Polls: Romney leads Obama in Ohio and Florida, tied in Colorado

Remember, Team O dropped a cool $25 million in ad spending last month. Their dividend thus far has been … a series of tightening polls, capped by today’s Gallup tracker showing Romney ahead by two nationally. Dude, is this happening?

First, the Colorado news from Rasmussen:

President Obama and Mitt Romney are neck-and-neck in Rasmussen Reports’ first look at the presidential race in Colorado.

A new statewide telephone survey of Likely Voters shows both the president and his likely Republican challenger receiving 45% support in the Centennial State. Six percent (6%) prefer some other candidate in the race, and five percent (5%) are undecided.

Now the obligatory caveat: In the other major poll released today, a multistate survey of Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Colorado from Purple Insights, The One leads Romney by two in Colorado. Given the margin of error, though, that result is statistically indistinguishable from Rasmussen’s result. In fact, open up the PDF and scroll down to page 10 and you’ll see that all four states are effectively dead heats, although for the moment Mitt leads in Ohio and Florida and Obama in Virginia and Colorado. The bad news? O actually does ever so slightly better in those last two states than he did in April even though Romney’s favorable ratings have improved. The good news? Romney wins independents in both states as well as in Florida. The only state where he loses them is, oddly enough, in Ohio, where he enjoys a three-point lead overall. I’m suspicious of that result, actually, because of the unusual partisan breakdown: In the other three states, Romney is running at around 85/12 over Obama among Republicans, but in Ohio he’s at a mind-blowing 91/3. I know the base is going to line up behind him, but they ain’t lining up that tightly.

The response when people were asked which candidate knows what it takes to create jobs is interesting. Obama’s on the top line, Romney’s on the second, and “not sure” is on the third. From left to right, you’re looking at results from Colorado, Virginia, Ohio, and Florida, respectively. No surprise that Romney’s winning this category, but it is a bit surprising that he’s only winning it this narrowly:

The poll was conducted from May 31 to June 5; the miserable May jobs report came out on June 1, so O’s numbers may be slightly inflated here due to the results obtained before the report was announced.

This data set is interesting too, as it touches on views of Romney’s Bain career. Top line is people who think private equity helps the economy, second line is people who think it hurts, third line is “not sure.” Again, from left to right, it’s CO, VA, OH, and FL:

Terrible numbers in Ohio and Florida — the two states where Romney leads. Proof that the Bain messaging isn’t moving the needle, or circumstantial evidence that the Bain messaging might be working to keep Obama in the game?

One more data set for you on jobs, which might help explain why Obama and Romney are neck and neck on who’ll do better to create them. This comes from Gallup. Never forget, my friends: There are an awful lot of low-information voters out there.

Column three is the killer, of course. Overall, a plurality actually rates last Friday’s jobs-report stinkbomb as having been “mixed,” “somewhat positive,” or “very positive”(!) (40 percent, seven percent, and two percent, respectively). Just 42 percent say it was either somewhat or very negative. I don’t know how to explain that except to speculate that a huge chunk of voters simply have no idea of what constitutes healthy job growth. They hear that 60,000 jobs have been created and they think “hey, great” without paying close enough attention to know that that’s far below what we need to bring down unemployment. I think that’ll change later this year as people start focusing more on political news in anticipation of election day, but who knows? Maybe The One will surf to victory on a wave of idiots who think 50,000 jobs a month is pretty goshdarned impressive.

Exit quotation from Fox News’s new poll: “More than half of voters think the administration has mostly failed at creating new jobs (56 percent), stimulating the economy (54 percent) and improving health care (52 percent).”