Is Romney dramatically taking a four-point lead in the Rasmussen poll just statistical noise or a signal that something happened in the race that created a notable shift away from Obama and towards Romney?
As someone who considers Rasmussen to be the gold standard of pollsters, watching Obama lead for the last few days and the race tie up yesterday at 45-45% was disheartening. For the race to make an overnight jump putting Romney up four, 47-43%, is a pleasant surprise -- if it's real.
But what could make it real? What's happened this week that might move the numbers so dramatically and so quickly?
Well, the effect of the trip Romney took overseas that the corrupt media intentionally attempted to trip up might be wearing off. Over the last few days, a number of stories have been written correcting the record and declaring Romney's trip what it really was -- pretty damn successful and impressive.
We've also had Team Obama enter an entirely new phase of nastiness with an ad that outrageously accuses Romney of using vulture capitalism to kill a woman with cancer. Mr. Hope and Change is starting to look like just another failed, desperate, dirt-throwing Chicago politician.
If this shift is real, though, my money is on the one political assault the Romney camp has effectively managed to push through all the noise of nonsense-distractions ginned up by Obama and his Media Palace Guards: Obama ending welfare reform as we know it.
Obama's unilateral, un-Constitutional decision to undermine the vital work requirement in the popular, bipartisan, and very effective Welfare Reform Bill of 1996 might be resonating with voters. It's also Obama stepping into a narrative the Romney campaign is building around him as a big government leftist putting more people on the dole than back to work.
The Obama campaign tried to hit back at Romney by trotting out Bill Clinton, the bill's signer, but Clinton's response was weak stuff. He called Romney's claims "disappointing" and the statement he released pretty much confirmed Romney's claims:
The recently announced waiver policy was originally requested by the Republican governors of Utah and Nevada to achieve more flexibility in designing programs more likely to work in this challenging environment.
"Flexibility," of course, means the Obama definition of work, which includes weight-loss programs and self-help classes.
The other narrative Obama walked into with this reprehensible act was to distance himself from Bill Clinton even as he attempts to run on Clinton's record.
You never really know what will be a defining moment in a presidential election. Many of them sneak up on and surprise those of us who obsess over these things. We never see them coming.
Maybe when the history of Romney v. Obama is written, we will all look back on Obama dismantling welfare reform and point to that as The Moment, and then chuckle over how we missed it.
Or maybe today's Rasmussen poll is just statistical noise.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC