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January 04, 2012


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Obama 2012

While I agree that most Republicans will come home to Romney* (due to their irrational hatred of the President) ... I also think that more middle of the road voters will come home to Obama when they learn more about Romney. Romney may seem like a strong candidate in comparison to the rest of the pathetic GOP field, but he is still a terrible candidate in comparison to President Obama. He personifies Wall Street and he's a shifty "say anything to get elected" used car salesman type. I don't think the average middle of the road voter will go that route when it comes down to it.

* Unless there's a reasonably serious 3rd party run by a right wing candidate... which I think is somewhat likely. If someone can draw even 2 or 3 % that could be enough to throw the election to Obama (just ask Al Gore...)

Alan Snipes

I basically agree with this analysis. I believe, however that Obama is in better shape today than the national head to head polls give him. Of the states he carried in 2008, I see him losing NH and Indiana for sure. He is ahead in VA. and even in NC. Florida and Ohio are two other states where he leads. There is also a chance he could pick up Arizona as well. The Republican brand is being severely damaged during their contest for the nomination.

Obama 2012

Very important keys to Obama'a reelection:

Both Florida & Ohio have very unpopular Republican Govs. I think this helps Obama.

Also there are some key issues in those states that Obama can tie Romney to... In Florida he can tie Romney to Paul Ryan's plan to destroy Medicare (which Romney is now officially on record as supporting) and in Ohio he can tie Romney to the assault on worker's rights (which Romney also supported.)

As your analysis points out - all Obama has to do is win any one of these states (Ohio, Florida, & Pennsylvania) to get to 270... I feel pretty confident that he can win at least one of those 3 ... and I really think he will win all 3.


Why can't you poll Indiana? Why, for that matter, has no-one polled Indiana as far as I can see? I suspect Obama will be behind but it would be quite interesting to know how much.


Once the nomination process is over, Romney will consolidate all but a few unhappy Republicans. National polls show the race neck and neck at this time. I don't think Obama's position improves once the Republicans pick Romney as the nominee. On this, we seem to agree. However, on the state by state situation, I would suggest that Romney will win NH, Indiana, Florida and possibly Iowa. I also don't think Obama can duplicate what he did in North Carolina again by any means. Also, I think Ohio will end up with the Republicans. The thing that holds the best hope for Obama is his apparent hold on Virginia, Colorado and Nevada. But this type of election is like threading a needle. If the economy doesn't improve very much, Obama is going to lose a mid-western state or two and that will sink him. If the economy improves, he might just thread the needle. All, in all, if I were sitting in the White House, I would take little comfort in my position at the moment. After all, most incumbent Presidents are supposed to win re-election. This President is forced to depend on trashing his opposition rather than running on his own record. It's not a great place to be.


Henry - Indiana law prohibits automated polling like PPP does (though I heard there was a court ruling earlier this year that might overturn that, but I don't know the details). That's why no Indiana polling.

I'd like to know what Romney's approval is among the undecideds before allocating those votes as a referendum on the incumbent. We've seen all over the map how Obama easily overperforms his own approval ratings because people hate the Republicans so much more.

Valley Forge

This is a nice fantasy game, and I'm sure George HW Bush was pleased to know based on 1991 polls that he was a lock for re-election, and Reagan was discouraged to see his impending defeat based on the average of 1983 polls.

Another pollster who shall not be named shows that the head-to-head numbers are meaningless the year before, though the job approval numbers are a good predictor as early as the first quarter of the election year.

Even with these numbers, if Romney gains 8 points rather than 4 points after consolidating his base and undecideds, he would win 337 EVs, a "landslide" equal to what Obama would get if he maintained the margin in your 2011 average.


NC has a newly-minted GOP state legislature, and their radical program in 2011 may work to bring out the 2010 stay-at-home Dems in 2008 numbers, especially as Gov. Perdue is also up for re-election. Buyers' remorse towards state-level Republicans who got swept in during the mid-terms may be a wide-reaching factor in 2012.

W.R. German

Jay, you are wrong about President Obama and his record. He has accomplished quite a few landmarks, if you bother to take a look:
1) Killing bin Laden and virtually destroying Al Qaeda
2) Credit card reform
3) Preventing the 2nd Great Depression
4) Masterminding the coalition that overthrew Ghaddaffi
5) Ending the Iraq War
6) Extending Health Care to millions of uninsured
7) Ending predatory bank loan practices
8) Ending Don't Ask Don't Tell
9) the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
10) Education reform
11) Largest Green Energy initiative in U.S. history
12) Establishing the Consumer Protection Agency
13) Extensive Student Loan Reform
14) Mandating vastly improved auto fuel mileage standards
15) Tax breaks for the middle and lower classes

The list goes on and on. Compare that with the meager accomplishments of the Bush Administration (or for that matter, Romney's record as Governor of Massachusetts), and you would have to be blind not the see the difference.

The President's main problem is that the U.S. mainstream media does appear to be willfully blind--THAT and the wretched Citizens United ruling are his major hurdles between now and Nov. 7.

Todd Dugdale

The weekly PPP surveys are showing whites and 65+ voters breaking at pretty much the same levels as they did in the 2008 election, which they obviously lost. The Republicans need 58-60% of the white vote to win, and probably more to make up for the rise of Hispanics in the general electorate. Currently, they seem stuck at 54%, and McCain got 55% when he lost. And that's in a generic match-up.

What do Republicans imagine is going to bring those base voters home? A bad economy? We've got that *now*, and it's not looking good for Republicans.


There is yet another factor. Suppose a Super Pac decides to highlight Romney's religious beliefs to conservative Christian voters. Many of them may choose to sit this one out rather than choose between someone they consider a member of a cult, or someone they still think is a Muslim.

Todd Dugdale

Valley Forge wrote:
"Even with these numbers, if Romney gains 8 points rather than 4 points after consolidating his base and undecideds, he would win 337 EVs,"

That assumes that those votes would be ideally distributed. It could very easily just be a case of already red States getting redder, which would add no EVs to Romney's total.

Also, I failed to gain any context whatsoever from the article about this notion that PPP is saying Obama is a "lock". The tone seems quite cautious, actually.

It is still early, but I see no major issues that could make a dramatic difference. We've had years of harsh criticism, bordering on paranoia, from the GOP concerning Obama. If that was going to flip things for Romney, it should have already done so. Everyone who believes the charges of "socialist Muslim usurper" is *already* firmly against Obama.


So Ohio is the tipping-point state, as so often in the past!


Luther & Others,

Why on the Earth, Purdue is 10 points behind Pat McCrory in the match up. As you know, Purdue brand is so weakened in North Carolina, it might go against the president in the state. From 2009 elections of Virginia & new jersey governorship to the special elections in New York in 2011 , there is always a word "people will come back to the democratic party on election day". So, far it has not happened and democrats have lost big !

In the history of polling, no president has been elected with a 43% of approval. As you know, undecided always break away from the incumbents. Also, it is wishful thinking that people like me(not a fan of Romney) will sit behind ! Once the nominee is set, we will come out in huge numbers to vote against Obama.

Regarding the accomplishments of Obama, people have spoken in one voice. 70% people don't like the direction of the country. No president has won with these numbers. When Bush had approval number of 50% going to the election in 2004, the election was very close. Obama with an approval number of 40-43% will not win the reelection.


I'm sure people such as Ranjit love to look at the polls that say what they want, but I can also look at polls which say how well like the President is in general by the country by 70%. People tend to be in favor of the people the feel a strong affinity for, particularly when undecided. That coupled with the improving jobs numbers (200,000) jobs created last month things are looking up for the President. Mitt Romney by the way claims to have created 100,000 jobs his whole entire time in the private sector as a corporate raider, job creation numbers that Romeny can't verify when asked to by independent organizations and the media. Assuming Romney's numbers are not fictious, I think when the President puts his numbers against Romney's he comes out looking golden. Put that together with the fact that Romney got rich shipping jobs overseas, information the casual voter does not know yet but will once election day rolls around,Romney is going to look like the evil business man who doesn't care about the little guy. That image will be brutal to his campaign. But I guess republican voters have to look at every little thing they can possibly hang on too because at the end of the day Romney is a weak candidate. His one ace in the whole, his supposed back round as a job creator, is weak at best. When it's looked at over and over by the media, and the commericals of the workers who's jobs he sent to India start to air, Romney is going to have problems. No Obama's reelection is not a lock, but Romney's "record" is flimsy with black marks galore. It must be rough as a Republican to have to vote for someone who is so flawed and you can't truly feel good about.

r.l. harrington

The GOP crowds will be extra rabid and so far Mitt has been attacking the President based upon myth rather than record.

The take down is fairly easy. Mitt says "The President looks at the economy and says it could be worse"
Obama will respond "The economy was worse, do you really think deregulation will prevent another banking crisis?"
"GDP at -7% in 2008 now +4% an 11% swing, which is a historical high."


In 2008, Barack Obama won the presidency over John McCain nationally by a margin of 7.26%. That's from the Federal Elections Commission's site, where it reports that Obama received 52.92% of the U.S. Popular Vote over McCain's 45.66%.

Of the 19 states Obama won that were also in losing Democrat John Kerry's 2004 column, only New Hampshire did not reach a margin of 10% for carriage by Obama.

That means N.H.'s 2008 margin, at 9.61%, was 2.35% above Obama's 7.26%. All the rest were at least 3% more blue. (Minnesota was 10.24%. Pennsylvania was 10.31%. The 16 others, like Wisconsin and New Jersey, were an additional 5-plus percentage points.)

I do not buy into much of this.

Taking one 2004/2008 Kerry/Obama state (Michigan) and one pickup George W. Bush/Obama state (Colorado), there's little difference in these presented numbers. Colo. is 5% while Mich. is at 6%. The spread in margins between these two states since 1996 (when Colo. flipped after carrying for 1992 Bill Clinton to 1996 Bob Dole) has been at least 7.49% (from 2008). I would expect at least seven points minimum to separate them. (Obama won Mich. by 16.44%; he flipped Colo. with a margin of 8.95%.)

I also don't believe N.H. will go red unless the Repblican Party is the one that prevails in this 2012 presidential election. We are not likely to see a state's 9.61% margin get erased while North Carolina (Bush/Obama) takes its 0.33% north to 2 percentage points for the Democrats.

Also here's this: Since the Republicans and Democrats first competed in 1856, there have been four re-elected incumbents who did not lose a single state from first election: Abraham Lincoln (1864), Franklin Roosevelt (1936), Richard Nixon (1972), and Ronald Reagan (1984). When all four won re-elections, they carried at least 88 percent of the states (Lincoln won 22 out of 25, for 88%). Most would not suspect Obama will become No. 5, but if he were to get re-elected it would be ignorant to not recognize usual pattern for winning a second term is to get a gain in electoral votes. In fact, just one did not follow this pattern: Woodrow Wilson (1916).

Public Policy Polling should do this: poll four states that should be vulnerable to a losing Republican challenger (likely the 2012 nominee will be ex-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney). Those four are: Arizona, Georgia, Missouri, and Montana. With the last three, Obama won the female vote in 2008. In the case of Ariz., John McCain's home-son was an advantage with females, who vote Democratic before Republican (males do the opposite): 45% for Obama, down from 47% for Kerry. But get this: males, who kept all four in the column for McCain, gave Obama a match of 45% in 2008 Ariz. That was second-best among the quartet, as only Mo. was better: 48% males for Obama.


Also here's this: Since the Republicans and Democrats first competed in 1856, there have been four re-elected incumbents who did not lose a single state from first election: Abraham Lincoln (1864), Franklin Roosevelt (1936), Richard Nixon (1972), and Ronald Reagan (1984). When all four won re-elections, they carried at least 88 percent of the states (Lincoln won 22 out of 25, for 88%). Most would not suspect Obama will become No. 5, but if he were to get re-elected it would be ignorant to not recognize usual pattern for winning a second term is to get a gain in electoral votes. In fact, just one did not follow this pattern: Woodrow Wilson (1916).

I need to expand on this.

Of the nine 2004/2008 pickup states, I believe Indiana is the selected one prognosticators figure President Obama would not hold with winning re-election in 2012. (The eight other pickups: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia.)

It's too bad Indiana cannot get polled. That is because — when weighing the male-vs.-female votes — Obama received similar numbers there, in 2008, as he had in longtime but declining bellwether Missouri. (Ind. males were 47% for Obama to Mo.'s 48%. Ind. females for Obama were 52% to Mo.'s 50%. Though both ended up different colors, in 2008, the margins spread between the two was a mere 1.16%.)

If Obama gets re-elected, a loss of Indiana but a pickup between at least three of Arizona, Georgia, Missouri, and Montana seem feasible.

If the Republicans bomb with Romney, that's where partisan Democrats can get excited about Texas to go along with Ariz., Ga., Mo., and Mont. Add to that South Carolina. As well as both North Dakota and South Dakota. And the [formerly] traditional five for winning Democrats: Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

It's still early.


Indiana is GONE for Obama, he WON'T win it again. AS for Arizona, when his justice department sued them over a state issue he blew that state as well. No way he wins Arizona either. I imagine Obama will win re-election but it will be a much smaller margin than 2008. NC is in play but I don't see him winning that one as well of course it isnt lost like Indiana is. HE came close in Georgia and might pull that one off. I use to lobby thier legislature and he is popular there. Except for 2 or 3 states like NH and Florida going along with Indiana and like I said possibly NC I don't think you are going to see any other states flip. GA and MO are possible to go the Preisents way but that is really a tossup. Other than that Obama wins. However unlike 2008. President Obama WON'T have coattails this time around.

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