A roundup of current battleground state numbers shows Obama hanging on (so far)
Unlike at this point in the presidential election cycle in 2007 (when we were looking at a Fred Thompson versus Hillary Clinton campaign), we basically know who the contenders will be next year. Barack Obama versus Mitt Romney or Rick Perry. Like this point in the last election season, though, we know what states it’ll come down to: the “Swing States,” roughly Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, North Carolina and Wisconsin. And maybe Nevada. And Pennsylvania and Iowa. But mainly the first list.
So let’s look at the polls, helpfully aggregated by Real Clear Politics, and see how Obama’s doing versus his likely challengers in the only states where votes actually will count.
Barack Obama’s job approval ratings are in the toilet, nationally and in every battleground state (because no one has a job). But his personal favorability ratings remain relatively high, and no one has much warmed up, personally, to Mitt Romney. The voters have not yet really gotten to know Rick Perry.
Most of the early general election polling in battleground states has been done by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic polling firm that was praised for accuracy in 2008, but one that practices automated polling of registered voters, instead of “likely voters.” The basic picture right now is of an electorate that likes Obama a bit more than his rivals, but whether the people who like him more than his rivals will actually go out and vote for him will depend on a lot of factors, including whether Obama manages to convince Congress to send every American a $1,000 check to pay off their mortgages and buy groceries while looking for work. (This will probably not happen.)
As always, Obama needs Florida. He needs it so much. Ohio would be nice, but it’s tougher.
There’s one very recent Florida poll, from Magellan Data & Mapping Strategies poll. The poll of 723 likely general election voters finds that Obama is unpopular, along with most of the people he’s running against. The Orlando Sentinel sums up the results:
The survey found 40 percent of voters had a favorable opinion of Obama and 55 percent had an unfavorable opinion. What’s more, 37 percent said they believed Obama should be re-elected, while 57 percent said he shouldn’t be.
Romney’s favorable-unfavorable numbers were 38 and 40; Bachmann’s 33 and 43; and Perry’s 33 and 30.
Despite the luke-warm feeling for the Republicans, the surveyed voters said matchups would have Romney beating Obama 49-39, Bachmann winning 43-42 and Perry 46-39.
Losing to Bachmann! Rough. Florida polls done since June show Obama losing to Romney by anywhere from 1 to 10 points. He led against Perry before Perry’s official entrance into the race. (Though Perry could surge now and then lose support once everyone hears about how much he hates Social Security.)
Only Public Policy Polling and Quinnipiac have polled Obama versus Republicans in Ohio, with Quinnipiac’s poll taking place early in mid-July. The president is beating Rick Perry as of Aug. 14, has yet to poll below Romney, and probably doesn’t need to worry about Michele Bachmann.
Obama probably won’t win North Carolina again, but considering that he did win it last time, it’s worth taking a quick look.
Public Policy Polling has yet to show Obama losing to Romney. Obama and Romney were tied in early July, but mostly the president’s been leading by between 1 and 3 points. Surprisingly, Obama has an 8-point lead on Perry according to a PPP poll from early August. A July 12-13 poll of registered voters by Civitas showed Perry leading 45-42. PPP has Obama beating Bachmann and Palin by double digits in their most recent polls.
According to two PPP polls with tiny samples, Barack Obama is beating Mitt Romney with 48 percent or 47 percent of the vote to Mitt’s 41 percent. As of August 4-7, Rick Perry’s name was enough to get Obama to crack 50 percent, a rarity in all early battleground state polls posted so far. Same with Bachmann.
Will old/Southern Virginia rise again, sending George Allen back to the Senate and propelling a white Republican back into the White House? Or will those dope-smoking liberals of northern Virginia prevail? So far, the dope-smokers are looking pretty good. In July, PPP has Obama on top of Perry 48-39. He was beating Bachmann 49-40. And Romney’s making it close, but Obama’s leading 47-43. (In the one non-PPP poll, conducted by the Washington Post in May, Obama led Romney 50-44.)
It’s a bit surprising, given Obama’s awful approval ratings, that he still (very barely) beats most of his challengers head to head in state polls. But the general election hasn’t yet begun, and many Americans very correctly refuse to pay attention until they have to.
Right now I’m thinking the GOP is nuts to be looking for someone “better” than Mitt Romney, though Rick Perry’s performance in the next couple of months will determine whether that’s the case. (Once everyone realizes he talks exactly like George W. Bush he’ll surely lose this thing, though.)
More Related Stories
- There's no substitute for government disaster relief
- Holder signed off on search warrant for reporter
- Mississippi could begin prosecuting women for miscarriages
- Mike Judge: "Bowling for Columbine" made me pro-gun
- Closing Gitmo is not enough
- Murkowski: Palin too disengaged to run for Senate
- In IRS scandal, new GOP tactic is ignorance
- Code Pink activist berates Obama at national security speech
- Cuomo: "Shame on us" if New York City elects Weiner
- Coburn calls questions about tornado aid "typical Washington B.S."
- Conspiracy theorists clash over London attack
- Voting is not a right
- Destroying the planet for record profits
- Ahead of Obama's speech, U.S. acknowledges four American drone killings
- Pic of the day: Barack Obama at prom
- Anti-Islam backlash in London after machete attack
- Must-see morning clip: Bill O'Reilly visits "The Daily Show"
- Obama’s drone speech will probably be maddening
- Boehner: "Inconceivable" Obama didn't know about IRS targeting
- Obama to announce new effort to close Guantanamo Bay
- House supporters of KXL received $56m from fossil fuel industry
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11