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Voters Not in Mood for Lofty Promises

President Obama’s attacks on Bain, his deportation order, his gay marriage evolution, his massive spending advantage — all have failed to move the dial nationally, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. The Obama campaign will argue that he’s focusing on gaining an edge in swing states and among certain demographics, but this is still a grim picture for them. Despite his significant advantages during the past few months, his national support has flatlined. What’s going to happen once the fundraising playing field evens out?

Despite months of negative advertising from Mr. Obama and his Democratic allies seeking to further define Mr. Romney as out of touch with the middle class and representative of wealthy interests, the poll shows little evidence of any substantial nationwide shift in attitudes about Mr. Romney. …

The new poll shows that the race remains essentially tied, notwithstanding all of the Washington chatter suggesting that Mr. Romney’s campaign has seemed off-kilter amid attacks on his tenure at Bain Capital and his unwillingness to release more of his tax returns. Forty-five percent say they would vote for Mr. Romney if the election were held now and 43 percent say they would vote for Mr. Obama.

When undecided voters who lean toward a particular candidate are included, Mr. Romney has 47 percent to Mr. Obama’s 46 percent.

The tax return attack on Romney hasn’t worked because the American people don’t get worked up about that issue. The media and political establishments care — the general public not so much.

Obama’s pandering to various interest groups doesn’t seem to have made much of a dent either, and it’s pretty clear why. He can promise whatever he wants, but he’s just not reliable. Americans trusted him in 2008 when he campaigned as a Washington reformer, and it was only after his failures started piling up when he told them about the fine print — that “change takes time” and “doesn’t happen overnight.” People aren’t mad, they’re disappointed, and they’re not likely to be in the mood for lofty promises this time around.