A bad jobs report and an evolution out of the mainstream didn’t do any favors for Barack Obama’s standing in the presidential race against Mitt Romney. Rasmussen’s daily tracking poll shows Obama dropping back seven points in the three-day rolling average, while Romney hits the 50% mark for the first time:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows Mitt Romney earning 50% of the vote and President Obama attracting 43% support. Four percent (4%) would vote for a third party candidate, while another three percent (3%) are undecided.
Matchup results are updated daily at 9:30 a.m. Eastern (sign up for free daily e-mail update).
This is the first time Romney has reached the 50% level of support and is his largest lead ever over the president. It comes a week after a disappointing jobs report that raised new questions about the state of the economy.
It’s not exactly a shocking result, given the events of the last week. When a President goes out of his way to support a position that state after state opposes — same-sex marriage — it’s not going to have a positive result on polling. It helps even less when (a) no one really believed Obama’s stated former position, and (b) the President has to get pushed into telling the truth, by his own admission, by a Vice President stumbling his way off the reservation. No matter what the White House wants to claim as courage in this decision, it hardly looks like leadership.
Almost all of the downturn had to have happened in the last two to three days. In Rasmussen’s weekly crosstabs (subscriber only), Romney only led Obama by one in data collected from April 30th-May 6th. Obama had a wide lead among 18-29YOs already, 58/29, but an almost-as-wide deficit among seniors, 37/59, who turn out stronger in elections. Obama held a narrow edge among independents, 44/42.
I’d suspect that those numbers have shifted significantly over the last few days, especially since Obama and Democrats seem obsessed with issues that rank low on voter priorities. Cultural issues (like gay marriage) ranked dead last in the Rasmussen list, with only 6% considering those to be the most important priority. A near-majority of 45% say economic issues are the highest priority, with another 17% identifying fiscal issues as the highest. The longer Obama keeps bringing up distractions, the less seriously voters will take him.