Polls: Presidential race still a dead heat

posted at 1:21 pm on May 7, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Two new polls, one continuing result.  Both a USA Today/Gallup poll taken in 12 swing states and a Politico/GWU poll taken nationwide show the upcoming presidential race to be a dead heat.  In the USAT/Gallup survey, Obama has a narrow two-point lead in the swing states:

The first USA TODAY/Gallup Swing States Poll since the GOP settled on a presumptive nominee shows big challenges for each side: Mitt Romney in generating enthusiasm and a personal connection with his supporters, and Barack Obama in convincing Americans he should be trusted to manage a fragile economy.

The president and the former Massachusetts governor start their head-to-head contest essentially even among registered voters — Obama 47%, Romney 45% — in the dozen battleground states likely to determine the election’s outcome. That’s closer than the lead of 9 percentage points for Obama in the Swing States survey in late March.

But the poll also finds a reversal in what has been a key GOP asset in the five previous battleground surveys taken since last fall: an edge in enthusiasm among voters. For the first time, Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say they are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting — a shift from a 14-percentage-point GOP advantage at the end of last year to an 11-point deficit now.

That sounds more like the fallout of the primary rather than an issue in the general election.  The gift from Hilary Rosen in the form of an attack on Ann Romney sped up the unity process, but it won’t be complete for another few weeks.  Romney hasn’t been an inspirational figure among the activist base, but now that Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have withdrawn, he won’t need to be.  Barack Obama will fire up the GOP base enough, and if Romney continues his attack on Obama’s record on jobs and the economy, he will generate plenty of enthusiasm himself.

The key point from this survey of the 12 states is that even without GOP enthusiasm, the incumbent isn’t scoring above 47%.  That’s not a number for certain defeat, but an incumbent President should be seeing better numbers than that at this point if he expects to get a second term.  Voter already know Obama, and 47% isn’t a number that reflects enthusiasm for continued employment in the position of President.

Romney gets the edge in the new Politico/GWU poll:

A new POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Poll finds a dead heat in the presidential race six months before the election.

Mitt Romney edged out President Barack Obama 48 percent to 47 percent among likely voters, a number well within the margin of error, as Republicans rapidly consolidate behind the likely GOP nominee.

This one has bad news for Obama among independents:

The former Massachusetts governor has opened up a 10-point lead, 48 percent to 38 percent, among independents in a poll conducted Sunday, April 29 through Thursday, May 3 and a 6-point lead among those who describe themselves as “extremely likely” to vote in November. Obama led Romney by 9 points overall in POLITICO’s February’s poll.

But there are suggestions that these numbers are extremely fluid: Obama holds double-digit leads over the presumptive Republican nominee on issues such as who will better handle foreign policy and who will stand up for the middle class and on “sharing your values.” But enduring concern about the economy — by far the most important issue to voters — keeps the president in a tenuous position despite employment numbers that show slight but steady improvement.

That’s actually nonsense. The overall number of jobs has declined over the last two months, which has apparently escaped Politico’s notice.  It only looks like an improvement because of the statistical effect of having so many people leaving the workforce.

The key takeaway here is the standing among independents.  In 2008, Obama won independents by eight points.  If he’s trailing by ten, there is not much chance of him winning a second term, unless Obama and the Democrats can demoralize Republicans and independents into staying home on Election Day.  That’s the strategy behind their relentlessly negative campaign, but it’s not likely to work if the economy keeps sinking over the summer.  The pressure to reject Obama will be too great at that point, and Obama will have more problem getting Democrats to the polls — and to support him when they go.

Note: The D/R/I on the Politico/GWU poll looks pretty decent at 37/34/29, a model that would split the difference between 2008 and 2012.  The USA Today/Gallup poll on swing states didn’t include any of the demographic information, at least not through the USA Today article.


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Obama is sharing my valuables, not my values!

Archivarix on May 7, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Heh. Good one. I’m using that.

Lost in Jersey on May 7, 2012 at 3:05 PM

But Charles Barkley said it’s in the bag. I might as well go fishing.

Wait, what’s that you say? Charles Barkley is a certifiable idiot and a moral leper? Oh, well in that case, I guess I’ll go vote.

OneFreeMan on May 7, 2012 at 2:42 PM

He’s in more commericials than Peyton Manning these days, not that I had any use for Weight Watchers or Staples anyway.

NoDonkey on May 7, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Would you be okay if the GOP nominee ended up being a guy with 10% of the popular vote but who dominated small caucus populated with party hacks?

joana on May 7, 2012 at 2:37 PM

I think even the most optimistic Ron Paul supporters don’t really hope their candidate can win the primaries. What The Uncle angled for from the very beginning is a kingmaker mantle, a good convention slot, and possibly a plum cabinet assignment (up to, though unlikely, a VP slot) for him or his senator son.

Being a moderate Ron Paul supporter who now is gradually warming up to Romney as he demonstrates testosterone, I see giving Ron Paul some respect in exchange for an unequivocal endorsement is a winning strategy on too many levels to count. First, it will keep many of his stoners in the Republican fold, as opposed to voting Johnson, which is what’s going to happen otherwise. And second, unlike his fairly insane foreign policy and immigration stances, Ron Paul’s economic and anti-government message is worth screaming from the rooftops – with all respect due to Mittens, he could could use some conservative backbone in those areas.

Archivarix on May 7, 2012 at 3:07 PM

America getting tired of the Vegas show act?

rubberneck on May 7, 2012 at 3:08 PM

FL is an intelligent HA commenter who sees what the land is doing to the young, a very concerned individual. Both sides are scrooming the future away for the kids, for different reasons, but in the end only for power and glory.

Schadenfreude on May 7, 2012 at 2:57 PM

..1,000% agreement. And, as I said, I appreciate F.L.’s civility and patience. In the final analysis, no matter what happens on 6 November, we’ll all be more or less on the same side: either keeping Romney honest or preparing for the nightmare that will be Obama’s last four(?) years.

The War Planner on May 7, 2012 at 3:09 PM

I see giving Ron Paul some respect in exchange for an unequivocal endorsement is a winning strategy on too many levels to count. First, it will keep many of his stoners in the Republican fold, as opposed to voting Johnson, which is what’s going to happen otherwise. And second, unlike his fairly insane foreign policy and immigration stances, Ron Paul’s economic and anti-government message is worth screaming from the rooftops – with all respect due to Mittens, he could could use some conservative backbone in those areas.

Archivarix on May 7, 2012 at 3:07 PM

..I believe we are in violent agreement on this point. Also, F.R. might be a little off base on his delegate vote calculations, but the one thing that *does* amaze me is how younger folks are drawn to Uncle Ron’s message. There is more to like to than to worry about.

The War Planner on May 7, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Obama is sharing my valuables, not my values!

Archivarix on May 7, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Heh. Good one. I’m using that.

Lost in Jersey on May 7, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Me too !

The much discussed Breitbart / Palin series posted today:

Was Steve Schmidt Qualified to Be McCain’s Campaign Manager?
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/05/07/was-steve-schmidt-qualified-to-be-mccains-campaign-manager

Media and Permanent Political Class Attempt to Rewrite 2008 Election
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2012/05/07/media-and-political-permanent-class-attempt-to-rewrite-2008-election

Who Is the Real Sarah Palin?
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/05/07/who-is-the-real-sarah-palin

Past Is Prologue: Reformers Need Not Apply
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/05/07/past-is-prologue-reformers-need-not-apply

Green eyed Lady on May 7, 2012 at 3:14 PM

one thing that *does* amaze me is how younger folks are drawn to Uncle Ron’s message

That could be because young people tend to be stupid.

Just sayin’.

NoDonkey on May 7, 2012 at 3:14 PM

“Dead heat” my arse.

Obozo is not winning more than 12, 13 states tops.

I’ll give him all of the Northeast (NY, NJ & all of New England) plus IL, CA, OR, WA, and HI. That’ll take care of the “blithering idiot” vote.

That’s not getting you an electoral win. Sorry.

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on May 7, 2012 at 3:16 PM

I’ll give him all of the Northeast (NY, NJ & all of New England) plus IL, CA, OR, WA, and HI. That’ll take care of the “blithering idiot” vote.

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on May 7, 2012 at 3:16 PM

Don’t knock New Jersey off the balance. Chris Christie will throw his full weight (pub intended) into campaigning for him, and he is immensely popular in suburban middle class. More importantly, being a prosecutor at heart, he may choose to unleash the dogs of law enforcement on the ridiculous amount of voter fraud in electoral black holes (pun intended) like Newark and Camden. That alone will paint the state purple, if not outright red – and losing populous New Jersey is game over for Kamrad Obamov.

Archivarix on May 7, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Don’t knock New Jersey off the balance. Chris Christie will throw his full weight (pub intended) into campaigning for him, and he is immensely popular in suburban middle class. More importantly, being a prosecutor at heart, he may choose to unleash the dogs of law enforcement on the ridiculous amount of voter fraud in electoral black holes (pun intended) like Newark and Camden. That alone will paint the state purple, if not outright red – and losing populous New Jersey is game over for Kamrad Obamov.

Archivarix on May 7, 2012 at 3:22 PM

____________________________________

Agreed. If I really wanted to nitpick I could lop off NJ & NH.

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on May 7, 2012 at 3:25 PM

It’s pretty scary and sad that Romney is not pulling ahead of obama. The GOP establishment wanted a mushy PROGRESSIVE (pending) nominee, and now they’ve got him, so, when is their grand ‘master plan’ going to kick in? When is Romney going to start distinguishing himself from obama? When is Romney going to prove that he has what it takes to win in November? When is Romney going to give voters something, anything, to get excited about? Zero passion and zero enthusiasm for, and from, Romney is going to give ‘ZERO’ a second term. Romney had better get off his azz and get to work!

Pork-Chop on May 7, 2012 at 3:29 PM

one thing that *does* amaze me is how younger folks are drawn to Uncle Ron’s message

That could be because young people tend to be stupid.

Just sayin’.

NoDonkey on May 7, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Let’s be kind, and meet in the middle, and just say they are idealistic.

Young, naive, and idealistic. Ron Paul is at the end of his political career not the beginning. What Ron Paul is doing is for the benefit of his son, Senator Rand Paul’s political career, and there is nothing wrong with that, it is what it is. Senator Rand Paul, has many positive fiscal conservative positions.

Dr Evil on May 7, 2012 at 3:32 PM

That’s actually nonsense.

If we had a well educated polity the quote would be accurate. We have never had a well educated polity. Many will vote based upon a lot of misinformation including that of POLITICO.

burt on May 7, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Schadenfreude on May 7, 2012 at 2:57 PM

That’s fine, but, he tends to monopolize many threads, and he shades the facts, which, I agree, does not make him unique.

a capella on May 7, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Let’s be kind, and meet in the middle, and just say they are idealistic.

Young, naive, and idealistic. Ron Paul is at the end of his political career not the beginning. What Ron Paul is doing is for the benefit of his son, Senator Rand Paul’s political career, and there is nothing wrong with that, it is what it is. Senator Rand Paul, has many positive fiscal conservative positions.

Dr Evil on May 7, 2012 at 3:32 PM

..and I see their cleaving to his policies — for what ever reason (I prefer idealistic) — to be a bigger pain in the asss for big-spending libs and RINO R’s that it will be for conservatives.

It will be a coalition that we can work with in the coming years.

The War Planner on May 7, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Dead heat: Hotair believes it. The polling is accurate

Romney ahead: Hotair believes it. The polling is accurate

Obama ahead: Hotair dismisses it. The polling is bullsh*t

Yawn

Dave Rywall on May 7, 2012 at 3:56 PM

“If the press was doing it’s job…

… Barack Obowma would have never been elected President of the United States!” – Andrew Breitbart (RIP)

Seven Percent Solution on May 7, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Obama ahead: Hotair dismisses it. The polling is bullsh*t

Yawn

Dave Rywall on May 7, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Everything Drywall says: Hotair dismisses it. Everything it says is bullsh*t.

GOPRanknFile on May 7, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Most polls slant Dem so Dems, even incumbents, usually underperform the polls.

Obama needs to be at least 5 points ahead going into Election Day. Romney is in good shape so far.

Missy on May 7, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Obama ahead: Hotair dismissesDave Drywall says it. The pollingEverything he says is bullsh*t

Yawn

Dave Rywall on May 7, 2012 at 3:56 PM

_________________________________________

FIFY, champ.

Let’s just see how that November 6th poll turns out, mmkay?

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on May 7, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Romney’s poll numbers are absolutely pitiful!

This is the best he can do against the WORST PRESIDENT EVAH!

Republicans may yet regret allowing the Old Boys Club and Karl Rove to make Milquetoast Mittens the “Chosen One” over other more dynamic people.

Voters will not get off the couch for Mittens unless he has a VP that energizes them…..and, not someone like Nikki Haley!

Sparky5253 on May 7, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Dave Rywall on May 7, 2012 at 3:56 PM

The Poll shows a tie Dave. How’s Hot Air slanting the poll by pointing out they are tied?

Dr Evil on May 7, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Big difference. He now has a record that he can’t hide from nor can the press conspire to cloak from the voting public.

There’s also an opponent who at least appears to actually want to win the election.

The independents are flocking from the One and Done.

He’s Toast.

BTW, loved the SRO crowd at his kickoff campaign at OSU. Oh, wait….

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on May 7, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Don’t worry Obama, Honda and Angryed have already determined the winner.

WeekendAtBernankes on May 7, 2012 at 4:20 PM

Who are they polling, no one I know is going to vote for Obama. Their dreaming.

wi farmgirl on May 7, 2012 at 4:27 PM

If Ron Paul keeps winning he’s going to be the Republican nominee whether you like it or not.

FloatingRock on May 7, 2012 at 2:21 PM

you really need to get off the hard drugs dude … really …

conservative tarheel on May 7, 2012 at 4:28 PM

Obama needs to be at least 5 points ahead going into Election Day. Romney is in good shape so far.

Missy on May 7, 2012 at 4:01 PM

So untrue. Mexicans and dead people (and dead Mexicans, courtesy of Eric Holder) are underrepresented in most polls, and they overwhelmingly vote for the Democrats.

Archivarix on May 7, 2012 at 4:29 PM

If Ron Paul keeps winning he’s going to be the Republican nominee whether you like it or not.

FloatingRock on May 7, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Dude, I supported RP and I still think you’re puffing on some mighty herbs. Best he can reach is 15%. A formidable number, get me right, but half the universe away from the nomination.

Archivarix on May 7, 2012 at 4:31 PM

If Ron Paul keeps winning he’s going to be the Republican nominee whether you like it or not.

FloatingRock on May 7, 2012 at 2:21 PM

lol….hehehe…lol…stop it…yer killin’ me…if I keep laughing this hard, I might break a rib and wet my knickers…my mascara is already running down face…hehehehe….lol…don’t be a Bogart, dude.

Resist We Much on May 7, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Picture of the Day: “Hi, My Name Is Julia!”

http://predicthistunpredictpast.blogspot.com/2012/05/picture-of-day-hi-my-name-is-julia.html

Resist We Much on May 7, 2012 at 4:39 PM

You just know they were hoping for an “I am Julia” movement. We’ll probably see an ad with a series of young girls (who are much more diverse than his campaign staff) repeating this “I am Julia” thing.

WeekendAtBernankes on May 7, 2012 at 4:59 PM

Romney’s poll numbers are absolutely pitiful!

This is the best he can do against the WORST PRESIDENT EVAH!

Republicans may yet regret allowing the Old Boys Club and Karl Rove to make Milquetoast Mittens the “Chosen One” over other more dynamic people.

Voters will not get off the couch for Mittens unless he has a VP that energizes them…..and, not someone like Nikki Haley!

Sparky5253 on May 7, 2012 at 4:05 PM

..calm down, Sparky, you won’t go the distance. Also, before you collapse in a fit of the vapors, I suggest you look at some of the Carter-Reagan polling done in 1980. The predominate (read: not anecdotal, not empirical) sentiment was that there was a big surprise when Reagan trounced the drooling peanut-farmer. Ascribed variously as “What Happened” and “Reagan’s Comeback”, one finds that – using Gallup as a source (albeit quoted on a Free Republic post — that they were running neck and neck in the closing months of the campaign. Moreover, Carter led (sometimes substantially) until late June 1980. He then re-assumed the lead until his meltdown in the last two days before the election.

Also suggest that you study a thing called the “Bradely Effect” and sprinkle in the thought that Romney just got done with one of the more contentious and protracted GOP primary contests with three (four, if you listen to Floating Stone) serious challengers nipping at his heels, his posterior, his privates, etc.

And, old son. anytime you can emerge from a gauntlet like that and square off within the MOE with a a POTUS whose numbers are not above 50%, why, you’re far from pitiful.

Suggest a G&T and a nice lie-down, Sparkles.

The War Planner on May 7, 2012 at 5:03 PM

That could be because young people tend to be stupid.

Just sayin’.

NoDonkey on May 7, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Planning on making that the GOP youth outreach message, are you?

JohnGalt23 on May 7, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Living in New York but voting against the President for the second time and watching the grooming process of Cuomo for 2016. Keep an eye on Andrew and what he says and does, very similar to the POTUS in this respect.

mixplix on May 7, 2012 at 5:16 PM

Living in New York but voting against the President for the second time and watching the grooming process of Cuomo for 2016. Keep an eye on Andrew and what he says and does, very similar to the POTUS in this respect.

mixplix on May 7, 2012 at 5:16 PM

..say, if you’re not too busy this afternoon, would you going downtown and slapping UpperEastSide around a bit?

The War Planner on May 7, 2012 at 5:19 PM

So untrue. Mexicans and dead people (and dead Mexicans, courtesy of Eric Holder) are underrepresented in most polls, and they overwhelmingly vote for the Democrats.

Archivarix on May 7, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Of course there is fraud and illegals voting, but not 5 points’ worth in the polls. Obama needs to be 5 points ahead in the polls in order to actually be within 1-2 points of Romney on Election Day. Then, maybe, he can cheat at the margins enough to win.

If he’s tied in the polls with Romney on November 5th, Romney will win with a margin too big to game.

Missy on May 7, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Not for long! Just like the song says……”We won’t be fooled Again”!

phoebe1 on May 7, 2012 at 5:55 PM

A dead heat is advantage Romney. No doubt about it. The media reports two basic kinds of polls: 1) democrat ahead; and 2) “dead heat” (which means Republican ahead).

Rational Thought on May 7, 2012 at 6:59 PM

The economy sucks. Barring a major scandal from either Romney or Obama, it will be close in November still. If the economy still sucks, Romney wins.

BocaJuniors on May 7, 2012 at 7:17 PM

Once again, it’s a waste of time to try to watch each new poll as if divining tea leaves six months from the election. Every election features a few unforeseeable events which could singly or together turn around a close race. Whoever wins, it will NOT be because they forged ahead in May.

The only interesting point about all the polls so far is that they have one common thread: the incumbent never gets to 50% support among actual voters. That is a big problem for him.

It is NOT CORRECT that Politico hasn’t noticed the declining employment numbers. They see all the same reports we do, they’ve noticed it. They cover it up because they are NOT a news organization. Every one of their principal contributors and founders was a member of the original Journ-O-List, Ezra Klein’s attempt to help leftist journalists manage the news through a back channel among themselves so the public wasn’t exposed to too many raw facts without a common narrative. IOW, propaganda.

And you can bet they are all on his new email list, which used more careful screening to avoid anyone of questionable leftist loyalty so they wouldn’t be outed again.

They are nothing but hack propagandists who should never be linked by an honest site.

Adjoran on May 8, 2012 at 12:26 AM

Consider the candidates running today.

While the ‘conventional wisdom’ was that ANYONE could EASILY beat down 0bama it seems that there is a problem. What is that problem? Could it be the Republican nominee isn’t capable of creating any excitement because he is as liberal as 0bama?

Whatever the reason for it, 0bama still has a good chance at a second term and you cann’t blame this on Bush, Cheney, Palin, Rush, Gingrich, Santorum, the weather, or anyone EXCEPT Romney and his stay at home supporters.

All I’ve got to say to the Willard supporters, after their casting their liberal styled disrespectful ridicule is, thanks for nothing. Thanks for this big fat NOTHING!

DannoJyd on May 8, 2012 at 2:53 AM

Voters will not get off the couch for Mittens unless he has a VP that energizes them…..and, not someone like Nikki Haley!

Sparky5253 on May 7, 2012 at 4:05 PM

I am from MA and a long time Anybody But Mitt proponent and I would crawl through broken glass for miles to vote against the incompetent incumbent, even knowing that my vote is meaningless in my pathetic state.

SittingDeadRed on May 8, 2012 at 4:18 AM

I’ll give him all of the Northeast (NY, NJ & all of New England) plus IL, CA, OR, WA, and HI. That’ll take care of the “blithering idiot” vote.

That’s not getting you an electoral win. Sorry.

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on May 7, 2012 at 3:16 PM

I hold out hope for my neighbors to the north in New Hampshire, for all that’s worth.

SittingDeadRed on May 8, 2012 at 4:19 AM

When the dust settles, I won’t be surprised to see Romney take New York too. People are sick of Øbama, even libtards.

Mojave Mark on May 8, 2012 at 6:59 AM

Austerity? We can’t even defund PBS! I guess the preferred situation is for everyone to be on the government dole since austerity failed in Europe. There’s no amount of money we can’t print and no amount of taxes we can’t force the rich to pay and no amount of money we can’t spend to fix the global economy, if it takes us through triple double inflation. Therefore, go ahead and vote Obama and straight dem ticket.

racquetballer on May 8, 2012 at 8:31 AM

No dead heat now

Today

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows Mitt Romney earning 49% of the vote and President Obama attracting 44% support. Three percent (3%) would vote for a third party candidate, while another three percent (3%) are undecide

Conservative4ev on May 8, 2012 at 10:20 AM

So now Mitt is up by five. The thing with Romney is that while the base isn’t exactly fired up by him, he’s not a polarizing figure to some on the left. Had we nominated an actual conservative we would have to factor in the fence sitters who wouldn’t be voting for Owebama nessicarily, they would be voting against said polarizing figure (ie: Palin or Christie etc). So while there might be not as much enthusiastic support for Mitt. The enthusiasm for Zero is a shadow of it’s former self. Chrissy Mathews is the last of the leg tingling holdouts. He’s lost independents, the economy sucks. We’ve spent ourselves into a corner. And many younger voters who were drinking Barry’s kool aid are disillusioned and will be staying home. These numbers don’t bode well for Le’Uno considering the campaign ads haven’t really started and we haven’t had any debates. Debating Zero should be like shooting fish in a barrel. Regardless of the SCOTUS decision on healthcare. There’s not one area of the economy that Mitt can’t hammer him on.

Minnfidel on May 8, 2012 at 1:22 PM

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