After the 24 point swing in South Carolina polling within the five days last week, perhaps it’s time to stop following these primary polls so closely. Don’t get me wrong; I trust polling, but with the electorate in such a state of flux, it’s obvious that today’s results may not mean anything in a few days.
Having said that, I guess I remain addicted to the opiate that is polling, but I pledge to try to look less at the numbers which might change day to day and more at long term numbers.
For example, while Barack Obama’s popularity continues to remain underwater (minus 2.3 points at 46.0-48.3 in the current Real Clear Politics average) and while he’s in worse position than any recent incumbent except Jimmy Carter according to Gallup’s historical analysis, Rasmussen has three numbers this week which will sadden Republicans.
It’s a week the GOP should already be very sad indeed at the prospect of the Eft dragging down the entire ticket including here in New Hampshire.
Here are the three troubling results.
After being down by as much as 21 points in September (57-36), support for repealing Obamacare is down to 11 points today, 52-41.
By a 47-36 margin, Rasmussen finds voters would support those who would increase taxes for the rich.
Also, Rasmussen finds that 48 percent continue to blame George Bush for the dismal state of the economy while only 45 percent blame Obama.
This isn’t PPP or some Democratic polling outfit. It’s Rasmussen which traditionally shows a slight Republican bias if any at all.
Also, Rasmussen has GOP lead down to three points in the generic Congressional ballot (42-39). It was six a few weeks ago.
The Real Clear Politics average actually has Democrats up by 1.8 points (44.0-42.2) in the generic Congressional ballot.
I’ve come this far without referring to Florida, and here’s one more bit of bad news for Republicans. Even as the Eft won big in South Carolina, his numbers against Obama have not improved. Rasmussen has Obama beating the Eft by nine (49-40) while Romney loses to Obama by only three (46-43). Should Republicans across the country follow the lunacy unleashed in South Carolina, we may yet see a second term for the Anointed One.
All right. All right. I can avoid it no longer. PPP, that Democrat-leaning outfit, has Romney within five points of the Eft in Florida (38-33 with Santorum at 13 and Paul at 10), but Rasmussen had Romney down nine (41-32 with Santorum at 11 and Paul at 8) and Insider Advantage had the Eft up eight (34-26 with Paul at 13 and Santorum 11 yesterday).
I fully expect Romney to turn this around and come out on top in the winner take all state of Florida. After all, the Eft cannot be expected to go an entire week without stepping in his own excrement, but all bets are clearly off.
I was going to congratulate American Research Group for its last minute poll which had the Eft up 14 points (40-26) in South Carolina, but then I noticed that it had Ron Paul ahead of Santorum 18-13 for third. Totally wrong as it turned out.
To find good news for Republicans, we need to go back to Gallup’s review of Obama’s numbers at the end of his third year in office (it’s still available at gallup.com).
Gallup reports that Obama’s popularity at the end of year three was 44.4 percent, down from 46.7 at the end of year two and 57.2 percent at the end of year one. Only Jimmy Carter at 37.4 percent was worse and we all know what happened to him. Reagan was at 44.9, and his numbers picked up dramatically in his final year.
Gallup reports that unless Obama picks up in the next quarter, he could be in real trouble…since Eisenhower, no one has ever been re-elected with a 13th quarter rating of less than 50 percent.
For the record, here are the third year numbers for others—Eisenhower 72.1, Kennedy (at the time of his death) 61.8, Nixon 49.6, Carter 37.4, Reagan 44.9, George H.W. Bush 69.5, Clinton 47.5, George W. Bush 59.6, and Obama 44.4. Interestingly, the number of polls used to calculate Obama's number is 351 as opposed to only 15 for Ike--talk about a booming industry!
That tells us that Clinton picked up and Bush I fell between the end of the third year and the end of the 13th quarter. In fact, Clinton was up to 53.0 by April, 1996, on the way to mauling the hapless and helpless Bob Dole.
Here’s how the others were as of April 19 of the re-election year—Eisenhower 73.2, Johnson 76.0, Nixon 53.7, Ford 47.4, Carter 47.7, Reagan 54.5, GHW Bush 41.8 (how the mighty did fall in that three month period), Clinton 53.0, GW Bush 51.0.
There—isn’t that more fun than focusing on Florida numbers which could very well change by the time this is posted?