Despite the stagnant economy and broad dissatisfaction with national conditions, Barack Obama holds a significant lead over Mitt Romney. Currently, Obama is favored by a 50% to 43% margin among registered voters nationwide. Obama has led by at least a slim margin in every poll this year, and there is no clear trend in either candidate’s support since Romney wrapped up the GOP nomination.July is when narrative starts to be cemented. Note that Obama has a lead on virtually every issue except the deficit and jobs, and that includes a +6 on who best can improve economic conditions. Romney can't win the election if he cannot reverse that.
The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted June 28-July 9, 2012 among 2,973 adults, including 2,373 registered voters, finds that Romney has not seized the advantage as the candidate best able to improve the economy. In fact, he has lost ground on this issue over the past month...
Currently, Obama holds a slim 51% to 44% margin among voters in 12 of the most competitive states. This is identical to the balance of support in these states in June.
As is usual in a Pew poll, there's lots of data to go over, including:
• ACA/Obamacare approval (47) is virtually even with disapproval (43), but health care (22) trails jobs (33) in importance.
• Opinions of the Supreme Court have soured, thanks mostly to Republicans. In April, the fav/unfav was 56/25, and now it's 38/51.
What's interesting is that the Pew lead of 7 comes on the heels of a Reuters/Ipsos poll giving Obama a 6 point lead, and a shift in the pollster.com electoral map, which now has Obama leading with 281 electoral votes to Romney's 191. The pollster.com tracking average (using my baseline of always removing Rasmussen) gives Obama 46.8 to Romney's 43.6.
Other recent polls include the fickle Gallup tracker, now with Obama +3, identical to the latest Q-poll, and the dead even ABC/Washington Post poll. However, it's advisable to look at the polling average as well as all the recent polls, and if one does, the election remains extremely close. Close, but with a definite Obama lead.
That's the narrative going into the Bain discussion—it's another nail in the idea that Romney is the man to turn the economy around. On what basis? On what experience? Romney can't run on his MA Governor experience because that opens him up to discussion on Romneycare, godfather of Obamacare. And this poll, as of now, notes that Romney ties or trails Obama on the crucial element he needs to win.
What will it take to move that dial? Disastrous economic news, for Obama. And for Romney? Let's see how things shake out with Bain. Bain is like watering the driveway during a cold snap in winter, and expecting to get better traction.
As of now, it's not happening.