The political world is abuzz today about a new poll released by Rasmussen Reports showing Mitt Romney five percentage points ahead of pro-abortion President Barrack Obama in the race for the White House.
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows Mitt Romney attracting 49% of the vote, while President Obama earns support from 44%. Three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate, and four percent (4%) are undecided. The numbers are similar to the 49% to 43% advantage Romney enjoys on the question of who is trusted more to handle the economy — the issue driving the 2012 presidential election.
“A president’s Job Approval rating is one of the best indicators for assessing his chances of reelection. Typically, the president’s Job Approval rating on Election Day will be close to the share of the vote he receives. Currently, 47% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the president’s job performance. Fifty-three percent (53%) at least somewhat disapprove,” the firm notes.
Though the poll is good news for Romney, polling shows Obama continuing to do well in key battleground states like Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Iowa, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. Those are states where pro-life voters need to work hard to make the case that Obama does not deserve another four years to promote abortion and taxpayer funding of it. Obama won each of those states in 2008 and Romney must win some of them to carry the election.
Rasmussen indicates 70 percent of voters see Obama as politically liberal, while 67% see Romney as a conservative. However, the president is seen as more extreme ideologically. Forty-three percent (43%) see him as Very Liberal, while just 24% believe Romney is Very Conservative. The polling firm says most voters are either politically Moderate or Somewhat Conservative. Sixty-two percent (62%) place Romney in that group while just 25% say the same for Obama.
“Romney’s five-point advantage is the largest enjoyed by either candidate in just over a month. As with any such change in the race, it remains to be seen whether it marks a lasting shift or is merely statistical noise,” the firm said.
Intensity of support or opposition can have an impact on campaigns and Rasmussen says 25% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way Obama is performing as president. Forty-two percent (42%) Strongly Disapprove, giving him a Presidential Approval Index rating of -17.
“During midterm elections, intensity of support can have a tremendous impact on turnout. That was demonstrated in 2010 when Republicans and unaffiliated voters turned out in large numbers to express opposition to the Obama administration’s policies. However, in presidential election years, there is a smaller impact on turnout,” Rasmussen indicates.
Pollster Scott Rasmussen notes that the declining economy is hurting the president’s reelection prospects. He points out that when President Bush was reelected in 2004 his summer job approval rating was similar to Obama’s. However, in 2004, the underlying trends were moving in his direction.
He says, “The big issue that year was the war on terror. In the summer of 2004, just 44 percent thought the United States and its allies were winning that war. In the five weeks running up to the election, however, confidence that our side was winning ranged from 49 percent to 52 percent.”
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Rasmussen concludes that for Obama to win, “he will need to improve his own job approval rating between now and Election Day. For that to happen, perceptions of the economy will have to reverse their current downward trend.”