Is it too early to say that Barack Obama has lost Florida? Not according to a new survey from Magellan Strategies, which finds the incumbent sharply under water in all key election categories. His job approval and re-elect numbers are an identical 37/57, while his “image rating” — favorability — is almost as bad:
Currently, the President’s image rating is upside down with 40% of respondents having a favorable opinion of him, and 55% having an unfavorable opinion. Looking at responses among key voter subgroups, 52% of women, 53% of independents, 67% of Hispanics, and 58% of seniors have an unfavorable opinion of the President. Among voters aged 18 to 29, a vital voter subgroup in Barack Obama’s 2008 victory, 39% have a favorable image of him and 49% have an unfavorable image of him.
Among all respondents, only 37% approve of the job the President is doing and 57% disapprove of the job he is doing. Again looking at key voter subgroups, 53% of women, 56% of independents, 72% of Hispanics and 59% of seniors disapprove of the job Barack Obama is doing. The most alarming number for the President and his election team is that 26% of Democrats disapprove of the job he is doing. Among voters aged 18 to 29, 48% approve of the job he is doing and 52% disapprove of thejob he is doing.
Among all respondents, 37% think Barack Obama deserves re‐election and 57% think he does not deserve re‐election. Among women voters, 55% do not think the President deserves re‐election. Among other key voting subgroups, 55% of independents, 72% of Hispanics, 60% of seniors, and 27% of Democrats think the President does not deserve re‐election. Among voters aged 18 to 29, 38% think Barack Obama deserves re‐election and 50% think he does not deserve re‐election.
Obama won Florida in 2008 by three points over John McCain in a close-fought battle. Turnout in that election favored Democrats by three points, 37/34/29. In 2010, as Republicans rebounded in the Tea Party midterms, the turnout evened up at 36/36/29. In the Magellan sample, Democrats have a three-point edge at 42/39/19, with independents obviously undersampled. That model assumes Democrats turn out in stronger numbers in 2012 than they did in 2008, which seems highly unlikely for an incumbent with 37/57 re-elect and 40/55 favorability numbers.
If he’s hoping for help with independents, he can forget it. The underrepresentation of independents in this survey probably helped Obama with these numbers rather than hurt him. His favorability among indies is 35/53, worse than the overall number. Obama’s job approval among indies is 37/56, just about the same as the overall number.
Even with the somewhat-friendly sampling, Obama loses all three head-to-head matchups posed by Magellan. Mitt Romney beats Obama by ten points, 49/39, and Rick Perry beats him by 7 at 46/39. Obama only gets into the 40s against Michele Bachmann, who still edges him by a single point, 43/42. Romney wins an eleven-point margin among the undersampled independents (44/33) and Perry wins that category by 7 (38/31). Only Bachmann loses the independent vote 33/37 to Obama. Romney is the only Republican to win both men and women (Perry gets edged by a single point, Bachmann down 7), but all three win the senior vote — and all three win Hispanic voters by landslide margins.
When an incumbent president can’t get above 39% against two named primary candidates of the opposition party, it’s a sure sign of impending doom in that state. Florida’s 29 electoral votes seem destined to go to Republicans.
Update: I wrote “Perry” twice in the analysis of independents; the first reference should have been to Romney. I’ve corrected it.