WaPo/ABC poll shows Romney favorability plateaued, Obama dropping among registered voters

posted at 8:41 am on August 8, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Today’s Washington Post/ABC News poll gives a little bit of good news to Barack Obama — and therefore some bad news for Mitt Romney.  In an advance look at the overall poll results, Obama leads Romney on favorability.  However, the gap narrows when the poll reports only from registered voters, which the Post and ABC fail to mention:

Although 40 percent of voters now say they hold a favorable opinion of the former Massachusetts governor — virtually unchanged from May — those holding negative views of him ticked higher in the new survey, from 45 percent to 49 percent.

Meanwhile, President Obama remained in positive territory on that measure, with 53 percent of voters reporting favorable opinions of him. Only 43 percent say they feel unfavorably toward him.

To find the favorability gap among registered voters, one has to look at the report from the pollster, provided by ABC News.  Among RVs, Obama leads in favorability 49/42.  That represents a tie for the Obama low in this poll for 2012 (also 49% in February), while Romney’s 42% is the second-highest report for him since the primaries started in January.  Dropping three points in a month isn’t exactly great news for Romney, but it’s also not as bad as Obama’s drift as an incumbent — especially an incumbent who has spent well into nine figures this spring and summer trying to destroy Romney’s credibility through harshly negative advertising.

Of course, we have a lot of problems in the WaPo/ABC poll series with sampling. In these advance results reports, the sampling data is not usually included, and today’s report is no exception.  We can’t evaluate these results fully until we determine how well the modeling of the sample data matches that of the electorate in 2012.  That doesn’t mean that the information is entirely useless, however, especially within party-affiliation demographics.  Those results are a mixed bag for both candidates, too:

INDEPENDENTS – Obama’s gained back ground he’d lost among independents, customarily swing voters in national elections. In late May he fell numerically underwater among independents for the first time since December (45-52 percent favorable-unfavorable). He’s now back far in front of Romney in this group, largely because of gains among independent women.

Among all independents, Obama’s favorability rating is now 16 points higher than Romney’s (53 percent vs. 37 percent). At the same time, that narrows among independents who are registered to vote – 46 percent favorable for Obama, 38 percent for Romney – indicating, among other factors, the potential importance of voter registration drives in the few months ahead.

That’s an eight-point swing among independents between general-population adults and registered voters — which sounds a little odd to me.  I’d expect to see some difference, but eight points is pretty large.  Still, this isn’t good news for Romney, who needs to beat Obama’s seven-point win in 2008 among unaffiliated voters.

However, Romney has some good news on the Republican-unity front:

Among partisans, Romney’s caught up with Obama in popularity within his own party; 83 percent of Republicans rate Romney positively, as do 84 percent of Democrats for Obama. That’s Romney’s best-ever rating with the party faithful, up 25 points since mid-March.

Romney’s rated favorably by fewer conservatives, 65 percent, though this, too, is a new high.

That’s not a bad development, nor is Romney in desperate straits as we roll toward the conventions.  Team Obama still hasn’t scored a knockout, and they’re three weeks away from getting seriously outpunched in the general election.  Having an incumbent at 49% favorability among registered voters suggest that it’s probably lower among likely voters — and both are bad numbers for the candidate looking for re-election.

Update: Yes, I meant to say three weeks – or to be very precise, three weeks and two days.  Romney can start spending general-election cash once he accepts the nomination at the convention, and that is the official start of the general election.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

You guys are becoming a joke trying to spin away each and every poll that comes out.

But, again, that’s what losing campaigns, and supporters of losing campaigns do.

daveyandgoliath on August 8, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Your side is the one cranking out and then spinning away heavily oversampled “polls” that in the past week have oversampled Democrats by 19% in one “poll”, and by 11% in another. And as I said, that new Reuters Photoshop “Poll” admits that its margin of error for Independents is over twice that of reputable polls. In other words, they’re admitting that their poll is also a joke.

But, again, that’s what losing campaigns, and supporters of losing campaigns do.

A+++

Del Dolemonte on August 8, 2012 at 4:02 PM

LOL. It also doesn’t show Romney in the lead. Those are the only acceptable polls.

ddrintn on August 8, 2012 at 4:00 PM

O’bama thanks you for your vote.

A+

Del Dolemonte on August 8, 2012 at 4:03 PM

LOL. It also doesn’t show Romney in the lead. Those are the only acceptable polls.

ddrintn on August 8, 2012 at 4:00 PM

O’bama thanks you for your vote.

A+

Del Dolemonte on August 8, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Pathetic. When did I ever say I’m voting for Obama? That;s the only defense you ‘bots ever really have, isn’t it?

Weird though how Mitt seems to be sliding in the polls after passing on the Chick-fil-A issue.

ddrintn on August 8, 2012 at 4:24 PM

They are going to be really upset come November. I will personally pay for their taxi ride to a bridge that they can please jump off

Conservative4ev on August 8, 2012 at 10:09 AM

..naw, mate, we’ll split the costs.

:-D

The War Planner on August 8, 2012 at 10:11 AM

Wow. Wishing untimely death on someone simply because they’re not hitting that Romney’s Gonna Kick Ass bong. And these freaks sit around calling other people “cultists”.

ddrintn on August 8, 2012 at 4:49 PM

Jennifer Rubin made the following point today:

A Virginia Republican insider notes some interesting stats in a new Quinnipiac poll showing President Obama with a four point lead over Mitt Romney, 49 to 45 percent. For starters, the party identification is ludicrous (23 % Republican / 30 % Democrat / 40 % Independent). In 2009, Republicans were 37 percent of the electorate. In 2008, when Democratic turnout was huge, Republicans were still 33 percent of the electorate.

Among independent voters in Virginia: Gov. Bob McDonnell has a positive approval split of 52-29, with independents approving of his job by a 60 to 22 margin. Obama is upside-down with independents by 10 points although positive among likely voters.

McDonnell, who some thought was hurt by the controversy over sonogram legislation, has an approval rating among women of 45 to 31 percent.

Romney is leading among independents by 7 points over Obama and leads in double digits among these voters when it comes to the economy.

More Republicans than Democrats say they are enthusiastic to vote than in 2008. ( 41 to 33 percent).

The bottom line is that Obama is ahead if the electorate is even more Democratic in 2012 than in 2008. Since just about everyone thinks this is not going to happen, Romney is probably in strong shape in this critical swing state.

Terrye on August 8, 2012 at 4:51 PM

Wow. Wishing untimely death on someone simply because they’re not hitting that Romney’s Gonna Kick Ass bong. And these freaks sit around calling other people “cultists”.

ddrintn on August 8, 2012 at 4:49 PM

Don’t be such a drama queen. All you do is trash Romney, it goes without saying people think you are hoping for an Obama win..the fact that you are not honest enough to admit it just goes along with your general emotional immaturity.

LOL. It also doesn’t show Romney in the lead. Those are the only acceptable polls.

ddrintn on August 8, 2012 at 4:00 PM

If they polled Republicans with a demographic advantage of anywhere from 7to 19 points Romney might be leading in the polls.

Pathetic. When did I ever say I’m voting for Obama? That;s the only defense you ‘bots ever really have, isn’t it?

Weird though how Mitt seems to be sliding in the polls after passing on the Chick-fil-A issue.

ddrintn on August 8, 2012 at 4:24 PM

And following your logic it is worth noting that Obama is supposedly gaining in the polls after passing on the Chik fil A issue while at the same time he came out and said he wanted to make gay marriage part of the Democratic platform.

You are a moby..plain and simple.

Terrye on August 8, 2012 at 4:56 PM

And these freaks sit around calling other people “cultists”.

ddrintn on August 8, 2012 at 4:49 PM

A Palin supporter told me today that he did not think he could vote for Romney, because Mormons were part of a cult.

Terrye on August 8, 2012 at 4:58 PM

Pathetic. When did I ever say I’m voting for Obama? That;s the only defense you ‘bots ever really have, isn’t it?

ddrintn

Obamabot getting upset, lol.

And these freaks sit around calling other people “cultists”.

ddrintn

You are a cultist. If folks in your area are smart, they’ll avoid movie theaters for awhile.

xblade on August 8, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Pathetic. When did I ever say I’m voting for Obama? That;s the only defense you ‘bots ever really have, isn’t it?
Weird though how Mitt seems to be sliding in the polls after passing on the Chick-fil-A issue.
ddrintn on August 8, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Do you want Obama or Romney to be your president for the next 4 years?

Chuck Schick on August 8, 2012 at 5:19 PM

This is interesting, from Jay Cost:

For the last two months, President Obama has bounced around between 46 and 48 percent of the vote in the national polls, as well as most averages of the state polls. Impressive? Hardly. Forty-six to 48 percent is really just the core Democratic coalition, which every Democrat has held for the past quarter century.

The old Democratic party broke down in 1968, the start of a long presidential exile. The party managed only one victory out of the next six; worse, it saw the collapse of its traditional New Deal coalition built on the Solid South, the white working class in and around the big Northern cities, and farmers/ranchers in the West. Slowly but surely, the party rebuilt itself into the coalition we know today – dominated by racial and ethnic minorities, upscale white liberals (especially activist groups like the environmentalists and feminists), government workers, and young voters. It was in the 1988 election that we saw the party coming back from the brink, and every cycle since then the Democrats have enjoyed a floor of about 46 percent of the vote, built around roughly 90 percent of Democratic support, 40 percent of independent support, and 10 percent of Republican support.

If you look carefully at the national horserace polls, you will notice that these are the only people supporting Obama over Romney, more or less. And if you look carefully at the presidential job approval polls, you will notice that these are also the only people approving of his job performance, more or less.

In other words, Obama’s polling right now suggests that he has only locked down the core Democratic vote; what’s more, those not currently in his voting coalition tend to disapprove of his job as president. Indeed, the Gallup job approval poll finds him with just 31 percent support from “pure” independents, i.e. those with no party affiliation whatsoever.

It is extraordinarily difficult for incumbent presidents to win the votes of people who disapprove of the job they are doing. Hence, this race is Romney’s to win.

But it is not his to lose. And that’s an important distinction.

It is difficult to overcome the hurdle that Obama faces – to win voters who think you’ve done a bad job as president – but not impossible. Richard Nixon in 1972 won a significant chunk of his disapprovers because the McGovern-Shriver ticket was not a serious option. Lyndon Johnson managed the same in 1964, as he made the Goldwater-Miller ticket out to be a threat to humanity itself.

Terrye on August 8, 2012 at 5:38 PM

What difference does all this make with the 538 electro college that will do the voting? It’s all a farce.

mixplix on August 8, 2012 at 10:06 PM

What ever happenhed to ABO?

DannoJyd on August 9, 2012 at 1:05 AM

Do you want Obama or Romney to be your president for the next 4 years?

Chuck Schick on August 8, 2012 at 5:19 PM

If Romney remains incapable of running against the 0bamanation, what do we do then?

DannoJyd on August 9, 2012 at 1:35 AM

Hey bumber you still want to bet 100 that Obama wins after today’s ras poll and that stupid cancer ad loser

Conservative4ev on August 9, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Comment pages: 1 2 3