campaigns, and only an elite segment of the electorate will see them do it: their own donors. … This is the first presidential race since the public financing system was enacted, in time for the 1976 election, in which both candidates shunned all taxpayer money in favor of funding their operations with individual donations. That means they’ll devote more time to gathering cash. Obama already has held more fundraisers for his re-election -- 138 since April 2011 -- than George W. Bush or Bill Clinton during their second presidential campaigns.  So far, Obama and Romney have chosen to conduct their check collecting mostly out of the public eye, hosting off-the-record fundraisers with such celebrities as George Clooney and billionaires, including [Philip] Frost [of Teva Pharmaceuticals].”

John Harwood in the New York Times: “In One Corner, a Champion of Government. In the Other, Its Foe.”