72 hours out from debate numero uno, Sunday evening’s Rasmussen Reports daily tracking poll found President Obama leading Mitt Romney inside the margin of error.
He’s up over Governor Romney by 2-points (48% to 46%) among likely voters.
And guess what, Save Jerseyans? I genuinely think this could be bad news for Barack Obama. No spin – just facts.
The pattern held. Scott Rasmussen goes on to explain how, in 2008, “[t]he numbers barely budged for the rest of the campaign season as Obama enjoyed a comfortable lead and stayed between 50% and 52% every day for the last 40 days.”
Even more interestingly (and this is the “bad” part for Obama), despite the fact that this survey found only 3% of likely voters to be completely undecided, Rasmussen found 5x as many committed/leaning voters to be “soft” supporters…
Currently, 43% of voters are “certain” they will vote for Romney. Forty-two percent (42%) are that certain they will vote for Obama. The remaining 15% are either uncommitted or open to changing their mind. To many Americans, especially partisan activists, it is hard to imagine how someone could be anything but certain at this point in time. One of the distinguishing features of these potentially persuadable voters is that they don’t see the choice between Romney and Obama as terribly significant. In terms of impacting their own life, just 28% say it will be Very Important which man wins.
By contrast, Mainstream Media surveys showing the President with a larger, outside-the-margin-of-error leads have reported very few soft or uncommitted voters this year.
Translation? If the 2008 presidential cycle’s most accurate national pollster (Rasmussen) is right again, this race is likely to come down the wire and is likely to be decided by a 2000 or 2004 margin.
That’s because undecideds almost always break towards the challenger, folks. The vast majority of voters who aren’t supporting Mr. Obama at this late juncture are either going for someone else or sitting this one out.
But what about the President’s approval index? We all know that the President’s approval rating is key to his reelection, and he’s been inching closer to 50% in many surveys — the “magic” number for an incumbent.
Scott Rasmussen has developed an interesting gauge:
What does this comparison tell us?
Well, if Scott Rasmussen’s sample/model is accurate, then President Obama’s approval index (the gap between those who “strongly approve” and “strongly disapprove” of his job performance) is almost as bad now as it was mere weeks before Republicans picked up 63 seats in Congress during a very anti-incumbent midterm cycle.
Yes, he’s at 50% (slightly lower in the RCP average); Mitt Romney needs to do a lot right over the next several weeks to tip the balance. I am also not suggesting that Republicans are going to pick up 63 seats in 2012; gerrymandering is likely to limit either party’s gains this time around to under 10, though there are plenty of seats out there that Democrats held with less than 55% of the vote in 2012.
I am suggesting that Rasmussen’s numbers, if accurate, provide important insight into turnout on Election Day 2012. Remember: 41.4 million Republican votes and 35.8 million Democrat votes were tallied in November 2010. That’s a 5 million GOP vote jump over 2006 and a 6 million vote Democrat decrease. Also consider how there have been massive NET Democrat voter registration increases in eight key battleground states since ’08 (where Rasmussen sees Obama leading by about 4-points overall).
Synthesizing all of this fresh data and historical information tells your Blogger-in-Chief that MSM polls like last week’s CBS/NYT survey are indeed wildly inaccurate — and this 2012 race is still up in the air — if Scott Rasmussen is correct in his finding that those who strongly disapprove of this President continue to decisively outnumber those who strongly support him over the past two years.
Onward to Denver, Save Jerseyans! The debates are going to matter this time around…