Swing State Pres

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Dashboard is Still Blue....But Polling Tightens (July 9, 2012)

Obama's "winning streak" (pro gay marriage statement, immigration policy change, health care ruling and the latest European debt deal) came to an end with the monthly jobs report announcement on Friday.  Job growth was tepid (+80,000) and the overall rate held at 8.2%.  There are some who believe Obama can't win if that number remains at 8% or above -- no incumbent has ever been re-elected with a number that high – and if that is true Obama has only three more reports to shave a few decimal points off it.  And he has no real chance of enacting any policies that can move the needle, so, like the rest of us, he is hoping the underlying economic forces improve just enough to carry him through.

Of course, the 8% barrier is "conventional wisdom" speaking, the same wisdom that said that a Republican nominee has to win South Carolina to get the nod.  (Romney lost there this year and, voila).  I would argue that Obama has been slightly ahead for quite some time despite three months of less-than-robust economic data…and in part that is because Romney has not really offered a fresh economic program of his own, relaying on his credentials more than any new ideas.  That has made him an easy target for comparisons to the Bush economic agenda.

The Dashboard still is "all blue" for Obama, with him still ahead in each measure.  He is holding firm on the Obameter and the Charisma Factor, but what little polling was done this holiday week moved the needle more toward a dead heat, albeit directionally still in Obama's favor.

The Obameter.  The Obameter has dipped slightly to a +5.9 for Obama….still somewhat favorable for Obama.  As mentioned, the unemployment number held at 8.2%.  The stock market roared a bit in response to the European deal (we've heard and seen that happen before), but that positive for Obama was offset by a rise in Romney's favorability rating, up to 45.7….still a net negative but an encouraging gain for Romney.

OBAMETER














4-Jun
11-Jun
18-Jun
25-Jun
2-Jul
9-Jul
Unemployment Rate (beginning)
8.2
8.2
8.2
8.2
8.2
8.2
Consumer Confidence (end)
64.9
64.9
64.9
64.9
62.0
62.0
Price of Gas (average for month)
3.67
3.63
3.59
3.49
3.41
3.47
Dow-Jones (average for month)
    12,119
      12,332
      12,580
      12,724
      12,625
      12,886
Romney Favorability (average)
44.0
44.0
44.0
42.7
42.8
45.7
"Events"
0
0
0
0
5
5







Unemployment Rate (beginning)
5
5
5
5
5
5
Consumer Confidence (end)
0
0
0
0
-3
-3
Price of Gas (average for month)
-4
-3
-3
-2
-1
-2
Dow-Jones (average for month)
0
3
5
6
5
8
Romney Favorability (average)
-6
-6
-6
-5
-5
-8
"Events"
0
0
0
0
5
5







OBAMETER
-4.2
-1.6
1.2
5.0
6.8
5.9
Obama versus Romney
-2.0
0.7
-1.5
2.1
3.2
0.5


The Charisma Factor.   But despite that nice gain in favorability for Romney, Obama's gain was even better, and thus the "Charisma Factor" swelled to a +9.4 for Obama.  Doubtless reflecting the "winning streak," Obama's favorability rating jumped to an average of 53.3.  This could take a hit once the economic news kicks in.  Obama's attempting to deflect that by introducing a bill to extend the so-called "Bush tax cuts" only for Americans making less than $250,000 for another year.  He is making the point that everyone – both parties – agrees that these cuts should be extended for the middle class, but of course Republicans will not agree to this unless the cuts apply to everyone else, too.  (Thus the stalemate continues.)  So this is for show, to get Republicans on record voting against it, as a way to demonstrate that Obama's hands are tied on the economy and the Republicans are beholden to the rich.

Latest Polling.  There was not much new polling this week, only the ongoing Gallup and Rasmussen daily polls.  Both those polls have generally showed tighter races (and, in the case of right-wing Rasmussen, almost always with a Romney lead) than the more sporadic polls by the major media outlets.  But using those two polls, the race margin narrowed to a mere 0.5 point lead for Obama, with the narrowing occurring over the weekend after the job figures were announced.

Swing States.  There were only two new swing state polls, one in Florida and the other in North Carolina, and both showed a tightening race.  In Florida, Obama's lead narrowed from four points to three, and in North Carolina, Romney's tiny lead increased from one point to two.  Overall Obama remains ahead in 8 out of the 12 swing states, by an average margin of 0.8 points.  He has 5 point leads or more in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Ohio and Colorado, worth 53 delegates.  If you add those to his solid base of 205, you get 258, just 12 shy of the magic 270.  If he can hold those four states, all he has to do is add either Florida or Michigan, or the combo of Wisconsin and Iowa.



Electoral
         Polling
Since 
 6/15

Votes
Obama
Romney
Obama +/-
Pennsylvania
20
45.0
39.0
6.0
Nevada
6
48.0
42.0
6.0
Ohio
18
47.0
41.0
6.0
Colorado
9
48.0
42.5
5.5
Florida
29
45.5
43.0
2.5
Wisconsin
10
46.5
44.0
2.5
Michigan
16
45.7
44.7
1.0
Iowa
6
45.0
44.0
1.0
North Carolina
15
45.0
47.0
-2.0
Virginia
13
43.0
48.0
-5.0
Missouri
10
42.0
49.0
-7.0
Arizona
11
41.0
54.0
-13.0

163


0.8


Electoral College Projection.   Since no swing states changed columns in the last week, Obama continues to have a 100-delegate lead in overall projected electoral votes.  That sounds better than it feels right now!


Solid
Swing
Total
Obama
205
114
319
Romney
170
49
219

Popular Vote Projection.  Our newest tool also shows a slightly tighter than when it was unveiled last week.  Obama still is projected to be capturing more than half the vote (Bill Clinton never did!) but by quite a thin margin.

2 comments:

  1. Tom --

    I was in an elevator at the end of the day today with Bob Woodward and Chris Matthews. They continue to ignore me. However, they were again talking about the Obameter. Matthews said, "I still don't have a line on this guy Tom Gardner. I have found out that he knows Herman Cain."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it's true. I do know Herman Cain. Tell Woodward and Matthews to keep digging, I have more right wing connections than you might think....

      Delete

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