Rasmussen: Bounce over, Romney up 7 on economy

posted at 2:01 pm on September 13, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Has Barack Obama’s convention bounce dissipated?  According to Rasmussen’s 3-day tracking poll, the answer is yes. Mitt Romney regained a narrow 1-point edge in today’s iteration.  In even worse news for Obama, Republicans are recovering their enthusiasm:

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows Mitt Romney attracting support from 47% of voters nationwide, while President Obama earns 46% of the vote. Three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate, and five percent (5%) are undecided.

This is the first time in a week that Romney has held even a single-point advantage. See daily tracking history. Romney is now supported by 18% of white Democrats.

Romney has solidified the GOP vote and holds a 77-point lead among Republicans. That’s slightly larger than Obama’s 72-point advantage among Democrats.

When “leaners” are included, it’s Romney 49% and Obama 47%. Leaners are those who initially indicate no preference for either candidate but express a preference for one of them in a follow-up question.

Perhaps most significantly, Republicans are once again more engaged in the election than Democrats. Forty-nine percent (49%) of GOP voters are following the race on a daily basis. Among Democrats, just 42% are that interested. Throughout 2012, Republicans have consistently held the enthusiasm advantage. However, for a few days following the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, the president’s party caught up to the GOP on this important measure of potential turnout.

Yesterday at Gallup, the tracking poll results looked much different, with Obama leading Romney by 7, 50/43.  However, there are a couple of important differences to keep in mind.  First, Gallup polls registered voters, while Rasmussen polls likely voters, a more predictive technique.  Also, Gallup uses a 7-day tracking poll, which provides more stability but also means that it tends to catch trends more slowly.  Rasmussen’s 3-day sampling would have more volatility, but also show trending more quickly.

While the bounce dissipates, Romney’s standing on the economy has improved.  He has a seven-point lead over Obama on what has been the biggest issue in this election cycle:

Half the nation’s voters now trust Mitt Romney more than President Obama when it comes to dealing with the troubled U.S. economy, the number one issue on their minds as they go to the polls.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 50% of Likely U.S. Voters trust Romney more when it comes to handling the economy. Forty-three percent (43%) trust the president more. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Although Romney has consistently led the president in regular surveying when it comes to the economy, this is the highest level of trust he’s earned since May when 51% expressed more confidence in him. The gap between the two candidates had narrowed to four points – 48% to 44% – by late last month.

Eighty-eight percent (88%) of Republicans and 15% of Democrats have more faith in Romney when it comes to the economy. Seventy-nine percent (79%) of Democrats and eight percent (8%) of GOP voters trust Obama more. Voters not affiliated with either party are almost evenly divided: 44% for Romney, 42% for Obama.

Every other issue polled by Rasmussen shows both candidates in a virtual tie, within the margin of error.  Obama does best on national security, but only scores a 46/43 lead on that issue — although he’s +9 among independents, 45/36.  Rasmussen pointedly notes that half of this poll was taken prior to the assassination of an American ambassador on the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, however, and questions arising about security preparations may quickly erode that lead, too.

Interestingly, there is a huge gender gap on the economy question, but not in the way one would predict from the media conventional wisdom.  Obama narrowly leads among women, 47/44, but trails by 17 among men and can’t even get to 40%, 39/56.  That’s a +14 for Romney in the gender gap, which also happens to be the largest gender gap on any of the issues polled by Rasmussen.

Finally, since I offered a buzz-kill perspective on Florida yesterday, let’s take a look at a new poll from the Sunshine State, reported by the Miami Herald‘s Marc Caputo:

The Associated Industries of Florida business group has released snippets of a survey taken by  Mclaughlin & Associates, a firm that typically polls for Republicans, which finds Mitt Romney clinging to an inside-the-error-margin lead over President Obama, 50-47%, among likely voters.

That’s an improvement of 5 points for Romney since August and a 3-point increase for Obama since the end of the Republican and Democratic conventions.

Those previous AIF numbers differed from another pre-convention surveys from Quinnipiac University and CNN/Time/ORC  (AlthoughPublic Policy Polling, which typically surveys for Democrats, found Obama up by just 1 before and after the conventions).

Some of that is driven by the “better off” question, which Obama loses by 15 points, 40/55. Caputo has more info on the crosstabs, but I don’t see anything about sample composition, so it’s hard to know how much to rely on this survey, which isn’t exactly independent.  Still, it’s worth at least a look.

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