Earlier today, National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar warned that Mitt Romney was poised to breach the Blue Wall — Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. A new Rasmussen poll of likely voters in Wisconsin corroborates Kraushaar’s analysis. Mitt Romney has moved to a narrow lead over Barack Obama in the immediate aftermath of the recall election, 47/44:
The latest Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of Likely Voters shows Romney with 47% of the vote to Obama’s 44%. Five percent (5%) prefer some other candidate, and four percent (4%) are undecided.
Prior to this survey, Obama’s support in the state has ranged from 45% to 52%, while Romney has earned 41% to 45%. Last month, the numbers were Obama 49%, Romney 45%. The president led his likely Republican challenger by 11 points in March – 52% to 41%.
Just last week Republican Governor Scott Walker won a special recall election prompted by Democrats outraged over his successful move to limit collective bargaining rights for some unionized public employees in order to reduce Wisconsin’s budget deficit.
Wisconsin hasn’t gone Republican since the 1984 Ronald Reagan landslide over Walter Mondale. It came close two of the past three cycles, however, with George Bush only losing the state by a few thousand votes in each of his two elections. However, Obama won Wisconsin handily in 2008, 56/43, so a 3-point deficit with less than five months to go sends a big red flag flying, perhaps over the entire Midwest and Rust Belt.
Obama is hampered in Wisconsin by a 47/52 approval rating — slightly worse than the national numbers we see from Gallup, but not extraordinarily worse. Men have a much stronger disapproval at 37/59, while women give him a narrower positive rating at 53/46 — but 39% strongly disapprove, as do 50% of men. Independents disapprove by a significant margin at 41/56.
These numbers get reflected in the head-to-head matchups as well. Romney has a 15-point lead among men, while Obama has an eight-point lead with women, giving Romney the edge in the gender gap. Independents give Romney a 5-point edge at 43/38, but 38% is a very low number for an incumbent President in a heretofore friendly state.
That’s not the only demographic problem Obama has. He only carries the under-40 vote by just four points, 44/40, while Romney gets 51% of the other two age demographics in Wisconsin. Romney leads by 16 points among voters with children still at home, 49/33, and only trails by four (45/49) among those who don’t. Obama only leads in two of six income categories — under $20K (65/33), and $40K-60K (49/41). The $20K-40K demo is a virtual tie, with Romney taking a one-point edge (45/44), and Romney wins all the other income demos by double digits. In fact, Obama can’t get to 40% in any of the remaining income brackets.
Some might wonder whether Rasmussen oversampled Republicans to get this result. The D/R/I on this poll is 34/32/34, while the turnout in last week’s recall election was 34/35/31. If anything, the poll slightly undersamples Republicans, although this turnout model is a reasonable one to use for the November election.
Looks like the Wisconsin recall is turning out to be a huge backfire on the unions, Democrats, and Barack Obama. It may also hint at a Blue Wall collapse in five months.