Obama In The Poll Position

Good ol’ Zandardad flagged down this story in my email today on the latest WaPo/ABC poll numbers this morning, and they’re good news for the President (as far as election poll results in February can qualify as “good news” for anyone, I guess.)  The crosstabs are pretty interesting when you take a look, too.

President Obama’s approval ratings are 50%-46%, and by a 50%-48% reading, people think he deserves a second term.  The Republican nominees as a group fare much worse in approval, 36%-54%.

Of the Republican leaners in the poll, Newt has the most experience to qualify him for President (46%), but Mitt wins the “can beat Barack Obama” category with 56%.

Here’s the interesting part:  People are split on Mitt’s wealth being a positive or negative (43%-44%) but only 30% of Americans think he’s paying his fair share of taxes, 2/3rds of Americans don’t (66%).

Also, President Obama would win 51%-45% over Romney and 54%-43% over Gingrich if the election were held now among registered voters.   Finally, while President Obama splits with Romney on the issue of job creation and Romney has a six-point edge on handling the economy, the President has a whopping 19-point lead on protecting the middle class, and a 16-point one on handling terrorism.

In other words, despite the effort to paint him as the dreaded Other, President Obama is winning handily on the middle-class “one of us” issue over Mitt.  There’s a lesson to be learned there.






37 replies
  1. 1
    Steve says:

    The really good news is that a lot of people are just starting to learn about Romney. It’s hard to see how he gets much more than the “anybody but Obama” vote at the end of the day.

  2. 2
    dmsilev says:

    You missed one of the more hilarious bits of the poll:

    The other: questions focused on Romney’s wealth, his low tax burden and, relatedly, his ability to connect with average Americans. Notably, 52 percent in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, say the more they hear about Romney the less they like him – double the number who like him more.

    Wheee! Let’s all pray for a long and bloody continuation of the GOP primary.

  3. 3
    Yevgraf says:

    Romney has a six-point edge on handling the economy

    What the fuck? Really?

  4. 4
    scav says:

    @Yevgraf: You mean you’ve not heard there’s a magic economy button? Tickle it and PooF! The dig wiggles his leg and there’s full employment.

    (eta. shhhhhh. they’re hiding it from us)

  5. 5
    dmsilev says:

    Also, too, I think the Onion accurately summed up the state of the GOP primary: “Poll: GOP Nomination Now Two-Way Race Between Mitt Romney, Total Voter Apathy”.

  6. 6
    Steve says:

    @Yevgraf: Romney, like all Republicans, has a secret plan to fix the economy and create jobs, which he can only disclose once he’s elected.

  7. 7
    rikryah says:

    To know Willard is to dislike him…so, here’s to more Americans getting to know him.

  8. 8
    rlrr says:

    The media will still spin it as a horse race, just like 2008 (even though it became clear McCain was going to lose soon after the Republican convention).

  9. 9
    rikryah says:

    And here’s the thing; the Obama campaign hasn’t even BEGUN. not in earnest.

  10. 10
    rlrr says:

    @Steve:

    Just like John McCain’s secret plan to end terrorism.

  11. 11
    Elizabelle says:

    @Yevgraf:

    I know. Guess a lot of people want others to get “Bained.” (Course, it could never happen to them, personally.)

    Gonna be interesting to watch that 6% difference and which way it trends.

  12. 12
    srv says:

    Wurlitzer is going to start up on Obama’s Hostage Crises in Egypt.

  13. 13
    Elizabelle says:

    NYTimes: U.S. Suspending Operations at Syrian Embassy (breaking news banner)

  14. 14
    The Moar You Know says:

    Wurlitzer is going to start up on Obama’s Hostage Crises in Egypt.

    @srv: Nightly countdown on Fox in less than a week, I’ll bet. The fascists saw how handily that nightly ticker of doom torpedoed Carter.

    It will be interesting in 20 years to find out who paid Egypt to do this.

  15. 15
    Comrade Mary says:

    Hostage crisis? Google shows two Californian women were kidnapped by Bedouins (!) for a few hours last week, and a similar story for some Chinese workers last week who are also now free. Am I missing another kidnapping story?

  16. 16
    mark says:

    43% for Gingrich should should show the world how many insane people live in this country.

    Was listening to Prairie Home Companion and he said about the Republican primary front-runners “The Mormon vs. the Polygmist”

  17. 17
    srv says:

    @Comrade Mary: Miss the 19 US NGO’s being put on trial by the govt?

  18. 18
    Rhoda says:

    @Comrade Mary: Some Americans working for NGOs are being held in Egypt for trial; it’s a bullshit charge that shows the military is pissed and a disconnect between America and Egypt.

  19. 19
    rlrr says:

    @srv:

    Operative word is trial, hardly a hostage crisis, yet.

  20. 20
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    @rlrr: Quite. Cokie Roberts informed me this morning on my local tote bag station that Obama is having troubles with middle because they are religious and don’t like his healthcare must cover contraception rule. Because apparently the people that are against contraception would have turned out in huge numbers to vote for Obama otherwise. Morans.

  21. 21
    dmsilev says:

    @Comrade Mary:Hostage isn’t really the right word, but yesterday the Egyptian government threatened to arrest a bunch of people, including 19 Americans, who are members of various democracy-promoting groups.

    See, for example, this story.

  22. 22
    Comrade Mary says:

    @srv: Yes, I did miss that, because “hostage” is a term I associate with, you know, kidnapping, and apparently Google does, too.

    Here’s Al Jazeera’s take on it.

  23. 23
    Wayne says:

    These polls are nothing but indicators on how he might do if the national popular vote actually meant anything which it doesn’t. The big question, does Obama lead in the electoral college?

  24. 24
    Tractarian says:

    @Wayne:

    The big question, does Obama lead in the electoral college?

    Right now, the answer would have to be yes. Recent polls show Obama beating Romney handily in swing states that he won narrowly in 2008: by 7 points in OH, 8 in FL, 10 in NH.

    If the election were held today, Obama would likely keep all his 2008 states (other than NC and IN, which would be toss-ups) and he might pick up MO.

  25. 25
    Ken says:

    @Yevgraf: I think they’re working from the idea is Romney will bring his business experience to the United States. I don’t think that they’ve worked out how that would translate in practice – the only analogy I can think of would be breaking up the country, selling the Southwest back to Mexico and Alaska to the Russians, then stealing the Social Security trust fund for his cronies – er, sorry, “repurposing the pension fund to incentivize management bonuses”.

  26. 26
    liberal says:

    @dmsilev:
    If you look at the history of those groups, the claim that their purpose is to promote democracy is questionable.

  27. 27
    Nutella says:

    only 30% of Americans think he’s paying his fair share of taxes

    Wow. Is that the 27% who never know anything plus his rich buddies? Because I can’t imagine anyone disagreeing that Romney (and his kids who got millions from Daddy tax free) isn’t paying his fair share.

  28. 28
    cckids says:

    @rikryah:

    To know Willard is to dislike him…so, here’s to more Americans getting to know him.

    The fabulous part is, this is true of RMoney, of Newt, Paul and Santorum. It truly doesn’t matter which of this crop they nominate, they all stink more the longer they hang around.

  29. 29
    colby says:

    @Wayne: That’s a little inaccurate. I mean, yeah, it’s possible for the PV and EV to split, but there’s a reason that the instances where they have stick out in our mind so much- it’s not very often.

    A six-point PV lead just isn’t going to translate into an EV loss. Remember, Obama won by 7 in ’08, and picked up pretty much every EV that wasn’t nailed down.

  30. 30
    Tractarian says:

    @dmsilev:

    yesterday the Egyptian government threatened to arrest a bunch of people, including 19 Americans, who are members of various democracy-promoting groups

    And this reflects poorly on the Obama Administration because….?

  31. 31
    Marc says:

    @Yevgraf: Yeah, I can’t believe it either. I guess they figure “businessman”=”magic wand for the economy.” They also seem to think he’d handle the deficit better, which is insane given his tax policies.

    But the good news in this is that the more people learn about just how many jobs Romney killed at Bain Capital, and just how much he’s paying (and thinks he should pay) in taxes, the less they’ll like what he has to say about the economy. The Obama campaign should be hitting him on this from now until November.

    It’s the one lesson actually worth taking from Karl Rove: attack your enemy’s strength. When it goes, he has nothing left to run on.

  32. 32

    The Washington Post poll did not identify the partisan leanings of its responders. In past polls, only 22% of people were GOP and 44% were Democrat- if they polled like this in this one, it is not surprising that Obama does better.

    It’s a worthless poll because it does not identify partisan leanings- plus it’s a poll of everyone whether they are registered or likely voters or not, so even less worthwhile for predicting elections.

  33. 33
    xian says:

    @Yevgraf: big tall black-haired clean-cut bidness man in a suit must know how to fix the economy for us serfs, right?

  34. 34
    xian says:

    @Comrade Javamanphil: Cokie Roberts makes me want to take an axe to my dashboard every Monday morning. She unfailingly reports the inside-the-beltway, plutocrat-lackey, drudgetastic frame on the news of the week.

  35. 35
    colby says:

    @A Conservative Teacher:

    In past polls, only 22% of people were GOP and 44% were Democrat

    Proof?

    plus it’s a poll of everyone whether they are registered or likely voters or not

    False. The poll does break out the “all adults” numbers, but the top line match-up numbers (51-45) are among registered voters. And while some straws certainly need to be grasped at, registered voters is the preferred measure at this time- it’s really hard to make a sensible likely voter screen before one party has even picked it’s candidate.

  36. 36
    hstad says:

    @colby:

    Good comment, wait until the primaries are over. Moreover, this is a worthless poll, “all adults” – who votes in this category vs. D/R/I? Moreover, why ask who you vote for at the end of the survey? Especially, since you asked about Romney’s wealth, tax returns, etc., up above? Sounds like a push poll to me?

  37. 37
    colby says:

    @hstad:

    Good comment, wait until the primaries are over.

    I didn’t say that, in fact, I’d strongly disagree with it. Polling right now is just fine, and we can get a lot out of the numbers. And anyway, the Republican primary IS over, really. My only caveat is, at this point, any likely voter screen would be based on pixie dust and unicorn dreams, so a Registered Voter screen is good enough.

    Moreover, this is a worthless poll, “all adults”

    So…my comment was so “good”, you didn’t even have to read it? WaPo broke it down by RVs, and the RV numbers are the topline. It is not an “All adults” poll, they simply included the “all adults” numbers to give us more information.

    Moreover, why ask who you vote for at the end of the survey? Especially, since you asked about Romney’s wealth, tax returns, etc., up above?

    Because people are also going to vote at the end of the campaign, after they’ve already heard about Romney’s wealth, tax returns, etc.

    Sounds like a push poll to me?

    Are you asking me that? Okay- no, no it doesn’t. It sounds like a poll with bad news for Mitt Romney that is actually broadly in line with many other recent polls, including NBC/WSJ, PPP, and even Ras. It’s also right in line with recent state wide polls from Ohio, Florida, and New Hampshire (See above).

    Now, Romney’s spin of this poll- which you’ve repeated here- sounds like amatuer hour to me. When you’re explaining, you’re losing. When you’re explaining why the polls are wrong in saying you’re losing, you’re losing by a bigger margin.

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