This is, I think, the first national poll conducted since Romney was unofficially crowned GOP nominee, which means it’s obligatory blog material even though I’m not sure what it tells us. Ace points to it as a reminder that after all the yelling about Etch-a-Sketch and Hilary Rosen is done, voters will ask themselves one question: “Do I want to sign up for a repeat of the last four years or do I want a chance at something different?” But that’s really just saying that the election will come down to the state of the economy in the fall (which is true). If it’s picking up, voters will take it as proof that they won’t get a repeat of the last four years even if they give O a second term. If it isn’t, they’ll conclude otherwise. What this poll proves, I guess, is that Romney’s fully capable of winning this race as long as The One ends up with no “recovery” trump card to play on him.
Here’s a mighty tasty bit of data from the crosstabs, though:
Note the spread among indies and among women, where it’s much narrower than you’d expect given the Democrats’ “gender gap” advantage. In fact, Obama led Romney head to head on various intangibles polled — who’s smarter, more trustworthy, more honest — but on this killer Q, Romney’s already got a notable lead. That’ll shrink if unemployment does, but it’s nice to start with that advantage.
The poll shows the gender gap may not solely be a problem for the Republican candidate. Women are more likely to back Obama (by 49-41 percent), while men are even more likely to give their support to Romney (by 52-38 percent). The 2008 Fox News national exit poll showed women voted for Obama over Republican John McCain by 13 percentage points (56-43 percent). Historically, exit poll results show women have consistently backed the Democrat over the Republican in presidential elections.
Obama’s overall job approval rating stands at 42 percent, down from 47 percent last month. The drop comes mainly from Democrats: 80 percent approve now, down from 86 percent in March. A 51 percent majority of voters disapproves of the job Obama is doing.
News of a stalled economic recovery has likely contributed to the decline in the president’s approval.
If you’re tired of the “war on women” nonsense, and we all are, look on the bright side: It’s a battle being fought by Democrats defensively, on their own turf. They’ve all but given up on winning men from Romney; their best bet for reelection is to try to offset his advantage with males by building an advantage just as big with women voters. That’s what all the pandering lately is about, and that’s why Romney’s rolling out his own strategy aimed at women. He doesn’t need to win the demographic, just to keep it close so that men carry him over the finish line. Hopefully Rosengate helped a little.
Democrats: Obama Has Dicked Us Around For Four Years, Now It’s Our Turn