Skip to comments.Battleground Tracking Poll: Dems less enthusiastic
Posted on 10/08/2012 6:43:00 AM PDT by markomalley
ORLANDO, Fla. President Barack Obama has a worsening enthusiasm problem.
A new POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Tracking Poll of likely voters shows Obama ahead of Mitt Romney 49 percent to 48 percent nationally, a statistical tie and a percentage point closer than a week ago.
The head-to-head numbers have held remarkably steady through the past three weeks, but theres been a notable shift of intensity from the Democrats to the Republicans since the party conventions over a month ago. Most of the polls calls were made before Romneys strong performance at the first presidential debate in Denver.
Only 73 percent who support Obama say they are extremely likely to vote, compared to 86 percent who back Romney. Likewise, 84 percent of Republicans say they are extremely likely to vote, compared to 76 percent of Democrats.
Among those extremely likely to vote, Romney actually leads Obama 52 percent to 46 percent. Thats up from a 2-point lead last week. Obama led 50 percent to 47 percent among this group three weeks ago.
The Battleground tracking poll will be performed each week and the results released each Monday through Election Day. This poll was in the field last Monday through Thursday, but about 85 percent of the calls were made before the debate on Wednesday night. The final night of tracking was good for Romney, but its not a big enough sample to report. So this does not reflect any momentum Romney might get from his performance in Denver.
The percentages among key Democratic constituencies who say they are extremely likely to vote should cause concern in Chicago: While 82 percent of whites (who break for Romney by a 15-point margin) say theyre extremely likely to vote, only 71 percent of African-Americans and 70 percent of Latinos do. And just 68 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds, another key Obama constituency, put themselves in the extremely likely to vote category.
The electorate is deeply divided and polarized, which makes 2012 look increasingly like a base election. Whoever runs up their vote count among their core supporters is likely to prevail, which is why these numbers are so significant.
A more energized base frees up Romney to focus more of his energy on wooing independents and others unhappy with the president but not currently supporting him.
The trend lines suggest that Obama will be forced to devote more time than hed like in the final weeks toward motivating African-Americans, Latinos and college kids.
The campaign is juggling the challenge of getting the last persuadable voters and motivating the base, said Celinda Lake, the Democratic pollster who helped conduct the poll.
I think its off to the races, said Republican pollster Ed Goeas of the Tarrance Group, who helped conduct the bipartisan poll.
Part of the problem for Obama is that twice as many voters expect him to win. Regardless of who theyre supporting, 61 percent of those who replied to the poll said they think Obama will eventually prevail compared to 31 percent who said the same for Romney. This could dampen Democratic turnout, so its actually good for Obama that Romneys debate performance will likely narrow this expectations gap.
Romney now leads among independents by 16 points, 51 percent to 35 percent. This is up from 4 points last week. But he still trails in the overall head-to-head numbers because of near monolithic support for Obama among minority Democrats.
Romney is also finally benefiting from revelations about the Obama administration mishandling its response to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya. Obamas lead over Romney on who is better able to handle foreign policy shrank from 12 points to 6 points last week.
Obamas overall job approval stands at 50 percent, with 48 percent disapproving. The presidents personal favorability is 52 percent, with 45 percent viewing him unfavorably.
Romney is no longer underwater on likability, with an identical 47 percent viewing him favorably and unfavorably.
But he has a continuing problem with women, among whom Obama leads by 13 points, 55 percent to 42 percent. Asked about Romney as a person, 51 percent of women say they have an unfavorable impression.
Romney did improve his favorability a little bit, but hes still got major problems in the battleground states and with women, said Lake.
The good news for Obama is that 46 percent are firmly committed to supporting him, while only 41 percent are firm that they will vote to replace him. Nine percent say theyll consider someone else.
The bad news for the incumbent is that he faces an undercurrent of strongly negative feelings that will keep Republicans animated.
Among all likely voters, 54 percent say the country is on the wrong track, and twice as many feel strongly that the country is headed on the wrong track as strongly think its moving in the right direction.
While about the same number of respondents feel strongly positive as strongly negative about the overall job Obama is doing, twice as many strongly disapprove of the presidents handling of the economy as approve and over twice as many people strongly disapprove of Obamas handling of spending and the budget for every person who strongly approves.
Those things are kind of sitting there, said Goeas. Theres a solid wall that [Obamas] hitting that hes going to knock against.
Goeas notes that Obama has been outspending Romney in the battleground states, and he predicts Romney will gain as his ad buys reach parity and the debate sinks in.
Romney spent most of Saturday at the Hilton here preparing for next weeks debate in New York. Ann Romney made a surprise visit to an Orlando victory center to greet Republican volunteers.
Both Romneys look notably more confident in the wake of the Denver debate, and they drew some of their largest crowds of the campaign at Florida rallies on a three-day swing across the Sunshine State this past weekend.
One of the strongest drivers of the vote right now is who voters think would better handle the economy. If someone thinks Romney is better at creating jobs, for example, they are almost certain to support Romney. Romney has maintained a slight advantage on which of the two candidates is best equipped to handle the economy 49 percent to 47 percent and widened his edge on who is best to create jobs 49 percent to 46 percent. A slight majority, 53 percent, disapprove of Obamas handling of the economy.
Just over two-thirds of voters name pocketbook issues as their top concern. Among them, Romney now leads, 53 percent to 43 percent.
If I were the Obama campaign, its the most worrisome number I would look at, said Goeas. This election is going to be about the economy, period,
Obama has a significant advantage over Romney among voters who name the most important issues in the race as national security, education and Medicare.
Asked who is better on Medicare, Obama maintained an 8-point edge. But Romney continues to lead handily among seniors.
Romney continues to trail by 16 points, 56 percent to 40 percent on the question of who fights harder for the middle class. The poll was in the field before Romney apologized Thursday night on Fox News for his 47 percent comments, but the fallout continues as Obama advertises heavily on the footage caught by a hidden camera at a Florida fundraiser.
Obama also expanded his edge on which candidate has a better tax plan from 3 points to 6 points. Romney has begun relentlessly attacking the president for planning to increase taxes if hes elected. The Republican nominee historically holds the edge on this issue, and Romneys campaign said the candidate will emphasize this issue more in coming days.
The POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground poll, conducted by the Tarrance Group and Lake Research Partners, surveyed 1,000 registered likely voters from Oct. 1 to Oct. 4 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
There are a lot of people, on both sides, that can’t even bring themself to vote for the lesser of two evils, if they think both sides cross a certain “red line” of evil. It is the main problem the Dems have this time. Many of them may hate Romney, but they see Obama just as many R’s see him. And for them, he is embarrassing. They simply can’t bring themselves to vote for him so they will sit it out.
Romney will win this. Voter fraud would have to be so rampant as to be obvious to help Obama this time.
Most of the polls calls were made before Romneys strong performance at the first presidential debate in Denver.
“But he has a continuing problem with women, among whom Obama leads by 13 points, 55 percent to 42 percent. Asked about Romney as a person, 51 percent of women say they have an unfavorable impression.”
Where are the SOCCER MOMS? They went dormant in 2008 because the threat of terrorism wasn’t looming. But they were a very real, solid voting block for W over Kerry.
I think the soccer mom has been conveniently forgotten by the lame-stream. Since the Cairo/Libya (under-reported) scandal, the soccer moms who were leaning towards Zero surely must be thinking about who is going to keep America safe from terrorists. Especially after that disgusting apology for a video that was not the real cause. Soccer moms don’t want a leader apologizing to terrorists.
This is where Obama will lose. Obama polls well when someone calls the house and asks “Do you prefer Obama or Romney,” but many of these people will say “Ahh, f*** it,” when confronted with a 20 minute line at the election office.
The only thing Obama can do to energize his base is to sneer and smear Romney. It’s all he knows how to do. He can’t debate Mitt because he can’t be truthful about his beliefs in front of the American public.
That’s why Barry is gonna have to propose some massive new giveaway program to fire-up the takers out there.
My bet is still on Student Loan Forgiveness.
“Thats why Barry is gonna have to propose some massive new giveaway program to fire-up the takers out there.
My bet is still on Student Loan Forgiveness.”
How about Mortgage Default Forgiveness or Credit Card Debt Forgiveness. Or since Obamacare now covers pre-existing medical conditions, how about: you can take out a life insurance policy after a loved one has died...
Even better news the poll is a 49 Dem / 43 Republican split.
“Soccer Mom” is now working at Wal-Mart, Olive Garden, and Whole Foods. That’s just her Monday through Friday schedule. On weekends, she tries not to do corp. retail and works under the table for cash from friends/relatives....
The best news in this poll is that 85% of the respondents were polled before the debate. And still Romney was 16 points ahead with Independents. As you pointed out, it takes a biased Dem/GOP split to get this poll to favor Obama.