WHERE OBAMA STANDS – AT 9:37 A.M. ET: We like to cite Scott Rasmussen's polls here because he surveys likely voters. We think that's the most sensible way to conduct a pre-election poll. Who cares about people who don't intend to vote?
Rasmussen's Saturday report, just published, paints a picture of a tight race, but one in which Romney has a very solid shot:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Saturday shows that 23% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty-one percent (41%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -18.
In a hypothetical Election 2012 matchup, presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney earns 48% of the vote, while President Obama attracts 43% support. Data released on the first 14 days of April has shown Romney with an advantage five times, Obama with an edge four times and the candidates tied five times.
Looked at from a different perspective, the candidates have been within two points of each other on nine of 14 days. Romney has had a larger advantage three times and Obama twice. Overall, these numbers suggest a very close race.
Scott Rasmussen's weekly syndicated column notes that the president's job approval ratings have remain locked in a very narrow range—just below 50%-- for the past 32 months. As Romney and Obama begin the general election campaign, the underlying fundamentals also point to the likelihood of a very close race in November.
COMMENT: Obviously, some dramatic event outside the campaign, like a military conflict or a sudden economic decline, will affect the outcome of the election. So will press bias, which is virtually impossible to measure by a poll.
The election will be held in less than seven months.
April 14, 2012