NRL News

Romney, Obama neck and neck in new polls

by | May 8, 2012


By Dave Andrusko

The most recent polls confirm what has grown increasingly clear–that the contest between pro-life Mitt Romney and pro-abortion Barack Obama is tightening as Republicans coalesce around the presumptive nominee.  At the end of this post we’ll borrow insights from Ronald Brownstein of the National Journal who paints a much grimmer picture for the President than found in almost any other account.

Gallup reports today that Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, has a one point lead over President Obama, 46% to 45% among registered voters. In late April, Romney was behind by 7 points.

And a POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Poll, conducted April 29 through May 4, reveals that Romney has that same one point lead, 48% to 47%, although it is the internals that are far more significant. For example, among the Independents Romney is up 10 points, 48% to 38%. In addition,

   “A full 91 percent of Republicans support Romney, slightly exceeding the percentage of Democrats who support Obama,” writes POLITICO’s James Hohmann.  Moreover, “Just one-third believe the country is moving in the right direction, a troublingly low number for any incumbent.”

   The famous (and usually misunderstood) gender gap “still exists,”
 Hohmann writes

 “but it appears to be narrowing. Obama leads among women by 7 percentage points, while Romney has the same lead among male voters. But among women younger than 45 , Obama leads 57 percent to 39 percent. Yet Romney leads among women older than 45, 50 percent to 45 percent. The Republican also leads among white women, 57 percent to 38 percent.”

One other important observation from the poll:

“Anti-Obama sentiment continues to be more intense than pro-Obama sentiment. For example, twice as many voters strongly disapprove of the president’s handling of the economy as those who strongly approve. On the budget and spending, it’s a nearly 3-to-1 ratio.”

Further evidence the gap is narrowing significantly is found in USA Today/Gallup poll of 12 battleground states released early Monday. Whereas Romney was behind by nine points in late March among registered voters, he now trails by only two points, 47% to 45%. The battleground states are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

  USA Today/Gallup has larger gender gaps among both women and men.

Women support President Obama by 12 points, 52%-40%. But in March Obama was ahead by 17% in the battleground states. Men give Romney an eight point advantage, 50%-42%.

What about “persuadable voters” (the uncommitted). USA Today explains who they are.

“This time, they tend to be Republican or Republican-leaning. Half describe themselves as moderate; six in 10 say Obama is more liberal than they are. They give the president a lower job-approval rating (40%) than other voters. By 2-to-1, they predict Romney would do a better job in handling the economy.”

   Writing about USA/Today Gallup in the National Journal, Ronald Brownstein notes


  • ·         Romney has doubled his advantage among non-college white men; he now leads 58% to 31%.


  • Among white women without college, Obama has dropped from even to trailing Romney by 12 points—51% to 39%.


  • Even among white women with a college education Obama’s lead has shrunk–from 12 points to 2 points, 49% to 47%.


  • Recent national polls have “generally showed Obama approaching the cumulative 80 percent of the vote he won among minorities in 2008,” Brownstein writes. But “The Gallup/USA survey showed Obama leading Romney in these swing states among non-white voters by only a 70 percent to 21 percent margin.”


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