Polls are meaningless when they're this far out, but this is the first major national poll since it became apparent that Mitt Romney is the apparent Republican nominee, so let's indulge for a moment: Barack Obama is up over Romney 51% to 45%. If, as the Republicans seem to believe, the entire race is based on the economy, Romney might be in even more trouble. One of the major issues with the Obama/Romney matchup has to do with...

...questions focused on Romney’s wealth, his low tax burden and, relatedly, his ability to connect with average Americans. Notably, 52 percent in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, say the more they hear about Romney the less they like him — double the number who like him more.

Based on his roughly 14 percent tax rate on 2010 income of about $22 million, the public by a broad 66-30 percent says Romney is not paying his fair share of taxes; even nearly half of Republicans say so, as do half of very conservative Americans. The public by 53-36 percent, a 17-point margin, thinks Obama better understands the economic problems people are having. Obama leads Romney by 55-37 percent in trust to better protect the interests of the middle class, and remarkably, by 10 points, 52-42 percent, in trust to handle taxes.

As I said, a poll taken some nine months from Election Day is basically babble. A lot could happen; if Europe were to descend into a second economic crisis and drag us down with them, the whole conversation would change. Romney's vice presidential choice could make a great deal of difference. Hundreds of millions of dollars will be spent trying to convince us all that the president is the anti-Christ. There are basically an infinite number of variables between now and November. But the foundations of the Obama campaign look to be surprisingly solid at this point.