Category Archives: President Obama

Where are the women voters?

One of the more striking bits of information in the Elon University Poll of likely voters in North Carolina is how men and women plan to vote. Fifty-two percent of men said they would vote for Gov. Romney if the election were held today. Forty percent would vote for President Obama. That divide is typical, according to national polls.

The news is that among women, 45% would vote for Obama and 44% would vote for Romney. That there is basically no gap is big news. Female voters have long been a strong, core constituency for Obama.

An ABC-Washington Post poll found the similar trends. “The decline has occurred entirely among women registered voters – from 57-39 percent favorable-unfavorable in April to a numerically negative 46-50 percent now. That’s Obama’s lowest score among women voters – a focus of recent political positioning – in ABC/Post polls since he took office.”

Our poll and ABC’s were taken before Michelle Obama’s address last night. By most accounts, it was a strong speech aimed at women. We will see if it helped. Meanwhile, the Christian Science Monitor details “six flash points” in the battle for women’s votes.

— John Robinson


Are you excited about your presidential choices?

NBC reports that Democrats are facing an enthusiasm gap this fall. In the Aug. 2012 NBC/WSJ poll, just 52% of voters under 35 and only 49% of Latinos expressed high interest in the upcoming election, which was down about 20 points for both groups at this same point in ’08.

According to the Elon University Poll, likely voters in North Carolina seem pretty excited. Breaking it down, though, 51% of Romney supporters said they are “very excited,” 44% said they are “pretty excited” and 39% said they are “not that excited.” For Obama, it is 47% very excited, 47% pretty excited and 39% not that excited.

To NBC’s point about an enthusiasm gap, in North Carolina, likely voters between 18-30 have the lowest excitement percentages of any age group. And Democrats are, in fact, less excited by the race than Republicans. (Check out the breakdowns in detail on pages 15 and 16.)

Back to NBC: So this is the opportunity that the Democratic convention represents for the Obama camp and Democrats: maybe a final chance to rekindle some of the 2008 magic. If Mitt Romney had to close his likeability gap at last week’s GOP convention, Barack Obama and the Democrats this week have to close the enthusiasm gap.

— John Robinson

Obama-Romney in N.C.: It’s tight, still

While the Elon University Poll conducted last week reported that Gov. Romney has a 47%-to-43% lead over President Obama in North Carolina, other polls of the state reported slightly different results.

Public Policy Polling, which leans Democratic, has the race tied up, 48%-48%. A High Point University/Fox8 poll has Romney at 46% and Obama at 43%. Interestingly, a few days earlier, HPU reported poll results showing the race deadlocked at 43%. And a Civitas Poll, which leans Republican, has the race in a dead heat at 45% each.

But if you’re serious about comparing, make sure you read the methodology and the margin of error at each of the sites. They differ vastly.

— John Robinson

Some gaps between President Obama and Gov. Romney

The polls say the two presidential candidates are running neck and neck. But there are gaps. The GOP convention opens in Tampa today, come Isaac or high water. Here are some polling results the Republicans will be dealing with.

* Empathy gap? — A CBS News poll shows that only 41% of Americans think Mitt Romney understands their problems, compared with 54% who think President Obama does. Romney can address that when he makes his acceptance speech on national television Thursday.

*Likability gap? — A Reuters/Ipsos online poll reports that Obama gets higher likability numbers, with 54% to 26% finding him more likeable. (Bear in mind that it is an online survey.) Michael Oreskes of the AP discusses the likability factor of the two candidates further.

* Money gap?— A Pew Research Center survey shows mixed feelings about people with money. “Nearly six-in-ten survey respondents (58%) also say the rich pay too little in taxes, while 26% say they pay their fair share, and just 8% say they pay too much. Even among those who describe themselves as upper or upper-middle class1, 52% say upper-income Americans don’t pay enough in taxes. In spite of these views, overwhelming majorities of self-described middle- and lower-class Americans say they admire people who get rich by working hard (92% and 84%, respectively).”

Stressed? At least it’s not caused by the political campaigns

As Isaac bears down on the Gulf Coast, the presidential race is deadlocked. Still projections continue.

Gallup looked at the results of the 15 presidential elections since 1952 and determined that, “All else being equal, the leader of the Gallup poll prior to the convention has an 80% probability of winning the election, according to past data.

“Of course, all else is not equal. When pre-convention polls show a tight race, as is the case this year, conventions have been more likely to create new leaders or galvanize support for a heretofore weak leader. Thus, both President Obama and Romney have the potential this year to gain an upper hand as a result of the convention process.”

So who is ahead? Gallup won’t post that information until later today.

Meanwhile, a CNN/ORC International poll gives President Barack Obama the nod on social issues, and Mitt Romney has the edge on the economy, which is what Americans say is their No. 1 concern. But the poll also makes clear that “there are a lot of issues where neither candidate has an appreciable edge, and many of them – including welfare, taxes, health care, and Medicare – have been fodder recently for both presidential campaigns.”

So, to put it all into perspective, Harris Interactive reports that 73% of us are stressed at work. But it’s not the political campaign that is causing it. Instead, “The top source of stress, felt by 11 percent of survey respondents, is low wages. For women, that rises to 14 percent.”

Friday’s trending topics

Presidential prospects — Mark Blumenthal at Huffington Post examines polls in battleground states and determines that “the results show Obama running slightly better now than at a comparable points in the 2008 election.” (North Carolina isn’t mentioned.) And he notes that it’s a looooong time until November.

Digital teens — Do you know how to Skype, iChat or Googletalk? According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, 37% of Internet users age 12-17 do.


President Obama’s disapproval ratings

North Carolina residents continue to disapprove of President Obama’s handling of the economy (54%). Given that the economy is by far the most important issue facing the state, the Elon University Poll shows that 49% of North Carolinians disapprove of Obama’s job performance.

The poll was in the field when the president was speaking at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which means that his face was on the front pages of many of the state’s newspapers and leading the news broadcasts. Yet, that exposure, though, didn’t seem to help his approval rating. The number of North Carolina residents who disapproved of his job performance last November was 47%. In February, it was 48%. Given the polling margin of error, his numbers are statistically flat.

Nationally, Fox News polling shows that 51% disapprove of Obama’s job performance; Gallup, 44%; Rasmussen, 53%; and NBC/Wall Street Journal, 46%. Make of that swing what you will. Me, I’d say that the daily horse race polls will go back and forth more than a swing at a crowded playground for several more months.

But in North Carolina, it means that the president shows signs of vulnerability. It’s not happenstance that he gave a major speech on student loans at UNC. He needs to win the youth vote, which he captured in 2008 and which is his to lose in 2012.

Meanwhile, the state’s unemployment rate among the highest in the nation. Obama will have a hard time getting traction that he’s helped North Carolinians’ pocketbooks, which Mitt Romney clearly knows. The former governor was in Charlotte last week and his message was clear: Obama has failed the state when it comes to the economy. According to ABC News, Romney referred to the Democratic National Convention coming up in September.

Now, what you won’t hear at that convention is that for the last 38 months, unemployment has been above 8 percent, that we’ve had 24 million Americans that are out of work, stopped looking for work, or underemployed,” said Romney. “You won’t hear that since he gave that speech and became president that there have been 50,000 more job losses here in North Carolina, more than twice as many as would fit in that stadium.”

“You will not hear that 400,000 North Carolinians are out of work. You will not hear that 93 percent of the people who lost their jobs during the Obama years have been women,” he continued. “Those are things you will not hear, but as I’m the nominee for our party, I hope, I’m going make sure the people of America hear those things loud and clear.”

For Obama, it is about energizing the base. For Romney, “it’s the economy, stupid.”

— John Robinson