Obama, Romney in virtual ties in NV, CO, IA NBC/Marist polls

posted at 9:21 am on May 31, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

In 2008, three smaller states flipped to the Democratic Party, although the race had been all but decided by the time that was discovered on Election Night.  Four years later, though, the same three states look a lot less friendly to Barack Obama in the latest NBC/Marist polls.  Colorado, Nevada, and Iowa all find themselves locked in a dead heat with the incumbent well below 50% in each, according to National Journal’s recap:

Mitt Romney is tied with President Obama in three key battleground states that Obama flipped from red to blue four years ago, according to new NBC News/Marist polls released early Thursday.

The states – ColoradoIowa and Nevada – are relatively small, but each is an important and symbolic bellwether. In each state, voters overwhelmingly say the economy will be the most important issue in this year’s election, but Obama either trails Romney on this issue or, at best, ties him. …

  • Obama holds only a one-point lead in Colorado, 46 percent to 45 percent, with 8 percent undecided. That is well within the poll’s margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percentage points. Obama defeated Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in the state by nearly 9 points in 2008.
  • The two candidates run even in [Iowa}, tied at 44 percent apiece. Two percent support another candidate, and 10 percent of voters are undecided. Each candidate holds between 80 percent and 85 percent of the vote among their respective party, while Obama leads Romney among independents by just 4 percentage points, within the margin of error.
  • Obama won Nevada by double-digits in 2008, but today he leads Romney by just 2 points in the Silver State, 48 percent to 46 percent, the poll shows. Six percent of voters prefer another candidate or are undecided.

The curious thing about these polls is that Obama has significant leads among independents in all three states.  In Colorado, it’s 48/38, in Iowa 42/38 (close to a virtual tie), and 50/39 in Nevada.   Conventional wisdom in this election will be that independents will drive the election results, and that’s not the case in these surveys, although that might be because Marist included leaners in candidate support.

Enthusiasm could be another factor, but again, the results are mixed.  Romney supporters are slightly more likely to actually cast a vote in Colorado and Iowa (46/45 in both), and even up at 47% in Nevada.  In all three states, though, Obama has a better intensity of support among the already-decided.  When asked about intensity of interest in the election, Republicans and Democrats are virtually tied in Colorado for highest intensity (64% and 61% respectively), but Republicans have a bigger edge in Nevada (69%, 60%) and even more so in Iowa (62%, 50%).  It looks even better when cast as a value on the likelihood of voting, which Republicans win 87/79 in Colorado, 79/75 in Iowa, and 84/75 in Nevada.

Marist provides this analysis on enthusiasm in its reports, and the news isn’t good for Obama:

  • Colorado – “A majority of Romney’s supporters — 52% — are very enthusiastic about casting their ballot in the fall while 41% of Obama’s supporters have a similar level of enthusiasm.”
  • Iowa – “46% of Romney’s supporters are very enthusiastic about going to the polls in November. This compares with 38% of Obama’s backers who have a similar degree of enthusiasm.”
  • Nevada – “53% of voters who support the president are very enthusiastic about going to the polls in the fall while a similar 51% of Romney backers say the same.”

Romney, of course, just clinched the nomination and is expected to increase enthusiasm among his supporters over the summer.  Obama has been President for almost three and a half years, and his campaign has been active for over a year.  Enthusiasm for Obama as a candidate won’t grow nearly as much.  Romney has all the upside here, and he’s already significantly ahead in two of the three states.

Assuming that these figures accurately reflect the status of the race in these three states, the big lessons are that Romney needs to connect more with independents in the three swing states while continuing to unite and excite the base — not an easy task.  Obama’s base is as fired up as it’s going to get in terms of supporting him personally, but he has to get them out to vote, which they seem significantly less interested in doing.  Overall, Obama’s showing significant weakness in all three states.  These may not be needed to win the election, but if it turns out close in the East, losing these states may be the straw that broke the camel’s back for Obama.

Update: I should have noted this earlier, but Marist doesn’t supply the D/R/I of the samples in these statewide polls, or at least they haven’t been supplying that data lately.


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If we work, the change we need will come.

I heard that somewhere, once, but now it really means something to me.

MTF on May 31, 2012 at 9:24 AM

AngryIED will be stopping by to berate and insult any of you who dare to even consider the results of this poll.

Bishop on May 31, 2012 at 9:24 AM

Obama has been President for almost three and a half years, and his campaign has been active lying non-stop for over a year five years.

FIFY

NoDonkey on May 31, 2012 at 9:24 AM

The curious thing about these polls is that Obama has significant leads among independents in all three states.

These “independents” are actually democrats who no longer will admit they’re democrats.

Lost in Jersey on May 31, 2012 at 9:24 AM

Please , please, please always include the breakdowns (weighting) of the polls. SO many are so skewed anymore that not having the breakdowns makes the poll analysis less than useless.

Skwor on May 31, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Hope this momentum keeps up and we get the change we need…

OmahaConservative on May 31, 2012 at 9:28 AM

If it wasn’t for Denver and Boulder, Romney would be up by 10. Having just left CO. after 22 yrs, the Obama voters I knew in 08 had become very quiet.

hillsoftx on May 31, 2012 at 9:29 AM

Did they poll all voters or likely voters?

obladioblada on May 31, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Was in Las Vegas a few weeks ago, and the amount of ads Obama is already running is staggering. In the morning, it seemed like every commercial break featured a very long (and well done, imo) re-election spot. He’s working Nevada hard, which means he thinks it’s close.

Here in WI, there are no Obama ads running, which means the state isn’t in play. And the Marquette poll does show Obama up 8 over Romney.

gumbyandpokey on May 31, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Four years later, though, the same three states look a lot less friendly to Barack Obama in the latest NBC/Marist polls.

If you like your nation, you can keep your nation. But only if you help oust the jug-eared Kenyan in the White House on Nov. 6th.

Happy Nomad on May 31, 2012 at 9:31 AM

I get CO. and NV. being contested, but what is it in the corn fields of Iowa, other than a couple college towns, where this mope has a chance? I thought IA. was in flyover country. Can someone briefly enlighten me please….

hillsoftx on May 31, 2012 at 9:32 AM

Did they poll all voters or likely voters?

obladioblada on May 31, 2012 at 9:30 AM

I can’t tell. I tried searching through the tables but I am not very good at finding the relevant info on these polls. One almost needs a poli sci degree to sift through political polls it seems.

I saw registered voters responses but could not tell if they used registered voters in the data above and did not find the sample weighting either :(

Every time I search these polls I feel dumb.

Skwor on May 31, 2012 at 9:32 AM

I hate to be a pessimist, but the mere fact that Obama is tied or even close after all he’s done to the nation, is frightening and clear evidence that we as a free nation are done for. One way or another, half the nation is addicted to anti-freedom causes.

How long before we call ourselves the Czarist Republic of America?

Don L on May 31, 2012 at 9:35 AM

“I should have noted this earlier, but Marist doesn’t supply the D/R/I of the samples in these statewide polls…”

Ergo, this poll is worthless, outside of spurring some idle cocktail party chatter.

GrassMudHorsey on May 31, 2012 at 9:35 AM

Can someone briefly enlighten me please….

hillsoftx on May 31, 2012 at 9:32 AM

Farm subsidies breed liberals in flyover country.

Happy Nomad on May 31, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Alternative Headline: “Obama leading Romney in NV, IA, and CO.”

Got it. Nice spin, though.

inthemiddle on May 31, 2012 at 9:36 AM

I still aver that these polls (all of them) are skewed “naturally” due to a difference in the attitudes of those contacted about polls.

I have always either not answered the phone or hung up. I don’t need to offer my opinion to pollsters, and their polls won’t change the way I think about anything.

I think liberals have an inherent need to share their opinions with whomever is unfortunate enough to be within earshot.

RedCrow on May 31, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Rasmussen is showing Romney 46% to Obama 44% in Ohio from a poll taken on 5/29 of likely voters.

AubieJon on May 31, 2012 at 9:37 AM

Chuck Todd insisted that dear leader has Co in the bag just last week

Lolol

cmsinaz on May 31, 2012 at 9:37 AM

Farm subsidies breed liberals in flyover country.

Happy Nomad on May 31, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Thanks HN…

hillsoftx on May 31, 2012 at 9:38 AM

Since Obama went homo his numbers have been in free fall.

tommyboy on May 31, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Makes sense that they are in a virtual tie because they are exactly the same. It’s pathetic that many are a Romney advocate and Romney is who the GOP has chosen. I will be writing someone in. I refuse to conform and vote for this liberal.

air_up_there on May 31, 2012 at 9:40 AM

Overall, Obama’s showing significant weakness in all three states. These may not be needed to win the election, but if it turns out close in the East, losing these states may be the straw that broke the camel’s back for Obama.

Compared to the 2008 election, Romney needs to win back FL, IN, NC (fairly likely), VA and OH (tossups right now) and one other state to win the Presidency.

Any of the states polled here (CO, IA, NV) could become the critical state, with Colorado having the most electoral votes. Romney could probably win Colorado by focusing on developing shale oil. Obama hasn’t helped himself in Nevada by repeatedly dissing Las Vegas, while Romney’s Mormon faith could be an advantage in Nevada (Senator Harry Reid is Mormon).

Steve Z on May 31, 2012 at 9:41 AM

Real Clear Politics has moved Nevada into the “Toss Up” column today (from “Lean Obama”). Yesterday, they moved Michigan from toss-up to “Leans Obama” based on a PPP poll of registered voters.

SouthernGent on May 31, 2012 at 9:41 AM

Can someone briefly enlighten me please….

hillsoftx on May 31, 2012 at 9:32 AM
Farm subsidies breed liberals in flyover country.

Happy Nomad on May 31, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Also, many of these people are so isolated geographically they actuall believe MSM “reporting”.

NoDonkey on May 31, 2012 at 9:42 AM

Alternative Headline: “Supposedly Super Popular Incumbent President barely leading Romney in NV, IA, and CO and we haven’t yet had so much as a single debate.”

Got it. Nice spin, though.

Bishop on May 31, 2012 at 9:43 AM

Alternative Headline: “Obama leading Romney in NV, IA, and CO.”

Got it. Nice spin, though.

inthemiddle on May 31, 2012 at 9:36 AM

keep on whistling, only reason a polling org doesn’t provide sample data is becuase they know their own poll is invalid and choose not to try and defend it.

Hardly a good position for you to be optimistic about. But of course you are not interested in facts only what you can spin to support your beliefs regardless of how flawed they may be.

Skwor on May 31, 2012 at 9:43 AM

I get CO. and NV. being contested, but what is it in the corn fields of Iowa, other than a couple college towns, where this mope has a chance? I thought IA. was in flyover country. Can someone briefly enlighten me please….

hillsoftx on May 31, 2012 at 9:32 AM

“Progressive” college towns like Iowa City or Grinnell. Heavily unionized areas in the southeast and along the Mississippi. Typical capital city libs in Des Moines.

steebo77 on May 31, 2012 at 9:43 AM

“We are what needs to be changed,” -Obooba.

Akzed on May 31, 2012 at 9:44 AM

…Tied?…Choom Choom!

KOOLAID2 on May 31, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Farm subsidies breed liberals in flyover country.

Happy Nomad on May 31, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Yep. I grew up in SW Minnesota corn country and it was always sad to watch these farmers live off the taxpayer.

Also, some people still hold on to the idea of the “Old Democrat,” and just can’t suck it up to cross party lines, even though their party does not at all represent them.

Hat Trick on May 31, 2012 at 9:46 AM

Farm subsidies breed liberals in flyover country.

Happy Nomad on May 31, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Despite conventional wisdom, Iowa is more urban than rural (about 65% to 70% live in urban areas). Few families are directly dependent on farm subsidies. Subsidies are more or less a non-factor in most people’s voting calculus.

steebo77 on May 31, 2012 at 9:48 AM

inthemiddle on May 31, 2012 at 9:36 AM

What is it about this America-hating sociopath that makes you burn to see him reelected so badly?

Right Mover on May 31, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Considering the crosstabs are skewed towards Democrats, Romney might be leading in all 3.

Regardless, the trend is favoring Romney, and with the economy weakining, it is safe to say Romney will probably take 2 of these 3 states, at worst.

And once the Republican PAC billion dollar campaign (I think Ed needs to put up a post about that, because that Politico article was incredible) begins, Romney might cruise in these states.

milcus on May 31, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Anybody in those swing states or anywhere else who is still on the fence about this sociopath in chief should take a look at this:

http://theulstermanreport.com/2012/05/30/white-house-insider-obama-in-serious-trouble-and-that-makes-him-very-dangerous/

Right Mover on May 31, 2012 at 9:52 AM

BS.

Remember the meme in 2012 is that “voters went into the booths undecided and chose Reagan” before he swept every damn state in 1980.

The media is going to go to the last minute saying how “neck and neck” it is.

Marcus on May 31, 2012 at 9:54 AM

If Romney takes those three states, plus the expected Florida, North Carolina, Virginia and New Hampshire races, he wins even if he loses both Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Vashta.Nerada on May 31, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Ed, also, FYI: Mitt is up 2 points on Barry today in an Ohio Rasmussen poll.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections/election_2012/election_2012_presidential_election/ohio/election_2012_ohio_president

cdog0613 on May 31, 2012 at 9:58 AM

For the life of me I cannot figure out what Nevadans are so confused about. It’s quite simple – you have low taxes and abundant natural resources; you should not also have, by far, the highest unemployment rate in the country:

http://fiscalwars.wordpress.com/2012/05/26/whats-wrong-with-nevada/

stout77 on May 31, 2012 at 10:00 AM

For the life of me I cannot figure out what Nevadans are so confused about. It’s quite simple – you have low taxes and abundant natural resources; you should not also have, by far, the highest unemployment rate in the country:

They also have Harry Reid.

Right Mover on May 31, 2012 at 10:04 AM

For the life of me I cannot figure out what Nevadans are so confused about.

stout77 on May 31, 2012 at 10:00 AM

It’s really very simple. Obama has offered truckloads of bribes to every single special interest group in America except for white males who don’t work in government. What surprises me is that, with all the bribes he’s offered and with all the power he has to make good on those bribes, he’s barely tied in the polls.

This is all going to come down to people who care about the country as a whole versus a coalition of simple-minded dupes and greedy scavengers who want more of whatever the one percent has got.

Burke on May 31, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Chuck Todd insisted that dear leader has Co in the bag just last week

Lolol

cmsinaz on May 31, 2012 at 9:37 AM

Chuck Todd is a joke, but I’d cut him some slack on that one. While I would never say Colorado is in the bag for Obama, I’ve long thought that the state was leaning heavily in his favor. He won it pretty comfortably in 2008 and they even reelected Michael Bennet in 2010 after he all but dared them to throw him out over his Obamacare vote. If Romney wins Colorado, this election will be a landslide defeat for Barry. That means Nevada, New Mexico, and Iowa will almost certainly follow suit.

Doughboy on May 31, 2012 at 10:10 AM

WHERE IS THAT DINGBAT LIBFREE?

Real Clear Politics has moved Nevada into the “Toss Up” column today (from “Lean Obama”)

I laid this out weeks ago – Florida and Nevada are linked.

The only time they’ve split, is when something disrupts the GOP ticket. Ford (Nixon), Bush 41 (Perot).

They have similar demos and more improtantly, tax structures. Both have Libertarian policies which attracts specific Americans. It’s not accident that Vegas has legalized prostitution, and the second largest “adult” industry is in Florida. Combine that with all the independent contractors.

A Dem/Rep either wins both, or loses both.

So if Barry’s given up on Florida, the guy can go to every garage in Reno and Bahrump that he wants; it’s not going to change shite.

budfox on May 31, 2012 at 10:14 AM

Ed,

Thanks for the “update” that the pollsters did not reveal their D/R/I. Sampling method is everything.

But we still love you.

65droptop on May 31, 2012 at 10:15 AM

I’m still scared, guys. Start with the Obama-McCain map (what would be 359-179 Obama):

Romney flips: Florida (29), North Carolina (15), Virginia (13), Indiana (11), and Ohio (18). Already some tricky states to pull off, but then it comes down to needing to win either Iowa (which I doubt Romney will) or Nevada (which I doubt Romney will).

So we’re still stuck at a 272-266 Obama victory.

Someone talk me off the ledge.

Abby Adams on May 31, 2012 at 10:24 AM

@Abby Adams, all Mitt will have to do is one of NH, Iowa, Nevada, Colorado, Wisco, PA or Mich. If he flips all the states that you mention above, he will definitely get at LEAST one of those. Get off the ledge. Barry is in trouble.

cdog0613 on May 31, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Someone talk me off the ledge.

Abby Adams on May 31, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Come off the edge….New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Colorado, PA, and Iowa will go Romney. Maybe Michigan, too.

Deafdog on May 31, 2012 at 10:40 AM

steebo77 on May 31, 2012 at 9:48 AM

I’d like to see a geographical breakout of Obama support in Iowa. The fact that Tom Harkin has been able to have a career tells you there are some strong union forces at play. Waterloo is another hot spot.

a capella on May 31, 2012 at 10:44 AM

@Deafdog:

Maybe Michigan, too.

Hope you’re right, Deafdog- but earflaps dropped many billions into gm and chrysler…that’ll buy a lot, LOT of votes around Detroit.

Much as I hate to say it, think Michigan is going the way of the commie this election. Unless the rest of the state finally has enough votes to counterweight southeast Michigan.

GrassMudHorsey on May 31, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Update: I should have noted this earlier, but Marist doesn’t supply the D/R/I of the samples in these statewide polls, or at least they haven’t been supplying that data lately.

Which makes their polls less credible and statistically reliable.

I will wait for someone who doesn’t try to cloak their methodology.

Marcus Traianus on May 31, 2012 at 10:58 AM

cdog0613 on May 31, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Deafdog on May 31, 2012 at 10:40 AM

I just don’t see Romney winning WI, MI, CO, or even NH. PA is such a tease. Every election cycle she lures me into thinking the GOP can take her, but every year, she simply makes me feel foolish.

Abby Adams on May 31, 2012 at 10:59 AM

The curious thing about these polls is that Obama has significant leads among independents in all three states.

These “independents” are actually democrats who no longer will admit they’re democrats.

Lost in Jersey on May 31, 2012 at 9:24 AM

Yeah, In NV and CO there are lots of hard-left invaders from CA and big cities across the country who reject the Democrat label because the Party isn’t radical enough for them. I don’t know about Iowa – maybe Garrison Keillor Prairie Home Comrade types.

forest on May 31, 2012 at 11:09 AM

IA will have gay marriage on the ballot, in the form of voting on retention of “judges” who imposed it on the State. In 2010, the three judges up for retention lost by 8 – 10 % each.

Obama will appoint pro-gay marriage “justices” to the Supreme Court. Romney won’t.

Romney will take Iowa, and it probably won’t be close.

Yes, PA has been a tease in the past. But with the way Republicans did there in 2010, I expect it to go for Romney in 2012..

Greg Q on May 31, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Real Clear Politics has moved Nevada into the “Toss Up” column today (from “Lean Obama”)

I laid this out weeks ago – Florida and Nevada are linked.

The only time they’ve split, is when something disrupts the GOP ticket. Ford (Nixon), Bush 41 (Perot).

They have similar demos and more improtantly, tax structures. Both have Libertarian policies which attracts specific Americans. It’s not accident that Vegas has legalized prostitution, and the second largest “adult” industry is in Florida. Combine that with all the independent contractors.

A Dem/Rep either wins both, or loses both.

So if Barry’s given up on Florida, the guy can go to every garage in Reno and Bahrump that he wants; it’s not going to change shite.

budfox on May 31, 2012 at 10:14 AM

In Nevada the SEIU has the contract for the operation and maintenance of the voting machines. I believe that makes Nevada unwinnable.

slickwillie2001 on May 31, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Anybody in those swing states or anywhere else who is still on the fence about this sociopath in chief should take a look at this:

http://theulstermanreport.com/2012/05/30/white-house-insider-obama-in-serious-trouble-and-that-makes-him-very-dangerous/

Right Mover on May 31, 2012 at 9:52 AM

Thanks, keep us updated on the insider reports please.

slickwillie2001 on May 31, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Marist doesn’t supply the D/R/I of the samples in these statewide polls

methinks the numbers are a lot worse for the choomer than reported. November 2012 will be a redux of November 2010.

RedInMD on May 31, 2012 at 11:50 AM

ED-

No D/R/I…. means DOA.

The sin of omission- The new tool of the liberal.

FlaMurph on May 31, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Fascinating that these are three states where Ron Paul won the majority of the delegates. So tell me again how the Romney doesn’t need the votes of Paul supporters.

iwasbornwithit on May 31, 2012 at 12:02 PM

In Nevada the SEIU has the contract for the operation and maintenance of the voting machines. I believe that makes Nevada unwinnable.

slickwillie2001 on May 31, 2012 at 11:20 AM

It was a problem in ’08, but that was also because the casino owners were with Barry. Without them, they’re not going to have such easy, blind access.

budfox on May 31, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Update: I should have noted this earlier, but Marist doesn’t supply the D/R/I of the samples in these statewide polls, or at least they haven’t been supplying that data lately.

No, they do supply it.

It’s just not immediately obvious. The Colorado D/R/I is 31/35/34 and the sample is Registered Voters, not likely. The survey included cell phones as well as landlines.

Iowa is 34/35/31, again Registered Voters.

Nevada is 40/38/31, again Registered Voters.

MTF on May 31, 2012 at 12:07 PM

This is a poll of registered voters, not likely voters. They ask the question, Did you vote in the last presidential election and more than a third of these people did not vote last time when it was between John McCain and Barach Obama.

I don’t know what to make of this Colorado sample. Why didn’t you vote last time? I would take seriously then the numbers that reply that they have low interest. Can you really call them Voters, if they did not vote last time? The Crosstabs show about 18% of these responders younger than 45 have a low interest in the election, and the independent people, who maybe neither identify with dems or republicans, have a large number not very interested. Maybe that is another reason why they don’t belong in a party.

Another fact in this article,

Obama defeated Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in the state by nearly 9 points in 2008.

Cannot be compared to the poll because this was not polled to only people who voted last time, and it would be interesting to conduct that poll, but as I sited previously, more than a third of these telephone respondents DID NOT VOTE LAST TIME!!!!

Fleuries on May 31, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Who is wasting money conducting surveys on the general public? that is what I want to know. They must be hoping to get push poll going.

Fleuries on May 31, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Here is a funny one in the Iowa survey.

Past Participation. 53% of the telephone respondents who chose Romney didn’t vote last time. I don’t know what to think about these registered voters. How would this survey look if they phoned people who actually voted for John McCain last time?

Fleuries on May 31, 2012 at 12:46 PM

There is no enthusiasm to reelect Obama…sure someone may say they would vote for him, but will they pack the polls like last election?
Anyone who thinks Obama is carrying the same “mystic” as last time, must be one of his choom buddies…

What will matter is who will get up, walk down, and cast a vote for Mitt or Obama…my bet is, Mitt.

I will bet before this is over, even states like Ca. will be in play, and Obama won’t have 60% of the money needed to defend himself.

The fact is, he can’t run on his record, and people will tire of him pissing on Mitt.

right2bright on May 31, 2012 at 12:55 PM

ROMNEY 2012!!!
Our last chance to save America

PappyD61 on May 31, 2012 at 1:14 PM