By Mark Memmott
The top political story of the day comes from ABC News, The Washington Post and their latest joint poll:
-- The Republican Party has grown dramatically more competitive in public trust to handle the country's most pressing issues, capitalizing on seething economic discontent and doubt about President Obama's performance to challenge the Democrats in midterm election preferences. (ABC News)
-- Republicans have significantly narrowed the gap with Democrats on who is trusted to deal with the country's problems and have sharply reduced several of President Obama's main political advantages. (The Post)
-- ABC writes that "among registered voters in this ... poll, 48% say they'd support the Republican candidate in their congressional district if the midterm elections were today, 45% the Democrat. That's a rare level of GOP support in nearly three decades of polls."
-- The Post says that "Obama's overall approval rating is holding steady, with 51% of respondents giving him positive marks and 46% rating him negatively. On the big domestic issues -- the economy, health care, jobs and the federal budget deficit -- bare majorities of Americans disapprove of the job he is doing."
The results track closely to the numbers at Pollster.com, which collects data from a wide variety of polls to produce trend lines on Obama's approval/disapproval numbers and the generic "Congressional ballot."