Skip to comments.Battleground Poll: Obama, Romney in dead heat (Romney 48, Obama 47)
Posted on 05/07/2012 7:26:34 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
A new POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Poll finds a dead heat in the presidential race six months before the election.
Mitt Romney edged out President Barack Obama 48 percent to 47 percent among likely voters, a number well within the margin of error, as Republicans rapidly consolidate behind the likely GOP nominee.
The former Massachusetts governor has opened up a 10-point lead, 48 percent to 38 percent, among independents in a poll conducted Sunday, April 29 through Thursday, May 3 and a 6-point lead among those who describe themselves as extremely likely to vote in November. Obama led Romney by 9 points overall in POLITICOs Februarys poll.
But there are suggestions that these numbers are extremely fluid: Obama holds double-digit leads over the presumptive Republican nominee on issues such as who will better handle foreign policy and who will stand up for the middle class and on sharing your values. But enduring concern about the economy by far the most important issue to voters keeps the president in a tenuous position despite employment numbers that show slight but steady improvement.
While approval of Congress remains in the basement at 13 percent, the poll shows that voters arent inclined to throw all the bums out in another major push for change.
The GOP has taken a narrow 45 percent to 43 percent lead on the generic congressional ballot, according to the poll, and 65 percent believe Republicans will continue to control the House majority after the election. Forty-one percent believe Democrats will keep the Senate majority.
Despite the buzz about who will be Romneys vice presidential pick, nearly two-thirds of respondents said the vice presidential nominee will not affect their vote. Of the 35 percent who said it will have an impact, just 7 percent described the veep choice as extremely important to their decision.
The presidents job approval rating stands at 48 percent, down 5 points from February and a number now equal to the percentage of voters who disapprove of Obamas performance.
The results signal that as the general election phase of the campaign gets under way, who will win the presidency is a jump ball.
A full 91 percent of Republicans support Romney, slightly exceeding the percentage of Democrats who support Obama.
Democratic pollster Celinda Lake, who helped conduct the bipartisan poll, called it a predictable tightening of the race.
You have both sides very consolidated, she said. There are no signs of fissures on either side, but you have the Democrats less enthusiastic than the Republicans.
Americans are split evenly about Obamas economic policies: Forty percent said hes made the economy better; 39 percent said hes made it worse; and 19 percent said hes had no impact on it.
Republican pollster Ed Goeas of The Tarrance Group said the 19 percent who dont think Obama has affected the economy which split 46 percent for Romney and 44 percent for Obama will decide the election.
Do they break to believing the economy is better? Do they break to believing the economy is not better? he said Sunday. Watch that. Its key.
Voters have mixed feelings about the direction of the economy: Forty-two percent believe its growing; 22 percent think its not moving; and 34 percent believe its either in a recession or approaching one.
That split exists despite 59 percent of respondents saying the country is headed down the wrong track. Just one-third believe the country is moving in the right direction, a troublingly low number for any incumbent.
Most respondents have already made up their minds about how to vote in the fall: Forty-three percent said with certainty they will vote to reelect Obama, and 42 percent said they will vote to replace the president. Eleven percent said they will consider voting for someone else.
A gender gap still exists, but it appears to be narrowing. Obama leads among women by 7 percentage points, while Romney has the same lead among male voters. But among women younger than 45 , Obama leads 57 percent to 39 percent. Yet Romney leads among women older than 45, 50 percent to 45 percent. The Republican also leads among white women, 57 percent to 38 percent.
The electorate continues to overwhelmingly agree the most important issues in the election are the economy (28 percent), government spending (17 percent) and jobs (14 percent). A problem for the president: A plurality of voters disapproves of Obamas performance in these three critical areas.
But that doesnt mean Romney has a decisive advantage. On who specifically would better handle job creation, Obama leads Romney, 48 percent to 46 percent. On who would better guide the economy as a whole, Romney leads, 48 percent to 45 percent.
Anti-Obama sentiment continues to be more intense than pro-Obama sentiment. For example, twice as many voters strongly disapprove of the presidents handling of the economy as those who strongly approve. On the budget and spending, its a nearly 3-to-1 ratio.
Romney, a former Bain Capital executive, has pitched himself as a turnaround specialist who can be a strong economic steward. The Obama campaign, trying to disqualify him in the eyes of voters, is working to define him as someone more concerned with creating wealth for himself and his rich friends than with creating jobs for everyday folks.
There are signs that effort is paying dividends and that many voters dont believe Romney feels their pain. Obama has a 10-point edge, 50 percent to 40 percent, on the question of who sharing your values. Obama also has an advantage, 58 percent to 35 percent, on who stands up more for the middle class.
Obamas 10-point edge on the sharing your values question is significant for the president because the issue has historically correlated closely to voter preference in the fall.
For decades, the Democrats were at a disadvantage on shares our values because it was more a moral dimension, Lake said. Now it seems to be more of an economic in-touch-with-my-life-economically dimension. That allows the Democrats to be a lot more competitive on it.
Those numbers help explain why the Romney campaign is trying to keep the election a referendum on Obamas job performance as much as possible, focusing specifically on his stewardship of the economy. The high command in Boston realizes that the more the election is about Romney as the alternative, the harder it will be for him to win.
The unemployment rate, which dipped to 8.1 percent in April despite a tepid number of new jobs because people have stopped looking for work, plays a large role in how voters assess the nations economic health. When read a list of seven indicators, 46 percent identified the number of Americans who have a job as the best way to judge economic strength. One-sixth cited the best indicator of economic strength as their personal ability to pay bills and have some money left over. Only 5 percent named gas prices.
The president has a 13-point edge over Romney, 51 percent to 38 percent, on who is better equipped to handle foreign policy, an area that has been the GOPs domain. The poll was in the field during intensive coverage of the one-year anniversary of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
The president has a historically unusual 6-point edge over Romney on tax policy, but he must tread cautiously. Fifty percent disapprove of his handling of the issue.
While there is general support for high tax rates for millionaires, voters harbor deep suspicions about how Obama would spend the money. Seven in 10 said they want any additional revenue to help pay down the deficit, but 61 percent think the president would use it for increased domestic spending.
A good sign for Romney is that he performed just as well against Obama as a generic, unnamed Republican candidate. Coming out of the primaries, 56 percent of all voters approve of him on a personal level.
The president continues to maintain an impressive reservoir of goodwill among voters. Seventy percent have a positive personal impression of Obama. Only 25 percent disapprove of him personally. But among the one-quarter of voters who like Obama personally but dont like the job hes doing, 68 percent said they will vote to replace him.
The poll asked voters whether Romneys membership in the Mormon Church will affect their vote. While 81 percent insisted it will make no difference, 16 percent acknowledged it makes them less likely to support him. This fits with other public polls.
The POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Poll of 1,000 likely voters was conducted from April 29 to May 3 by The Tarrance Group and Lake Research Partners. The nationwide telephone survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. For the first time, the poll included cellphone users. They make up a quarter of the sample.
Forget this poll and all others taken before. Mitt Romney has not yet begun to really fight Obama. Until we get into August, it’s useless to follow any poll. The vast numbers of American voters are not yet tuned in to the POTUS election.
However, things to note: Obama had a dismal campaign opener in Ohio where he addressed a half filled college arena. Obama poll numbers have been underwater for months, the economy is in deep recession, Obama cannot hold a campaign rally in public, other then on a college campus arena or labor union hall, etc. I predict things will get a lot worse for this failed POTUS, Obama on a number of fronts.
My own demograpics suggest he will lose big time to Romney, not because Romney is overpowering, but... because Obama should be a dogcatcher rather then USA POTUS. Right now, I predict: Romney, 55%, Obama, 45%. Over time, and, as Romney ramps up and gets better known, the polls will really start shifting in Romney’s direction. With luck, Romney could garner 57% of the votes cast versus 43% percent for Obama. Millions of young voters and American Blacks will sit on their hands, come election Day, November, 2012.
Obama will lose, that is certain. But.....the real damage will be the almost destruction of the current Democrat Party. Obama will drag down literally hundreds of Democrat officeholders all across the country. IMHO, The Democrat Party would be wise to broom Obama right now, either by forcing him out of office or, having Obama decline to run for re-election. Anything less means a “train wreck” of devastating dimensions for the Democrat Party.
There needs to be a season but when you have a media obsessed with government there are no limits to that obsession.
I fear we will have Carl Cameron’s smirk with us for eternity.
I prefer Romney win if only because his court picks will probably be more conservative than Obama's, but my fear is a Romney Presidency will do far more damage to conservatives over the long run.
He isn't interested in real reform which means his Presidency will wind up a failure, and even though he is not a conservative, his failure will be used to condemn conservatism overall.
Romney isn’t even the candidate yet.
This is, after all, politico.
If Romney wins (which he won’t), then you can kiss 2016 goodbye.
“It is a very depressing election. No matter who wins, we lose.”
No no no... may not be your Utopia but a Obama win we lose-lose and Romney win we lose some win some.... I’ll take the latter especially when applied to the courts....
We win some, we lose some over the next four years.
Looking further out into the future, I think a Romney presidency likely does tremendous damage to the GOP (not that big a deal to me) and to conservative principles (a huge deal to me).
If his presidency fails, and it will, it will set conservatism back for years. Our chances of electing a true conservative in the future gets much dimmer.
Don't get me wrong, I will vote for him and pray for the best, but it will be with a heavy heart.
I’m 100% for Romney and I will no longer call my stance ABO.
And I’m so sick of these repetivive arguments that I could scream.
I would if everyone could hear me.
We will have that in a few more years if I’m still alive to see it ... I mean hear it.
That is exactly the type of political obliteration that the RATS deserve - from White House to local dog catcher.
I love the thought of Obama losing and dragging all his cronies down with him.
Contrary to popular opinion here, I think Romney has the best chance against Obama of our candidates. I won’t rehash the old arguments here.
The dems lie without shame or hesitation. There was a girl named Margie (I think) on F&F this morning who was claiming Obama would win because he had created so many private sector jobs and people want to see that continue.
It’s amazing how they can say stuff like that and appear to mean it.
“I think in retrospect you will see this moment as the turning point in the polls and all of those yellow states on the electoral college map will go to light blue and even the light blue states such as Pennsylvania and Wisconsin will turn yellow.”
The yellow states will go pink.
Romney should do what Reagan did against Carter, one debate a week or so before the election. All he has to do is look like he’s not a complete idiot and he can win it big.
I'm voting... with my hands on my nose--for Obama-lite. If we let Zero win, we will not the nation that the founders made...
I know we aren't the nation founded, but I think ZERO will SUSPEND the CONSTITUTION if Obamacare is defeated!!
Romney has yet to consolidate the center-right, and might not, and might not have to.
In 1980, with John Anderson, a centrist Republican, and Ed Clark, a libertarian, taking 8 percent of the vote between them, Ronald Reagan, a conservative Republican, still managed to trounce Jimmy Carter, 51 to 41 percent.
There are some differences and some similarities this time. Mitt Romney is a centrist, the Libertarians have a fine candidate (for them) in a former 2-term Republican Governor of New Mexico. The Constitution Party also has a fine candidate, a multi-term Congressman from Virginia (but on how many states, and which states, will he be on the ballot?). Plus, there’s a possibility that Americans Elect will nominate Buddy Roemer, a former Republican Governor of Louisiana, or Rocky Anderson, a former Democratic Mayor of Salt Lake City.
The Democrats will definitely seek to make each of these three candidates viable. I even think they’ll figure things out, and help get them onto the ballot in select states such as Ohio and Virginia.
On the other hand, the Green Party candidate will be a nothing candidate on few ballots.
With continued softness in the economy, it won’t matter. Romney will landslide even with various center-right third party candidates taking significant numbers of votes. (By the way, this is the scenario that is most probable.)
But, should there be a pick-up in the economy, it’s possible the stars will align to the benefit of Mr. Big Ears.
You must remember, that Obama has had a monopoly of time, media worship, and campaign edge for over six months. He has been running for re-election for two years, unopposed from either his own party or any Republican. That Romney is where he is at at this stage is amazing, IMHO. Meanwhile the country is going to hell in a hand basket with a leaderless, egomanic Obama steering the ship of state into failure across the board. Just like Adolf Hitler blamed everyone around him for his Third Reich failure, when the real problem was Hitler himself. And....IMHO, Adolf Hitler and Barack Hussein Obama are one and the same!!!
But......I’ll give you another tidbit. The folks really being hurt by Obama are American Blacks, other minorities and young folks. Witness the job opportunities for these folks. There are literally none, with the exception being, low wage service industry jobs!!! Under the Obama thumb, they will never be free to grow and succeed. Sad!!!
Obama will keep them chained to the bottom of our economic totem pole forever, so that he can remain in power. Obama cares about no one but himself. He must be defeated, so that all Americans can really have the oppotunity to live the true American dream, uninhibited by an oppressive, Obama government. More on that as this campaign moves along.