It is always possible that the views of pundits including many conservative commentators and activists don’t mesh with the public’s perception. It is even possible that GOP primary voters think not much is wrong with George Bush and a candidate with many of the same attributes would be just fine. ( Interestingly, Romney seems to be banking on the conclusion that it is not enough to be a well rounded conservative–you have to be very different than the current establishment including President Bush. Now perhaps he’s wrong too but does anyone think the research laden and marketing guru Romney would have rolled out an entire communication plan and message without some extensive polling? ) Goodness knows pundits have been wrong before. But certain national polls (coincidentally ones that have the least transparent methodology) don’t really tell us much at this point. Over time and if echoed by other polls, yes. (By the way the only significant state poll average that has moved much lately has been a narrowing of Romney’s lead in NH which is not the result of Thompson who does poorly there.) But a highly negative reaction from the chattering (typing?) class does have real affects on a candidate’s prospects even if regular voters ignore all of us. That type of reaction does affect what other candidates or prospective candidates (Gingrich) do and does impact fundraising which is another indication of support outside the beltway. October will be a telling month.