Swing State Pres

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dashboard Surprise... (July 24, 2012)

The weekend's political news was overwhelmed by the tragedy in Colorado, which, apart from everything else, demonstrates how campaigns are at times beholden to exogenous events.  All campaigning essentially shut down for three days.  Both candidates were immediately confronted with appropriate responses to the tragedy as well as the gun control issue, an issue neither candidate has wanted to engage.  As of now, neither has strayed from the position that current gun control laws are adequate.

The data for the week, largely collected before the tragedy, was surprising.  A CBS/New York Times poll was quite the outlier, particularly on favorability scores for each candidate.  The result was that there is finally some red ink (that is, Romney ahead) on the Dashboard, on the "Charisma Factor," of all measures.  And the polls tightened both nationally as well as in several swing states.

The Obameter.  The Obameter rose a bit, to +7.9, on the strength of the stock market and a dip in Romney's favorability rating (more on that below).

Obameter







Baseline






1-Jan
25-Jun
2-Jul
9-Jul
16-Jul
23-Jul
Unemployment Rate
8.7
8.2
8.2
8.2
8.2
8.2
Consumer Confidence
65.0
64.9
62.0
62.0
62.0
62.0
Price of Gas (average for week)
3.32
3.49
3.41
3.47
3.43
3.49
Dow-Jones (average for week)
      12,076
      12,724
      12,625
      12,886
      12,669
      12,842
Romney Favorability (average)
38.0
42.7
42.8
45.7
45.3
43.1
"Events"
0
0
5
5
5
5







Unemployment Rate
0.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
Consumer Confidence
0.0
-0.1
-3.0
-3.0
-3.0
-3.0
Price of Gas (average for week)
0.0
-1.7
-0.9
-1.5
-1.1
-1.7
Dow-Jones (average for week)
0.0
6.5
5.5
8.1
5.9
7.7
Romney Favorability (average)
0.0
-4.7
-4.8
-7.7
-7.3
-5.1
"Events"
0.0
0.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0







OBAMETER
0.0
5.0
6.8
5.9
4.5
7.9
Obama versus Romney
1.1
2.1
3.2
0.5
2.1
1.0



The Charisma Factor.   For the first time, Obama has relinquished the "charisma" lead to Romney.  Romney "out-charisma-ing" Obama?  Or anyone for that matter?  Makes me want to re-tool the formula.  But that astonishing NY Times poll showed Obama at 36% favorable to 52% unfavorable, quite different from what other polls show.  And Romney had a very strong Fox poll at 52/40.  Wacky stuff going on.  But the net shows the Charisma Factor at -2.0, favoring Romney.  Even though Romney's favorability scores went down from 45% to 43%, his unfavorability score went down more, and he actually is at a net positive -- for a change.  And Obama suffered the opposite and is thus now at a net zero.


Favorable
Unfavorable
Net
Obama
47.0
47.0
0.0
Romney
43.0
41.0
2.0
Net


-2.0

Latest Polling.  The new polls this week had ironic outcomes….Fox News had Obama up by 4 points, while the CBS/New York Times had Romney up by a point.  Go figure.  The daily tracking polls were more in character, Gallup showing Obama up by 1 point and Rasmussen with Romney up by 3.  Average it all together and Obama comes out very slightly ahead.


Nat'l Polls
Obama
45.0%
Romney
44.8%


Swing States.   Another slew of new states polls also showed modest movement in Romney's direction.  New polls in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Ohio and Colorado showed a narrowing Obama lead.  Iowa and Florida moved a bit Obama's way, and North Carolina actually shows Obama leading by the narrowest of margins.  Thus the only two states among the battlegrounds that have Romney ahead are Missouri and Arizona, and neither of them has seen a poll since June, so who knows. 

These results doubtless reflect Obama's pummeling of Romney on the airwaves in these swing states.  The Obama team has been relentlessly trying to "define" Romney on the various Bain/tax/elitist issues.  Romney, unable to spent what he has raised this early, has been relying on the SuperPAC's to defend him, but they are far more interested in tearing down Obama.  Thus the swing state scorecard looks quite strong for Obama, regardless of the national trends.


Electoral
         Polling
 Since
 July 1

Votes
Obama
Romney
Obama +/-
Virginia
13
46.8
44.0
2.8
Pennsylvania
20
47.5
42.0
5.5
Wisconsin
10
50.0
43.0
7.0
Nevada
6
49.5
44.5
5.0
Ohio
18
47.5
45.0
2.5
Colorado
9
45.0
44.0
1.0
Michigan
16
45.7
44.7
1.0
Iowa
6
48.0
43.0
5.0
Florida
29
46.0
45.4
0.6
North Carolina
15
48.0
47.7
0.3
Missouri
10
42.0
49.0
-7.0
Arizona
11
41.0
54.0
-13.0

163


1.0


Electoral College Projection.   Accordingly, Obama continues to hold the same dominant lead in projected electoral votes.  Ahead in 10 of the 12 swing states, even in some by the slightest of margins, gives him an impressive majority.  If the name of the game is, as David Plouffe says, to win a bunch of swing states by 50-49 margins, the Obama folks are executing that strategy well – for now.


Solid
Swing
Total
Obama
205
142
347
Romney
170
21
191

Popular Vote Projection.  Obama's projected popular vote lead has tightened as well, tough he maintains a near 2-point lead and still cracks the 50% mark…something Bill Clinton never did.


Vote
%
Obama
 65,426,801
50.3%
Romney
 62,526,737
48.1%
Other
   1,988,683
1.5%


As always, comments welcome! 


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