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POLITICO-GW Battleground Poll: Romney Even with Obama
May 07, 2012
Latest results of national survey also indicate close numbers on jobs, economy.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama are essentially tied among voters at 48 percent and 47 percent respectively, according to a new POLITICO-George Washington University Battleground Poll released today.
“With the closing of the Republican nomination race, Mitt Romney has solidified his base in this Battleground Poll,” said Christopher Arterton, GW professor of political management. “But whether this is a ‘halo effect’ from that victory or a durable trend remains to be seen.”
In this latest POLITICO-George Washington University Battleground Poll, Romney is winning with Republicans by 88 percent, a larger margin than the 83 percent by which Obama is winning with Democrats. Romney also is winning with independents by 10 points.
“Illustrated in this data is that the primary is over and the Republicans are clearly ready to support their nominee in making Obama a one-term president,” said Ed Goeas, Republican pollster and CEO of the Tarrance Group.
Meanwhile, President Obama has a 70 percent approval rating when voters were asked how they feel about him as a person—far stronger than his overall job approval. When voters were asked about the job he is doing as president, responses were tied at 48 percent approving and disapproving. When voters compare both candidates on their ability to handle specific issues, however, President Obama holds a significant lead on standing up for the middle class, with 58 percent saying he would better handle this issue, compared with 35 percent for Romney. Obama is also favored on foreign policy issues (51 percent to 38 percent); and on sharing voters’ values (50 percent to 40 percent). In addition, he pulled ahead of Romney by a narrow margin on taxes (51 percent to 45 percent).
“Besides his dominant position on personal favorability, Obama has a wealth of opportunities on issue comparisons, where he leads on standing up for the middle class, taxes, foreign policy and ‘shares your values,’” said Celinda Lake, Democratic pollster and president of Lake Research Partners. “He needs to translate his advantage on being for the middle class to a clear economic vision and contrast, which will put him ahead on the economy and jobs to ensure victory in this election.”
Although a gender gap still exists, Romney has narrowed the gap. Obama leads among women by seven percentage points, while Romney leads among men by seven percentage points. Women over age 45 lean toward Romney, 50 percent to 45 percent. White women favor Romney over Obama 57 percent to 38 percent. Women of color and unmarried women overwhelmingly favor Obama.
The American public continues to view the economy (28 percent), government spending and the deficit (17 percent) and jobs (14 percent) as the most important issues for congressional focus. When voters were asked which presidential candidate they think will be better at handling the economy and handling jobs, Romney is slightly favored at handling the economy with 48 percent to Obama’s 45 percent, while Obama is seen as better at handling jobs, with 48 percent to Romney’s 46 percent.
The POLITICO-George Washington University Battleground Poll is a nationally recognized series of surveys conducted by Republican pollster Ed Goeas of the Tarrance Group and Democratic pollster Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners. The George Washington University Global Media Institute, affiliated with the Graduate School of Political Management and the School of Media and Public Affairs, serves as the university’s home for the partnership. George Washington’s Gelman Library houses the data archive of the survey results dating back more than two decades.
The poll, which is distinguished from other surveys by its presentation of separate analyses from these top pollsters representing both sides of the aisle, surveyed 1,000 registered likely voters nationwide April 29 through May 3, including a protocol for reaching mobile phone users, and yielded a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.
Click here for further analyses of these issues and full results.