[iframe src=”http://apps.the-american-interest.com/campaign/index-embed-magic-722.php”]It’s time for another look at the state of the presidential race, and it’s been an interesting two weeks. Going by press reports, President Obama has been on a roll. Attacks on Governor Romney’s record at Bain and demands that he release his tax records seemed to put the former Massachusetts governor and his campaign organization on the back foot.But the polls tell a different story. Looking at what’s happened on the RCP “poll of polls” since early this month, there’s been a clear shift of momentum — towards Governor Romney. At the beginning of July, President Obama seemed to be pulling away. Now the Governor is still behind, but the race has clearly tightened.Some of this is statistical noise; earlier this month the poll of polls was distorted by an anomalous poll that gave the President a 13 point lead. When that poll dropped out of the calculations, the race narrowed. But even discounting the noise, what we see is a close race in which the incumbent has a slight edge with the tendency for the edge to narrow over time.Although there is a lot of predictable grousing from partisans of both candidates, the polls right now don’t look particularly partisan. The latest CBS/NY Times national poll gives Romney a small lead, while Obama’s biggest lead in a current national poll comes from a Fox survey.Probably the brightest spot for President Obama is that polls in the crucial states of Ohio and Colorado still look pretty good for him. Barring a breakthrough somewhere else (Pennsylvania? Wisconsin? Michigan?), Romney needs both of these states to win.For the Romney camp, the news is better in Virginia and Florida where polls show a tightening race. But the best news for the Romney campaign is that economists and groups like the IMF continue to slash their growth forecasts for the US and world economy. A president seeking re-election when the economy is slow is like a swimmer headed upstream against a strong current; if the economy is visibly worsening as Election Day approaches, the incumbent must swim up a waterfall.From where we sit, July is looking like a lost month for both campaigns. President Obama hasn’t been able to get the economy to improve or to come up with a narrative about the economy that makes voters more comfortable with his stewardship and more confident in their future. Governor Romney, on the other hand, continues to be unable to connect with voters on a personal level, and the Obama campaign continues to define him as a a remote, big business corporatist who cares mostly about the rich.On Intrade, the odds on a Romney win have dropped significantly — from as high as 43 percent earlier this month to about 38 percent today. That seems to suggest that Intrade presidential betters are influenced by the tone of MSM coverage as much as by independent study and knowledge. If that’s true, there could be some money to be made by systematically betting against the Intrade conventional wisdom on heavily traded contracts, but Via Meadia on the whole thinks that Powerball tickets are a safer investment than political betting sites.So: the Obama campaign has delivered some hard punches and dented Governor Romney’s image, but this hasn’t improved the President’s position in the polls. The momentum the President had in late June has dissipated, and Governor Romney has resumed his slow upward creep in the polls. On the other hand, if the election were held today, despite a Rasmussen “likely voters” poll that shows Romney slightly up, it appears likely that President Obama would win.