Patterico's Pontifications


The good news from Iowa and New Hampshire

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 6:30 am

[Posted by Karl]

Lost amid the GOP’s internal squabbles is the good news on the other side of the ledger: Pres. Obama is not faring well in either Iowa or New Hampshire.

According to the NBC/Marist poll, “[v]oters divide about President Obama’s job approval rating.  45% of registered voters in Iowa approve of the job the president is doing in office while 43% disapprove, and 12% are unsure.”  Oh, sure they’re unsure.  His approval rating is only 39% among Iowa independents, who are the largest bloc in the state.

NBC/Marist finds worse results for Obama in New Hampshire.  Only 40% of registered voters in the Granite State approve of the job Obama is doing, while 49% disapprove (10% are “unsure”).  Only 41% of New Hampshire independents approve.  Again, that’s the largest bloc in the state.

For all of the criticism Iowa and New Hampshire get, it seems like some forget they are swing states.  PPP’s Tom Jensen, looking at a potential Obama vs Romney contest in swing states including IA and NH, tried to be optimistic, but added an important caveat:

[O]ur polls and probably everyone’s polls are actually worse for Obama than they look right now.  That’s because a disproportionate number of the undecideds in Obama/Romney polling are Republicans. Romney’s not their first choice for the nomination so they’re being stubborn and saying they’re undecided for the general, even though it’s pretty much a certainty that they’ll end up voting for the GOP nominee in the end. 

We saw this situation in reverse in 2008, where strong partisans of Obama and Clinton refused to say in early polls that they’d vote for the party nominee if their favored candidate didn’t get it. Of course pretty much all of those folks ended up voting for Obama in the end.

Right now when you look at the undecideds in Obama/Romney nationally only 18% of them approve of Obama while 63% disapprove…

I also suspect Jensen’s analysis — that Obama will only need just one out of Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania or North Carolina to win — is overly optimistic for Obama.  He used PPP’s numbers from all of 2011, while the most recent USA Today/Gallup Swing States poll had Obama losing to Romney (and Gingrich), even before adjusting for the “undecided” factor.

Some pundits have cutely quipped during and after various GOP debates that the winner was Obama.  The polls in Iowa and New Hampshire suggest otherwise.


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