The young adult vote — Harvard University surveyed 18-29 year-olds and 43% said they plan to vote for President Obama and 26% said they will vote for Mitt Romney. This is not the same but in February, the Elon University Poll showed that in the 18-34 age group, 48 percent of North Carolinians approve of how Obama is handling the presidency and 38 percent disapprove.
Past, present and possibly future first ladies — Michelle Obama and Ann Romney outscore their husbands in personal popularity in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, while Hillary Clinton, for her part, has hit a new high in favorability data stretching back to her entry on the national stage 20 years ago.
Marriage Amendment — Opinions of likely voters are shifting on the same-sex marriage ban amendment to the N.C. Constitution. PPP reports that 54% of likely voters say they support the amendment, which is down from its earlier polls. The Elon Poll earlier this month showed that 61% of North Carolinians say they oppose an amendment. The Elon poll surveys North Carolina residents, not just likely voters.
— John Robinson
Romney — Gallup reports that Mitt Romney’s support is solid among Republicans 55 years and older and strong among liberal and moderate Republicans. But he needs to shore up the support of Midwestern, young, highly religious, and conservative Republicans.
Obama — Gallup also reports that President Obama’s job approval rating in Latin America is at a new low (47%) ahead of the Sixth Summit of the Americas taking place in Cartagena, Colombia, this week.
Politics — Americans don’t know nearly as much as the political positions of the two parties as you might think. For instance, While 67% correctly identify the Democratic Party as more supportive of raising taxes on higher-income people to reduce the budget deficit, far fewer (53%) identify the Republican Party as more in favor of reducing the size and scope of government.
Faith — Grey Matter Research asked Americans if the Christian faith had a positive, negative, or no real impact on 16 different areas of society. Strong majorities (72%) said Christianity is good for helping the poor and for raising children with good morals. Around half (52%) said Christianity helps keep the U.S. as a “strong nation,” and nearly as many (49) said the faith had a positive impact on the role of women in society.
— John Robinson
The Washington Post/ABC News poll released today shows President Obama leading Mitt Romney on women’s issues, international affairs, middle class protection and health care. Obama also is seen as more likable, and he has a huge advantage with female voters.
The national poll results reflect trends the Elon University Poll saw in its two most recent surveys.
And, the Washington Post/ABC News poll results suggest that on the most important issue to Americans — the economy — the GOP has some opportunities because Obama’s support there is weak. Our poll of North Carolina residents indicated the same thing.
Bear in mind, the general election is seven months away — an eternity in politics.
— John Robinson
Race — A Newsweek/Daily Beast poll found that 72% of whites and 89% of African Americans believe the country is divided by race, but only 19% of whites say that racism is a big problem vs. 60 % of blacks.
Presidential politics — Independents like President Barack Obama better but feel ideologically closer to Mitt Romney, according to a new poll of a dozen battleground states released Monday. (North Carolina is included in the poll.)
More presidential politics — President Barack Obama’s job approval rating averaged 46% in March, up from 45% in January and February, and significantly improved over his term-low 41% monthly averages recorded last summer and fall.
Economy and presidential politics — Voters overwhelmingly trust their own judgment on economic matters more than the judgment of either President Obama or Mitt Romney.
E-books — 21% of Americans say they’ve read an e-book in the past year, a jump from 17% two months earlier. Those who have taken the plunge into reading e-books stand out in almost every way from other kinds of readers. Foremost, they are relatively avid readers of books in all formats: 88% of those who read e-books in the past 12 months also read printed books.2 Compared with other book readers, they read more books.
Baseball — The season has started but not THAT many baseball fans actually will attend a Major League game. Slightly more than half don’t intend to visit the baseball stadium this year. Blame ticket prices.
New York — Looks like a Romney state in the GOP primary.
Yesterday, I mentioned that Mitt Romney sees opportunities to challenge President Obama on foreign policy. With good reason, according to an article earlier this month in the Washington Post.
The erosion in Afghanistan, coupled with the prospect of a nuclear Iran, create the possibility that the November election could swing on something no one expected: foreign policy.
“Could” is the operative term, however. An analysis of exit polling conducted in the Republican presidential contests held to date suggests that the economy is by far the issue on most voters’ minds.
It’s not just Romney who sees the possibility of grabbing the foreign policy mantle. Rick Santorum does, too.
The Post article points out that if the economy continues to recover, then that will be a tougher issue to get traction on. Republicans may turn to another issue on which to attack the president’s leadership. Foreign policy — Afghanistan, a nuclear Iran and Russia — may just be it.
— John Robinson
Are North Carolinians confident that any of the men running for president can handle the country’s domestic affairs well?
No, not so much.
President Obama gets the highest marks — 38% — but that’s hardly anything to write home about. Here’s how it breaks down:
Confident Little confidence
Barack Obama 38% 44%
Newt Gingrich 30% 50%
Rick Santorum 29% 44%
Mitt Romney 28% 38%
Ron Paul 24% 45%
Obama is paying for the condition of the economy. With high-and-still-rising gas prices, people are worried. The president has been “in charge” for three years and people are expecting things to be better. Consequently, Obama must be accountable for that. But the GOP contenders aren’t tracking any better. They haven’t been able to explain to North Carolinians in clear, understandable terms how they would turn things around.
Opportunities abound for the GOP if they can come to North Carolina and spell out an economic policy that resonates with citizens.
(Much of what I wrote in the post about foreign policy immediately below this one applies here, too.)
— John Robinson