Swing State Pres

Monday, August 20, 2012

Dashboard Update...It's a Small Bounce After All...But Big Enough to Matter (August 20, 2012)

The early returns on the Paul Ryan pick are modest indeed….a +1 point or so “bounce” for Romney according to the polling I’ve seen.  Nate Silver also saw a +1, and he indicates that the normal bounce for the week following a VP pick is +4.  The key, of course, is whether the VP continues to be a positive or ultimately drags down the ticket (see:  2008 Republicans:  Palin, Sarah).

But in a race this close, that one point makes a difference, especially since a few swing states have swung into the Ryan, er, Romney column.  So while the general macro trends continue to favor Obama, and the national polling showed little change, the swing state margin did tighten up a bit.  We’ll see if it lasts, and if Romney can build on it during the Republican Convention, which begins August 27th, a week from today.

There is consternation in the Obama camp for the insane (forgive the editorial comment) new Voter ID law in Pennsylvania, designed, quite simply, to dampen the Obama vote.  His current 7-11 point margin over Romney in Pennsylvania could be threatened by this punative denial of a basic American right (to vote), echoing the poll taxes and literacy tests that kept the black vote to a minimum in the South for 100 years.  More on this from Wendy on Wednesday.

There was a general hope that the Ryan pick would lead to a welcome national dialogue about the role of government, the size of government, and the proper balance of cost cuts and revenue (tax) enhancements required to bring the deficit under control.  Sadly, that has not happened.  So far the two sides have traded misinformation about Medicare (using so-called “Mediscare” tactics).  Ugh.  I mean, for example, Romney castigated Obama for “cutting” Medicare by $716 million over the next ten years (actually efficiency savings), without noting that Ryan’s Budget plan (which Romney has endorsed) has the exact same $716 million reduction!

The Obameter.  The Obameter held steady at +9.1, a modest decline from last week.  The stock market held recent gains, but Romney’s favorability ratings rose a little and gas prices have been on the rise, resulting in modest net movement downward.

I’m happy to note that the Obameter continues to correlate nicely with the polls.  When I created the Obameter, I noted that there was roughly a 3:1 ratio between the Obameter and the polling differential.  That ratio has been holding up pretty well...this week’s Obameter of +9.1 is 2.7 times Obama’s +3.4 point lead in the national polls.

OBAMETER
Baseline




1-Jan
3-Aug
11-Aug
18-Aug
Unemployment Rate
8.7
8.3
8.3
8.3
Consumer Confidence
65.0
65.9
65.9
65.9
Price of Gas (average for week)
3.32
3.66
3.78
3.78
Dow-Jones (average for week)
    12,076
       13,006
       13,167
       13,206
Romney Favorability (average)
38.0
43.0
44.8
45.5
"Events"
0
5
5
5





Unemployment Rate
8.7
4
4
4
Consumer Confidence
65
1
1
1
Price of Gas (average for week)
3.32
-3
-5
-5
Dow-Jones (average for week)
    12,076
9
11
11
Romney Favorability (average)
38
-5
-7
-8
"Events"
0
5
5
5





OBAMETER
0.0
10.8
9.4
9.1
Obama versus Romney
1.1
3.5
4.7
3.4



The Charisma Factor.   The Charisma Factor has settled in a very favorable range for Obama.  His current favorability rating of nearly 52% is a +7 points over his unfavorability rating, whereas Romney continues to struggle and is a net negative.  As a result, Obama is well ahead (+8.3 in the “net net”), which could serve him well on Election Day when the final undecideds pull the lever, often for the person they simply like better.


Fav
Unfav
Net
Obama
51.8
45.0
6.8
Romney
45.5
47.0
-1.5
Net


8.3


Latest Polling.  There were no new polls this week, apart from the daily tracking from Gallup and Rasmussen.  Surprisingly, Romney is now behind in the Rasmussen, for the first time in a long time.  Overall Obama’s lead is 3.4 points.  Interestingly, at this point in 2008, using the same methodology, RealClearPolitics.com had Obama at +3.0 versus McCain.  Obama stretched that out to a final margin of +7 after the economic disaster and McCain’s uneven response to it, plus Palin’s increasingly erratic performance. 


Nat'l Polls
Obama
47.8%
Romney
44.4%
Diff
3.4%


Swing States.   In the aftermath of the Ryan pick, Virginia and Florida slipped into the Romney camp, and Ohio and Colorado tightened considerably.  So that 1 point bounce for the Ryan pick meant Obama’s swing state margin was cut in half.  I did another swap out…having decided that Missouri was “solid Romney” last week, a new poll came out with the margin at only +1 for Romney.  So I substituted Missouri back in, and took out Arizona which has been in the +10 range for Romney.

19-Aug
Electoral
Polling
Since
Aug 1

Votes
Obama
Romney
Obama +/-
Pennsylvania
20
47.0
42.0
5.0
Nevada
6
49.7
44.7
5.0
Michigan
16
49.0
44.0
5.0
New Hampshire
4
50.0
45.5
4.5
Wisconsin
10
48.0
46.5
1.5
Colorado
9
47.5
46.5
1.0
Ohio
18
45.7
45.3
0.4
Virginia
13
46.5
47.0
-0.5
Missouri
10
44.0
45.0
-1.0
North Carolina
15
46.5
47.5
-1.0
Florida
29
45.0
46.5
-1.5
Iowa
6
44.0
46.0
-2.0

156


1.1


Electoral College Projection.   Given the polls, Obama’s strong swing state lead eroded a bit.  He still is the projected leader but now with under 300 electoral votes.


Solid
Swing
Total
Obama
201
83
284
Romney
181
73
254


Popular Vote Projection.  Obama still maintains a 1.5 point lead in the projected popular vote, and still exceeds the 50% majority mark. 


Vote
%
Obama
 65,412,741
50.3%
Romney
 62,540,257
48.1%
Other
   1,988,683
1.5%


As always, comments welcome!  


2 comments:

  1. Any theories on why Florida turned to Romney? I would have expected Ryan to have the opposite effect on the Medicare beneficiaries.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good question, and hard to tell. My bet is that both Florida polls were taken in the first three days after the announcement, a time when Ryan was being introduced with all the positives: his youth, energy, looks, family story, earnest focus on the deficit. The Medicare story came next, and perhaps was being processed more slowly, if at all initially. As with any "bounce" poll, best to wait a few weeks to see how it shakes out. Florida is going to be a bloody battle....

    ReplyDelete

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