Radio talk show host Dr. Michael Savage, no pollster but a rather astute political analyst, stated last Thursday night that the Hilary Rosen attack on Ann Romney and working mothers will cost Obama three points in polls and three weeks in time to recover.
That sounds about right to me, but just so we can check back later, let’s look at the state of the race at the time Dr. Savage issued the comment.
Obama appears to already be slipping in polling data. He had moved to nearly a three point edge in the Real Clear Politics popularity ratings yesterday. That number is down to only plus 0.5 percent today 47.7-47.2). The Pollster average has Obama at minus 1.6 percent (48.5-46.9)...yes that would be the outfit run by the liberal Huffington organization. In fact, it’s now called HuffingtonPollster.
Rasmussen and Gallup both continue to post daily numbers on Obama, and they are very much at odds today. Gallup has Obama up five points in approval (49-44) while Rasmussen has him down five points (46-51).
Until yesterday, Rasmussen was about the only polling outfit that had Romney beating Obama (at least on certain days). A Fox News poll now has Romney up two points (46-44) and has Obama’s approval at minus nine (42-51). Before liberals start saying, “Oh, that’s just Fox news,” keep in mind that the same poll has had Obama up every cycle since last November; the polling arm is not conservative like the news division.
Rasmussen has Romney up to a four point lead over Obama today (48-44), the greatest it’s been in quite a while.
Time will tell whether other polls show a slide for Obama in the wake of the just-plain-stupid Hilary Rosen comment, but I suspect they will; I suspect that’s why the Anointed One was out so fast to back away from the comments.
What really begins to matter now that Romney has all but officially cinched the Republican nomination are state by state indicators. Remember that a week ago, news out of battleground states was not good for Romney. He certainly needs to win North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, and Indiana if he’s to make a race out of this at all.
Honey/DePauw has Romney up nine points (49-40) in Indiana; I can't find any recent polling data out of Florida, but in a poll just out today, Rasmussen has Romney up two in North Carolina (46-44); PPP (the Democrat mouthpiece) had Obama up five (49-44) among Tar Heelers earlier in the week.
Roanoke has Romney up five points (46-41) in Virginia.
Other state polls come as good news for Romney as well. He’s never going to win New Jersey, but Quinnipiac has him down only nine points there (49-40). He’s never going to win Massachusetts, but Rasmussen has Romney within 11 points there (51-40).
These things matter.
Here are two more states to use as guinea pigs. Latest numbers have Obama up 13 in Colorado and 16 in New Mexico. It's probably bad news in Nevada as well, but I haven't seen recent numbers. Unless those gaps start to close, Romney may have to write off the battleground Southwest (even with Rubio on the ticket). However, other polls show him close in both Michigan (Obama up only four) and Pennsylvania. This should be fun, more fun than trying to make sense out of those primary and caucus polls!
On the Senate front, Rasmussen has Elizabeth Warren up by one over Scott in Massachusetts, but the pollster average still has Brown ahead by 1.9 points (44.6-42.7).
Roanoke has Republican George Allen up by seven over Kaine in Virginia, but I suspect that’s an outlier; it’ll be closer than that.
Here’s a poll near and dear to my libertarian heart. Rasmussen has Ron Paul beating Obama by a point (44-43).
Some polls are still being released on the Republican nomination. Gallup had Romney up 19 points nationwide when it stopped polling. Quinnipiac has Romney up 37 points in New Jersey (51-14) and American Research Group even had Romney up four points (44-40) in Santorum’s former home of Pennsylvania. No wonder he dropped out.
The generic congressional ballot is looking better and better for Republicans. Although Rasmussen has the lead down one point from a week ago, it’s still at five points (45-40), and two other recent polls tend to verify that. GOP is up four points (47-43) with Marist and two points (46-44) with Bloomberg.
If the Hilary Rosen effect washes over into the generic numbers, it’ll be especially bad news for Democrats. No wonder Obama was so quick to dis her—whoops—I already noted that.
Gallup has a ray of good news for Democrats today. By a 60-37 margin, adults nationwide say yes to the so-called Buffett rule (no, not the one that calls you to have your companies cheat on their taxes). That would be the rule that would mandate a minimum 30 percent tax rate for millionaires. Democrats support the rule 74-24; independents support it 63-33; even 43 percent of Republicans support it (54 percent do not).
Gallup’s Frank Newport writes, “Republican politicians oppose the rule, and there is little possibility it will become law this year. President Obama’s intense focus on the policy and his emphasis on bringing it to a vote in Congress is thus mostly a symbolic gesture, underscoring his general presidential campaign themes this year. An emphasis on millionaires paying higher taxes also helps position the Obama presidential campaign against his very rich GOP opponent Mitt Romney.” ( Very rich indeed, talk about a biased comment from a pollster!).
I suspect Obama will be driven to play rich against poor more and more as he falls farther behind in polls. What ever happened to the bright-eyed Illinois senator who was supposed to bring us together? Gone in the heat of a campaign? No, he was gone long before that.
Whoops. I’m getting partisan, and this is supposed to be just a look a pure data.
Rasmussen has an intriguing look at the Zimmerman/Martin case in Florida. The number who think Zimmerman should be found guilty is down from 33 to 30 in the past two weeks; 24 percent think he acted in self defense; 46 percent (wisely in my opinion) say they don’t know.
We await New Hampshire data from UNH or ARG or Suffolk or anyone. My guess is the next poll we see will show Romney and Obama even here.