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Is Mitt Romney catching up? (+video)

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(Read caption) A close race as presidential elections nears
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Mitt Romney has had a tough time on the campaign trail in recent weeks. He’s had to insist over and over again that he left Bain Capital in 1999, despite Securities and Exchange Commission documents which imply that he didn’t. He’s been forced to defend himself against charges that he was involved in Bain investments in outsourcing firms from that post-1999 period. Plus, lots of folks on cable news – some of them Republicans – keep shouting at him to release more years of personal tax returns.

You’d think that all this controversy might cause him to slip in the polls. But that doesn’t appear to be happening. In fact, according to the Romney campaign, the presumptive GOP nominee is actually catching up.

A new memo out today from Romney campaign pollster Neil Newhouse notes that in April the RealClearPolitics rolling average of major polls put President Obama ahead by 5.3 percentage points. As of July 15, the same RCP measurement had Mr. Obama ahead by only 2.4 percentage points.

Three national polls released since Friday – Rasmussen, Gallup daily tracking, and McClatchy/Marist – show the race to be a dead heat, writes Mr. Newhouse. And this is so, says the Romney official, despite the fact that the Obama campaign has outspent its counterpart two to one on national advertising during the period.

“What has that bought the Democrats? A closer race – Obama has slipped and support for Gov. Romney has increased,” writes Newhouse.

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