Pew poll: Obama 49, Romney 45

posted at 8:27 pm on April 17, 2012 by Allahpundit

Original theory: Dude, we got this.

Follow-up theory: Dude, we’re DOA.

New and improved theory: Dude, it’s down to the wire.

As the general election campaign gets underway, Obama’s slim 49% to 45% edge over Mitt Romney is based on his continued support among women, college graduates, blacks, Latinos and lower-income voters. Obama leads Romney by 13 points among women, which is identical to his victory margin over McCain among women four years ago, according to National Election Pool exit polls. Men, who split their vote between Obama (49%) and McCain (48%), are leaning slightly toward Romney today, by a 50% to 44% margin…

Obama has lost support among several groups: Obama carried the independent vote by a margin of 52% to 44% in 2008. Today, 42% of independents favor him, while 48% back Romney. Obama also is faring worse among lower-income voters and those with less education than he did in 2008.

Obama trails Romney by a wide margin among white voters (54% Romney, 39% Obama), though that is little changed from 2008. But Obama has lost ground among certain groups of white voters. In 2008, whites with household incomes under $50,000 favored McCain over Obama by a slim 51% to 47% margin. Today, lower-income whites favor Romney over Obama by a 16-point margin (54% to 38%).

Follow the link for a useful side-by-side comparison of O’s numbers against McCain across various demographics and his current numbers against Romney. (Here’s the data about the sample. It’s based on 3,008 adults but only 2,841 identify as Democrat, Republican, or independent — and only 2,373 are registered voters. Among self-identified respondents, the split is 32.7D/27.7R/39.6I.) Dave Weigel’s right: In key groups that Dems are worried about, most notably independents and seniors, right now Obama’s off his 2008 pace and is doing just barely well enough to lead. In fact, Ron Brownstein took a hard look at all four major polls released over the last few days and spotted a pattern:

Even with their modest variations, these four surveys paint a similar picture. Obama is largely holding the minority and college-educated white women who comprise two pillars of the modern Democratic base (along with young people.) But he is facing erosion among blue-collar white men and struggling to maintain even his modest 2008 support among the two swing quadrants in the white electorate: the college-plus white men and non-college white women.

For the moment, that division of allegiances is enough to provide Obama an overall advantage (he would lead slightly even in the Gallup track if the minority share of the vote was adjusted to its level in 2008). But it’s not enough of an edge for him to breathe easy-and the fact that most of the white electorate is resisting him at least as much as it did in 2008 suggests he may never entirely get to such a comfortable place before November, even if he remains ahead overall.

No margin for error for The One this time. Meanwhile, CNN has new numbers via their screwy data set from yesterday, for what it’s worth: Romney’s favorable rating is up 10 points since February to 44 percent and his unfavorables are down 11 points to 43 percent. He still trails O in favorability and likely always will, but narrowing the spread at least reduces the chance that the “likability gap” will move votes among undecideds at the last minute. Then again, Romney may be benefiting here from a honeymoon period with the public now that he’s all but clinched the nomination. We’ll see what happens to these numbers once he and O start throwing roundhouses.

I’ll leave you with two noteworthy bits from the Pew poll. First, the shame of Republican negligence on spending:

Lots of factors help explain those 2004 numbers. One: The deficit was in fact much smaller pre-recession. Two: The war on terror was a top Republican priority at the time, and hawkish voters typically are willing to run deficits to justify a war effort. Three: There’s an obvious partisan effect here. Republicans clearly cut Dubya some slack early on (although a sizable majority were worried about deficits again by the time of Bush’s final year) and Democrats actually got more comfortable with the deficit after Obama took office despite the explosion of red ink. Even so, you’ve got a clear majority of Dems and indies worried about deficits across an eight-year span here but not until sometime between 2004 and 2008 do Republicans catch up. Note to GOPers: When you’re asked whether balancing the books is “very important” to your vote, the answer is yes.

Then there’s this:

Note the last four lines in particular. I flagged another poll showing something similar a few months ago but can’t find it in the archives right now. Plain and simple: For all the hype about conservatives and tea partiers feeling disgruntled about Romney, there’s no reason to think they’re staying home because of it. On the contrary, it’s the centrists who seem to be wavering on Mitt. That’s perfectly logical — centrists will consider voting for Obama whereas right-wingers won’t — but the myth of the spiteful anti-Romney grassroots conservative will feature in many an election story to come this year. Bear these numbers in mind whenever you come across it.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Is it possible that some Republicans are so angry at the system they tell the pollsters they are voting for Obama just to throw the polls off? I’ve been tempted at times to do that. If even one or two percent are gaming the polls that way, the pundits may have a major surprise in November.

Aardvark on April 18, 2012 at 12:45 AM

the myth of the spiteful anti-Romney grassroots conservative

It’s not a myth. And it won’t be reflected in favorability polls, it will be reflected in the likely voter screen. We’re not going to vote for Obama. We’re also not going to vote for Mitt Romney.

alwaysfiredup on April 18, 2012 at 12:51 AM

Rmoney™ will coast to an easy victory. There is no doubt, barring some huge unforeseen catastrophe.

Bmore on April 17, 2012 at 8:50 PM

..tasting..one..two..three..tasting..

The War Planner on April 18, 2012 at 1:29 AM

Bmore on April 17, 2012 at 8:50 PM

..I wanted to see if I could rip you off, Bmore, without looking up the HTML.

The War Planner on April 18, 2012 at 1:30 AM

..I wanted to see if I could rip you off, Bmore, without looking up the HTML.

The War Planner on April 18, 2012 at 1:30 AM

; ) Tomorrow is another day.

Bmore on April 18, 2012 at 2:15 AM

We’re not going to vote for Obama. We’re also not going to vote for Mitt Romney.

alwaysfiredup on April 18, 2012 at 12:51 AM

In that case, you are helping to reelect Obama. It’s your right, it’s your vote, you can do as you see fit.

But don’t pretend you aren’t helping to reelect Obama, because that’s what you are doing.

On the bright side, we can ignore your RINO butt from now on, since you are undependable as an ally unless you get your own way, like some toddler. Good riddance, hope you can sleep at night, you filthy traitor.

Adjoran on April 18, 2012 at 6:09 AM

We’re not going to vote for Obama. We’re also not going to vote for Mitt Romney.

alwaysfiredup on April 18, 2012 at 12:51 AM

Wow. I can’t tell you how despicable your attitude is to me. People like you make me sick. Your self-righteousness is pathetic, and wholly unwarranted, since you are unwilling to even take a stand, except for your own smug, sanctimonious sense of self-righteousness. I hope you don’t have children; if you do, I pity them, having parents like you.

You are the worst sort of traitor to this nation if you aren’t willing to choose one candidate over the other; you’re a weak coward of the worst sort.

Your choice is the COWARD’S CHOICE.

mountainaires on April 18, 2012 at 6:55 AM

You are the worst sort of traitor to this nation if you aren’t willing to choose one candidate over the other; you’re a weak coward of the worst sort.

Your choice is the COWARD’S CHOICE.

mountainaires on April 18, 2012 at 6:55 AM

Oh, stuff the hyperbole. Back when Mrs Toxic Unelectable on the ticket in 2008, a lot of moderates were praised for being conscientious enough not to vote for that terrible, terrible ticket. So now not voting for Romney is voting for Obama. People have a choice, and I’m not going to sit here in YOUR sort of self-righteous judgement and condemn them as “traitors” simply because they don’t happen to like Mitt. That sort of garbage is going to harden opposition to him. You’re not going to browbeat people into voting for anyone.

ddrintn on April 18, 2012 at 7:13 AM

This poll weighting is ridiculous — if Obama gets 42% of the I vote, he is going to lose.

TallDave on April 18, 2012 at 7:17 AM

alwaysfiredup on April 18, 2012 at 12:51 AM

You make Sarah Palin sad when you say things like this.

TallDave on April 18, 2012 at 7:20 AM

Is it possible that some Republicans are so angry at the system they tell the pollsters they are voting for Obama just to throw the polls off? I’ve been tempted at times to do that. If even one or two percent are gaming the polls that way, the pundits may have a major surprise in November.

Aardvark on April 18, 2012 at 12:45 AM

Oooooh, just had another flashback to 2008.

ddrintn on April 18, 2012 at 7:30 AM

We’re not going to vote for Obama. We’re also not going to vote for Mitt Romney.

alwaysfiredup on April 18, 2012 at 12:51 AM

That’s because this election is all about YOU. Whiny little beta males the lot of you. Grow a pair, why don’t you.

MaggiePoo on April 18, 2012 at 8:19 AM

alwaysfiredup

you are not living up to your screen moniker

audiotom on April 18, 2012 at 8:42 AM

Oh, stuff the hyperbole. Back when Mrs Toxic Unelectable on the ticket in 2008, ……
ddrintn on April 18, 2012 at 7:13 AM

what the hell are you talking about man. obama picked biden NOT hillary. jeez.

t8stlikchkn on April 18, 2012 at 12:46 PM

We’re not going to vote for Obama. We’re also not going to vote for Mitt Romney.

alwaysfiredup on April 18, 2012 at 12:51 AM

its cool. dont listen to these people man. the productive have always been willing to carry the dreck of society who are riding in the wagon. we’ll cover for you; and do the heavy lift. relax there in the back of the wagon with the obamabots.

t8stlikchkn on April 18, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Gallup Poll in April

1956:

EISENHOWER: 56
Stevenson: 42

1960:

KENNEDY: 48
Nixon: 47

1964:

JOHNSON: 65
Goldwater: 29

1968:

NIXON: 43
Humphrey: 34

1972:

NIXON: 53
McGovern: 34

1976:

CARTER: 49
Ford: 43

1980:

Carter: 41
REAGAN: 34

1984:

REAGAN: 54
Mondale: 41

1988:

BUSH: 45
Dukakis: 43

1992: (gap closed by end of April and Clinton took the lead for good in June)

CLINTON: 25
Bush: 44

1996:

CLINTON: 49
Dole: 35

2000:

BUSH: 47
Gore: 41

2004:

BUSH: 48
Kerry: 46

2008:

OBAMA: 45
McCain: 43

Resist We Much on April 18, 2012 at 1:00 PM

No wonder they’re called “Pew”!!!

Colatteral Damage on April 18, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Comment pages: 1 2