Rasmussen released two big swing-state polls today, both containing mixed news for Mitt Romney. Their surveys in Wisconsin and Iowa both show virtual or solid dead heats with just days left to go before the election. We’ll start with the actual dead heat in Wisconsin, where Obama gets better news on early voting, and in the internals:
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Wisconsin Voters finds President Obama and Mitt Romney each earning 49% support. Two percent (2%) remain undecided. …
Twenty-five percent (25%) of likely Wisconsin voters have already voted, and the president leads 56% to 41% among these voters.
Voters in the state trust Romney more than the president by just two points – 50% to 48% – when it comes to handling the economy. Obama has a three-point edge in voter trust – 50% to 47% – in the area of energy policy and leads by one – 49% to 48% – when it comes to national security. Among voters nationwide, Romney leads by seven on the economy, and the two are nearly tied in the other areas.
Let’s take a look at a couple of keys. First, the D/R/I split is R+2, 39/37/24; in 2008, exit polls showed a D/R/I 39/33/29, in 2010 it was 37/36/28, and in June’s recall election, it was 34/35/31. The ratio between Democrats and Republicans might be accurate, but it does seem that independents get a little undercounted here. That might be the difference, too, because independents are breaking to Obama as they did in the NBC/WSJ poll, 51/43. That’s still a smaller advantage than Obama got in 2008, when he won independents by 19 on his way to a 14-point win. The gender gap has been completely neutralized, too, with Obama leading women 56/42 and Romney leading men by the exact same number. Still, Obama’s job approval rating is 52/48 in Wisconsin, which gives him an edge — and it’s 55/44 among indies.
How about Iowa? Romney has a one-point edge over Obama, but again Obama has a solid lead among early voters:
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Iowa Voters finds the Republican challenger with 49% support, while President Obama earns 48% of the vote. Two percent (2%) like someone else in the race, and one percent (1%) is undecided. …
A week ago, the candidates were tied at 48% apiece. The president led by two earlier in the month, while Romney posted a three-point lead in September. Prior to the latest findings, Romney’s support in Iowa has fallen in the narrow range of 46% to 48% in surveys since June, while Obama’s support has ranged from 44% to 49%.
Forty-two percent (42%) of likely Iowa voters have already voted. The president leads 56% to 39% among these voters.
The internals here don’t look too great for Romney or Obama. Romney’s losing independents here too, by twelve at 52/40, but he beats Obama on the economy by seven overall, 51/44, and by seven among independents, 49/42. By a huge margin, Iowa voters want a reduction in federal spending rather than an increase to boost the economy (74/14, 75/15 among indies). Once again, the gender gap is neutralized.
I’d consider both polls a mixed bag for both candidates. If the GOP has a firm grip on Scott Walker’s GOTV infrastructure from June and can push the economy message in Iowa, they have a chance for two big wins — but it won’t be easy in either state.