The Campaign Spot

Voters Keep Missing the Conventional Wisdom’s Memo

Awful week for Romney, declares the conventional wisdom . . . and yet we begin Monday with a new poll result:

A new POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Poll of likely voters shows President Barack Obama ahead 49 percent to 47 percent, a point closer than a week ago and still within the margin of error. Romney now leads by 4 points among independents, up slightly from a week ago.

Well, I’m sure ABC News will confirm the conventional wisdom of a building Obama landslide . . . wait:

Registered voters in this survey, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, divide by 49-44 percent between Obama and Romney, with the race a virtual tie, 49-47 percent, among those most likely to vote.

Once again, the voters in the tracking polls fail to get the memo.

Now, when we see small shifts of one or two points week to week, we shouldn’t make that big a deal out of it, whether the news is good or bad. But when Obama is ahead by 2 in these two, ahead by 2 in Rasmussen’s tracking poll, and up 5 in Gallup’s tracking poll .&nbsp.&nbsp. the idea that Obama has a small but consistent lead seems increasingly plausible, with him in the high 40s and Romney in the mid 40s. A tough climb ahead for Romney, but not an insurmountable one, since the remaining undecideds are unlikely to hold many more votes for the incumbent.

One of the factors that is striking about recent polling is the intense divide on perceptions of how the country is doing. In the Battleground poll:

Among all likely voters, 56 percent say the country is on the wrong track. This number has fallen because 72 percent of Democrats and 73 percent of African-Americans now say the country is on the right track. Yet two in three independents still think the country’s on the wrong track.

The term “faith-based initiative” comes to mind.

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