Thursday, March 29, 2012

2012 Polling – Obama Leads Romney in 3 “Key States” –Are there Really Key States in the 2012 Election Cycle? Romney On Late Night – Presidentential

The two top Candidates (one by default) Romney and Obama - image Pat

An article from the Detroit Free Press highlights a recent Quinnipiac University Poll in which President Obama led GOP Candidate Mitt Romney in “Three Key States to Winning the White House”. The poll taken on the 28th of March 2012, focuses on three states: Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, all considered to be “key states” to a victory in 2012.

The marginals by state (available here), indicate that all three polls were based on a reasonable sample with a margin of error of plus/minus 2.8% . Apparently women continue to pull for Obama in this scenario, and Romney does better than Santorum by points in this poll – Pennsylvania in particular, is outside the margin of error by a half point, with Obama leading Romney by 3.

By now, however, anyone following the polls understands that it’s anyone’s best guess as to what may or may not happen, however, one might take a look at the last Gallup Presidential Approval rating to see how well the President might fare in a match-up against any Republican. In the 2011 State by State Approval Poll, President Obama continues to hold onto 10 states out of 50, with an approval rating at or above 50% with the balance of the states, below to rock bottom in approval. According to the latest Gallup polling on a national level (released in January of 2012): Obama’s 10 states are now: DC, HI, MD, MA, CT, NY, Delaware, NJ and IL, with California breaking into the top 10 by .1 (50.1%) Therefore, although the sample may have been a tad larger, one can see where his approval may have an impact on the general election. (See Carter Approval ratings on a national basis pre election with comparison on all recent Presidents versus Obama here.

At the beginning of the GOP Primary, Iowa was considered a “must win”, followed by “South Carolina”, considered to be the most predictive, gave Newt Gingrich the nod, and as anyone aware of the challenges candidates have face on the campaign trail, Gingrich will, in all probability, not be on the ballot come November. Next Up Ohio was to be the most Predictive, a state the Front Runner, Mitt Romney, pulled out a decent win, before losing the south (MS, AL, and LA) to Rick Santorum. The arguments formed for both Candidates were Romney can’t win in the South, and Santorum (the closet candidate to Romney at this point), that Romney barely won in mid-west states. This is nothing new in presidential contests, and this is where the nominee looks for a regional, strong, red-meat type running mate, in order to solidify areas of the nation where during the primary they had a less than robust showing.

In reviewing the data from Gallup, however, (Nifty interactive map!): In Florida, Obama has a job approval of 47.8%, and in Pennsylvania, 47.8% - Florida is at 50.1%, which of the three key states, one can hazard to guess given the two polls and data combined, that these states, considered again “key” to winning, will be battleground states, with the incumbent at an advantage only in Florida.

Therefore the more time candidate Romney spends on the national stage, one can hazard to guess his approval will continue to rise. A recent appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno has been characterized by the media as “Romney Tries for Personal Appeal(Dertoit Free Press) There were a few other headlines in there, that were taken as a lead, such as Romney noting Rick Santorum would be a Press Secretary, however, in watching the segment, that was prompted by Jay Leno. On Romney’s part, he was decisive, he was funny, and he showed respect to the other candidates, at one point noting he hoped he were the nominee, and that he Santorum the V.P., then followed up with “either way”. He was, above all, Presidential – Perhaps Mitt Romney has finally let his hair down (so to speak) or he's been painted as the "stiff candidate - that Romney appears to have left the building. He is now appearing to make a joke now and again, (and he is funny) and then come across as perfectly capable of running the country. The late night venues are perfect for pulling apart a candidate, and this appeared to be a segment run by Romney.

Of course, there are clips, and then there is the full episode, watch the full video to get the idea. One would love to see Romney on that partisan, for lack of a better word, moron, David Letterman’s show, if only to give Letterman that look that is now a Romney Trademark where one can almost hear Romney utter – “you’ve got to be kidding me?”

Video below:

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