The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

ABC/WashPost Poll: Obama Still Under 50 - Among Adults


Points you may not see highlighted in today’s ABC News/Washington Post poll:

  • Yes, Obama leads among registered voters, 49 percent to 46 percent. But among adults – which includes folks who may not even be registered to vote… he’s up 49 percent to 45 percent. In other words, he can’t crack 50 percent even among a sample of adults.
  • Obama’s overall approval rating is underwater again, 49 percent disapproval, 47 percent approval.
  • “In an open-ended question, 52 percent name the economy and jobs as the single most important issue in their vote; all other mentions are in the single digits. Among individual economic issues, unemployment is the chief concern, again by a wide margin.”
  • “While overall preferences are fairly steady, the gender gap has narrowed. Obama leads by 7 points among women who are registered to vote, 51-44 percent, compared with 57-38 percent in 4April. (It’s now a 47-49 percent Obama-Romney contest among men.) The change chiefly is due to married women, who went from a scant 4-point tilt toward Obama last month to a 38-55 percent split in Romney’s favor now.”
  • “Married women are more apt than men, or other women, to say they’ve gotten worse off rather than better off under Obama’s presidency.”

Some folks will look at this next point and argue the survey under-samples Republicans, but the pollsters are at least consistent in their methodology of determining each party’s share of the electorate.

A challenge for Romney, meanwhile, is the continued deficit of Republican loyalists. On average across 2003, 31 percent of Americans identified themselves as Republicans, their highest annual average on record in ABC/Post polls since 1981. That’s fallen off since, averaging 24 percent this year, and about the same, 22 percent of all adults (and 25 percent of registered voters) in this survey. Thirty-two percent of adults identify themselves as Democrats, with independents outnumbering both groups, as they have almost continuously for the past three and a half years.

Interestingly, “The debate over Romney’s work at Bain Capital does not look to be helping either candidate; Americans divide, 21-21 percent, on whether they see his background buying and restructuring companies as a major reason to support or to oppose him. Most say it’s not a major factor.”

An entire one percent rate the economy “excellent,” which is consistent with the entirety of Obama’s presidency. The 16 percent rating it “good” is actually the best of his presidency. But the percent rating it “not so good” is at its highest, 47 percent, and another 36 percent still rate it “poor.”

Tags: Barack Obama , Mitt Romney , Polling


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