Swing State Pres

Monday, September 3, 2012

Dashboard Update...You RED It Here First (September 3, 2012)

The Obameter did, indeed, go RED, for the first time since June 11th.  Again, that means the “macro” environment – rising gas prices, lower consumer confidence and a slight downturn in the stock market – is just a tad more favorable for Romney than was true on January 1, 2012.  Let’s see how things look next week after the most important number comes out….the monthly announcement of the unemployment rate.

The big news, with the Republican Convention now in the rear view mirror, is what kind of “bounce” the Romney campaign achieved with their half-a-week infomercial.  It’s really too soon to measure – we’ll need a full week of post-convention polling for that.  But I offer a few delicious tidbits:

·         The only polling with direct insight yet is the Rasmussen Daily tracking.  This shows a 4-point bounce for Romney….a week ago for Fri-Sat-Sun August /24-26, Romney was trailing 44-47; for this past weekend, Fri-Sat-Sun September 1-3, Romney was ahead 48-44.

·         If further polling confirms this bounce level, that would about what Romney have have expected.  Gallup reports that the typical convention bounce is 5 points.

·         Gallup’s daily tracking is reported on a rolling 7-day basis, so it is too early to see if they replicate the Rasmussen finding.  But they did do a survey over August 31-September 1 that yielded some very surprising results:

o        Respondents were asked if the convention made them more or less likely to vote for Romney.  The result was 40% more, 38% less, the rest no change, for a “net” of +2.  That +2 was the lowest since Gallup started doing the survey in 1988.  The highest net went to Bill Clinton in 1992, a whopping net of +45.  The previous low was for John McCain in 2008, +5.  Obama’s was +14 in 2008.

·         Respondents also rated Romney’s speech as the weakest amongst candidates since Gallup started asking this one in 1996.  Only 38% rated it “excellent” or “good.”  Obama’s 2008 speech was the highest rated, at 58%, and McCain received a 47%.

·         Ratings for the last two nights of the convention were 30% lower than in 2008, which is perhaps attributable to the negative (and rather boring) nature of the race thus far, the presence of Sarah Palin in 2008, and also the competition this year from Hurricane Isaac.  It was the lowest rated convention ever.

So, let’s take a wait and see attitude.  We really have to get through the Democratic Convention, which of course is this week, to see what is the “new normal.”

The Obameter.  As said, the Obameter swung Romney’s way, by the slightest of margins, mostly driven by rising gas prices and dipping consumer confidence.

OBAMETER
Baseline




1-Jan
18-Aug
25-Aug
3-Sep
Unemployment Rate
8.7
8.3
8.3
8.3
Consumer Confidence
65.0
65.9
65.4
60.6
Price of Gas (avg for week)
3.32
3.78
3.80
3.84
Dow-Jones (average for week)
    12,076
       13,206
       13,173
       13,085
Romney Favorability (average)
38.0
45.5
45.8
43.6
"Events"
0
5
0
0





Unemployment Rate
8.7
4
4
4
Consumer Confidence
65
1
0
-4
Price of Gas (avg for week)
3.32
-5
-5
-5
Dow-Jones (average for week)
    12,076
11
11
10
Romney Favorability (average)
38
-8
-8
-6
"Events"
0
5
0
0





OBAMETER
0.0
9.1
2.8
-1.1
Obama versus Romney
1.1
3.4
1.3
0.3




The Charisma Factor.   Obama’s “Charisma” lead is solid but narrowing at +3.8.  The tighter the race by Election Day, the more important this “likability” factor becomes.  Undecideds often vote simply on the basis of which candidate they like better.


Fav
Unfav
Net
Obama
49.0
46.0
3.0
Romney
43.6
44.4
-0.8
Net


3.8


Latest National Polling.  You can’t get much tighter than the 0.3-point lead Obama is holding onto right now, with most of the polls occurring pre- or during the convention.


Nat'l Polls
Obama
46.8%
Romney
46.5%
Diff
0.3%


Swing States.   Interestingly, Obama’s swing state margin crept back up to over 2 points, and he now has leads in 10 of the 12 swing states, and four of them by margins of 3 points or more.  This would seem to indicate that the “Ryan Bounce” (that is, the bounce that Romney received when he named Paul Ryan his VP nominee on August 11th) is over.   For instance, Florida, after one brief week in the red, is back in the Obama camp (within the MOE, though), and Virginia and Iowa are also back to blue.  North Carolina remains very close.  The most crucial state of all is probably Ohio, and Obama’s lead jumped to 3 points.  All in all, this remains the most important measure of all….that’s where the resources are being spent, in terms of ad dollars and most candidate visits.

3-Sep
Electoral
Polling
Since
15-Aug

Votes
Obama
Romney
Obama +/-
Pennsylvania
20
50.0
41.0
9.0
New Hampshire
4
51.0
45.0
6.0
Colorado
9
48.0
44.0
4.0
Ohio
18
48.0
45.0
3.0
Nevada
6
48.5
46.0
2.5
Virginia
13
48.5
46.0
2.5
Iowa
6
47.0
45.0
2.0
Florida
29
47.5
46.0
1.5
Michigan
16
47.0
45.8
1.2
Wisconsin
10
48.0
47.3
0.7
North Carolina
15
45.3
46.5
-1.2
Missouri
10
43.7
49.7
-6.0

156


2.1



Electoral College Projection.   Thus Obama’s overall projected Electoral College margin remains impressive, 126 more than Romney.  Look for Romney to pour money into these states, now that the convention is over and he has access to the full campaign kitty.


Solid
Swing
Total
Obama
201
131
332
Romney
181
25
206


Popular Vote Projection.  Obama’s lead in the projected popular vote is now 2.5 points, and he continues to hold a majority of voters.  


Vote
%
Obama
 65,620,120
50.5%
Romney
 62,339,169
48.0%
Other
   1,988,683
1.5%




As always, comments welcome! 


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