WHERE OBAMA STANDS – AT 9:48 A.M. ET: Scott Rasmussen just published his daily tracker. While he still has the race tied at 48% each, there are some other significant numbers that will give encouragement to our side:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows Mitt Romney and President Obama each attracting support from 48% of voters nationwide. One percent (1%) prefers some other candidate, and three percent (3%) are undecided.
Romney’s support is a bit more solid than the president’s at this point in time. Forty-five percent (45%) of voters are “certain” they will vote for Romney and not change their minds. Forty-one percent (41%) are certain they will vote for Obama.
That is an opening right there.
Our daily Swing State update is released at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. Today’s results will show Romney slightly ahead in the 11 key swing states. This is a significant change. For virtually the entire campaign, Obama has done better in the swing states than in the national averages. It remains to be seen whether this is a lasting change in the race or merely a temporary aberration.
I think that we tend to underestimate, in political discussion, the impact of word-of-mouth, a term that is almost revered in show business, an industry that also depends on audience reactions. People watched the presidential debate and formed opinions. But they also spoke with others about what they saw. I think those discussions reinforced the feeling that the emperor had no clothes. I was amazed, in visiting a dental office and a barber shop in the days right after the debate, to hear so many people talking about it. Talk around the kitchen table often decides elections.
When evaluating polls, it is best to look for the common ground rather than just picking the one that is best for your candidate. In recent days, there are two bits of common ground. First, the numbers have shifted in Romney’s favor. Second, the president’s support is between 45% and 49%. That suggests a close race as we have been reporting for months.
Good common sense from Scott. We would add that an incumbent president who can't get to 50% four weeks before an election is in some trouble.
A president’s job approval rating is one of the best indicators for assessing his chances of reelection. Typically, the president’s job approval rating on Election Day will be close to the share of the vote he receives. Currently, 49% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the president's job performance. Fifty percent (50%) at least somewhat disapprove.
COMMENT: One jarring note from Rasmussen: In very Democratic Connecticut, where Republican Linda McMahon had been leading in the U.S. Senate race, her opponent, Chris Murphy, has now opened a modest lead. It would be a miracle for a Republican to win in Connecticut, but we still hope the miracle will happen. We also help Scott Brown will hang onto his Senate seat in equally Democratic Massachusetts.
October 9, 2012