Gallup uses a timely hook for its report today, noting that Mitt Romney has an enormous lead over the current Commander in Chief among veterans, but that’s not the most interesting takeaway from the poll. The six-week survey of registered voters shows Barack Obama stuck in a tie at 46/46 with Romney, even before likely-voter models get applied. That outcome encompasses the initial period of flux in the Republican primary as Rick Santorum withdrew and while Newt Gingrich delayed his withdrawal, and while the GOP was just beginning to unite behind its frontrunner. Let’s also not forget the I-got-Osama campaign from Team O that hit right in the middle of this period, too.
With all of that going on, an incumbent President should have been miles ahead of his competition. Instead, Obama finds himself stuck in the mid-40s as his attacks on Bain Capital continue to backfire, and as his fundraising hits the doldrums. That’s a bad sign for Obama.
Gallup dissects the veteran vote, which appears in part to be driving the gender gap, a key point that also brings bad news to Obama:
U.S. veterans, about 13% of the adult population and consisting mostly of older men, support Mitt Romney over Barack Obama for president by 58% to 34%, while nonveterans give Obama a four-percentage-point edge.
These data, from an analysis of Gallup Daily tracking interviews conducted April 11-May 24, show that 24% of all adult men are veterans, compared with 2% of adult women.
Obama and Romney are tied overall at 46% apiece among all registered voters in this sample. Men give Romney an eight-point edge, while women opt for Obama over Romney by seven points. It turns out that the male skew for Romney is driven almost entirely by veterans. Romney leads by one point among nonveteran men, contrasted with the 28-point edge Romney receives among male veterans.
That’s a 60/32 split for Romney among male vets, while female vets give Obama a five-point edge — but only at 47/42. Men with no military service give Obama a slight edge at 48/44, but again below the 50% threshold that an incumbent at this stage should get. Romney leads men overall at 50/42, while women overall favor Obama at 49/42, a smaller gender gap for Republicans almost by half over 2008’s 56/43 for Obama. And keep in mind that this is among registered voters, not likely voters, during a period in which Obama and the Democrats went into overdrive to push the notion that Republicans are waging a “war on women.”
With the election a little over five months away, much can and will change before voters actually go to the polls. An incumbent with these kind of numbers at this stage, though, should be very worried about his political future.