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Obama and Romney at the Starting Gate
Townhall.com ^ | April 13, 2012 | Scott Rasmussen

Posted on 04/13/2012 5:34:20 AM PDT by Kaslin

Any doubt that Mitt Romney would win the Republican presidential nomination vanished when Rick Santorum left the race. It also marked the end of Romney's time as the defining figure in the overall contest for the White House.

The GOP nomination process was seen by many as a competition between Romney and an entertaining cast of I'm Not Mitt Romney challengers. Questions were raised about Romney's perceived weaknesses and whether he could win over the hearts and votes of conservatives. But now President Obama moves to center stage and becomes the defining figure of the general election campaign. Now it's about Obama, not Romney, as the election becomes primarily a referendum on his first term in office.

The most important indicator of the president's prospects will be his job-approval rating. That rating will be very close to his share of the vote on Election Day. In 2004, President George W. Bush had a 51 percent job approval rating and won 51 percent of the vote.

Obama's ratings suggest we are heading for a potentially very close race in November. For the past 32 months, the full month approval ratings for the president have been remarkably stable, holding to a very narrow range of 44 percent to 49 percent. People seem to have formed an opinion of the president, love him or hate him, and nothing can change their minds. Those who oppose the president tend to feel more strongly about it than those who support him.

For most of the past three years, the president's ratings have stayed in an even narrower band of 46 percent to 48 percent. Those numbers suggest Obama would earn just under 50 percent of the vote on Election Day. If the president can win over a few more voters and move those numbers up a bit in the coming months, he is very likely to keep his job. If the president's ratings falter, Romney is likely to be moving into the White House next January.

Economic concerns dominate the voters' agenda, and here the numbers for the president are more troubling. Forty-nine percent of the nation's voters trust Romney more than the president when it comes to the economy. Just 39 percent trust Obama more.

That double-digit advantage for Romney is consistent with other data showing a general lack of confidence in the president's economic policies. Only 37 percent give him positive reviews for his handling of the economy so far.

Middle-income voters are especially likely to have more confidence in Romney. Obama does best among those who earn less than $20,000 a year and those who earn more than $100,000 annually.

Especially troubling for the White House is the fact that 20 percent of Democrats trust Romney more than Obama on this core issue.

On other issues, however, Romney and Obama are essentially even. This includes health care, taxes, national security and energy.

Still, in a year when economic concerns trump all other issues, these numbers represent a good starting point for Romney. But what really matters is how voters feel in November. If the economy improves between now and then, confidence in the president's economic policies -- and his job approval ratings -- are sure to improve as well, and he'll be much tougher for Romney to beat.


TOPICS: Editorial; Politics/Elections
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To: arasina
You are projecting your own "feelings" and opinions about Newt Gingrich onto others as if they are truths.

I'm am giving my OPINION here. Of course I think I'm right, but yes, it is what I perceive and believe to be the truth.

I'm sorry, as much as I think Newt is the most qualified and would be a great President (Most likely one of the best) his personality just does not translate well among the electorate. (Just look at the polls)

If the traits are inconspicuous (unnoticeable, unobtrusive, unostentatious), how is it that people supposedly find them unappealing?

I think I used the wrong word: "inconspicuous." I meant there is a feeling out there Newt posses "haughty" traits. There is something about his image which facilitates this unknowingly.

If I'm the only one who perceives this then I guess I am, but I doubt it...

21 posted on 04/13/2012 8:23:37 AM PDT by sirchtruth (Freedom is not free.)
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To: Graewoulf

War ... the dependency class has to see that their gravy train is about to end if they don’t save the Republic from which they are getting their free ride before they will pull together to save the Republic. Human nature really. Black Democrats are still enslaved and still by democrats.


22 posted on 04/13/2012 8:40:49 AM PDT by MHGinTN (Being deceived can be cured.)
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To: sirchtruth

>> I meant there is a feeling out there Newt possesses “haughty” traits. <<

I don’t recall ever coming across an opinion that Newt is “haughty” — not among his supporters and not among the large community of Newt-deniers on FR. I think a lot of us would say he’s a pretty “down-to-earth” guy.

(And after all, his favorite leisure activity seems to be going to the nearest zoo to pet the animals. Seriously!)

On the other hand, according to men who have worked closely with him, like Tom DeLay, Dick Armey, Tom Coburn and Jim Talent, Newt is disorganized, a poor manager, impulsive and maybe even emotionally unstable. In other words, a lot like many professors in the academy, where Newt got his start.

So here’s where I come out on the matter:

A guy with Newt’s personality traits simply can’t put together a successful campaign for POTUS, as has been amply demonstrated by his inability to win solidly conservative states like Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kansas and Louisiana.


23 posted on 04/13/2012 9:01:31 AM PDT by Hawthorn
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To: Hawthorn
I don’t recall ever coming across an opinion that Newt is “haughty” — not among his supporters and not among the large community of Newt-deniers on FR. I think a lot of us would say he’s a pretty “down-to-earth” guy.

Ok, obviously I'm not being very precise trying to get my point across.

It's not us here on FR who perceive him this way. It's not the people who know him and have been around him or his supporters. It's the media and some in the republican party!

A guy with Newt’s personality traits simply can’t put together a successful campaign for POTUS, as has been amply demonstrated by his inability to win solidly conservative states like Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kansas and Louisiana.

Exactly. I think it is because of this perception among people who do not really know him which put him behind. What other explanation is there?

Newt's the one that said, "People do not understand him." How do you think those who do not know him perceive this statement?

24 posted on 04/13/2012 9:44:27 AM PDT by sirchtruth (Freedom is not free.)
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