NRL News

When the dust settled, Obama still up by only one point

by | Sep 11, 2012

By Dave Andrusko

Pro-abortion President Barack Obama and Pro-life Mitt Romney

As we’ve written dozens of times, whether as participant in or even an observer of the electoral system, it’s essential not to get giddy or depressed by a few polls. President Obama received a “bounce” coming out of the Democratic National Convention—hardly a surprise—and it has since vanished—also no surprise. After the last balloon fell from the rafters and the electorate digested what it saw, Obama retained his one point lead over his pro-life challenger Mitt Romney among likely voters, 49% to 48%, according the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll.

When I read the story over cereal this morning, the second paragraph jumped out at me, just as it did to Ed Morrissey (who writes at

With less than two months to go, the category that matters is not registered voters (which, according to the poll, Obama has increased his advantage in) but likely voters where Obama remains ahead by a single point.

Morrissey does his typically fine job explaining that there is no reason to believe the model (the voter sample) used by the Post and ABC News will be reflected in the actual turnout come November 6. At its recent worst (2008), 32% of those who voted were Republican, 39% were Democrats and 29% were Independents. In its best (2010), the national turnout was 35% for both Republicans and Democrats, and 30% for Independents.

But this new polls voter sample consists of 33% Democrats, 23% Republican, and 37% Independents. A GOP turnout that low “would be among the worst ever in a presidential race, if not a record,” Morrissey writes. “Since enthusiasm measures in other surveys, notably Gallup’s, show an enthusiasm gap favoring Republicans, I’m not inclined to buy this poll’s likely-voter split as a model for this election.”

And it is important to know that the much ballyhooed “gender gap” has shrunk to a five point advantage among likely voters for Obama among women. Mr. Romney leads among men by three points.

Two other quick points. Even buoyed by the convention “bounce,”

Obama’s ratings “on the economy are quite dismal among registered voters,” according to one story in the Post: 53% disapproval to 45% approval.

Among likely independent voters, Romney’s beating Obama by 11 points (54% to 43%).  “Obama won independents by eight in 2008 on his way to a seven point victory overall,” Morrissey notes. “That’s a 19-point swing among independents.”

Be sure to stop by NRL News Today each day, Monday through Saturday to get the latest numbers.

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Categories: Politics