The published polls reflect a close race for two reasons:
1. They poll only registered voters, not likely voters. Rasmussen is the only pollster who tests likely voters, and his latest tracking poll has Romney ahead by 48-43.
2. As discussed in previous columns, a study of the undecided voters in the past eight elections in which incumbents sought a second term as president reveals that only Bush-43 gained any of the undecided vote. Johnson in ’64, Nixon in ’72, Ford in ’76, Carter in ’80, Reagan in ’84, Bush in ’92 and Clinton in ’96 all failed to pick up a single undecided vote.
So when polls show President Obama at 45 percent of the vote, they are really reflecting a likely 55-45 Romney victory, at the very least.
Gallup has amassed over 150,000 interviews over all of 2011 and compared them with a like number in 2010. It finds that Obama has a better than 50 percent job approval in only 10 states and the District of Columbia. And his approval has dropped in almost every single state. Even in California, it has fallen from 55 percent in 2010 to 50.5 percent in 2011.
Over the period of May 4-6, I completed a poll of 400 likely voters in Michigan and found Romney leading by 45-43! And Michigan is one of the most pro-Democrat of the swing states.
I also found that Obama’s personal favorability, which has usually run about 10 to 20 points higher than his job approval, is now equal to his job rating. In Michigan, his personal favorability among likely voters is 47-47, while his job rating is 50-48. Romney’s favorability is 49-42.
Obama’s crashing personal favorability reflects the backlash from his recent speeches. In substance, their focus on class warfare and their bombastic, demagogic style are not playing well with the voters. They do not seem in the least presidential.
Nor does his message of attacking Big Oil seem constructive. Voters all distrust Big Oil and would rather see them get punished, but they do not see in repealing their tax breaks a way of lowering prices at the pump or of increasing the supply of oil.
Obama’s trip to Afghanistan looks like grandstanding, and his insinuation that Romney would never have launched the strike looks like a low partisan blow.
Obama cannot summon the commitment he got in 2008 by negatives or partisanship. It was precisely to change the “toxic” atmosphere in Washington that he was elected. To fan it now is not the way to regain the affection of those who have turned on him.
If the election were held today, Obama would lose by at least 10 points and would carry only about a dozen states with fewer than 150 electoral votes.
And the Republicans would keep their Senate seats in Arizona, Texas and Nevada while picking up seats in Virginia, Florida, Indiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Missouri and Montana. The GOP will also have good shots at victory in the Senate races in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and — if Chris Shays wins the primary — Connecticut. Only in Maine are their fortunes likely to dim.
The journalists in the mainstream media, who are not politicians and have never run campaigns, do not realize what is happening. The Democrats, as delusional in 2012 as they were in 2010, are too much into their own euphoria to realize it. But America is sharply and totally rejecting Obama and all he stands for and embracing Romney as a good alternative. While few are saying these words, they are the truth.