UPDATE: And we have our answer. On this morning’s “Daily Rundown” Chuck Todd displayed a graphic showing President Obama garnering only 36% of support from White “likely voters” versus 59% for Mitt Romney. This contrasts as I speculated below with his support of 38% among White registered voters. At 36% support among whites Obama is finished. [End update]
Let’s start with the screaming headline if the President’s name was O’Bama and he was a White Irishman: PRESIDENT BELOW 50% TWO WEEKS BEFORE ELECTION …sub-headline: No President has ever won re-election with support this low
But this is the press’ dream President/candidate so we’ll analyze the poll for what it is, an incumbent President stuck at ~47% in every poll, in every month, in every contested state. This election may be remembered as the 47% election between Obama’s unmoving support level as well as Romney’s remark.
As for the poll, it looks decent from a make-up standpoint. They don’t provide the likely voter party ID but Chuck Todd tweeted out it was D +3 while the registered voter sample was D +6 (RV #s confirmed in the data). The racial make-up was clean at 74% White, 12% Black, 8% Hispanic, 2 % Asian.
Now for the ugliness if you are President Obama:
This demographic information is from the First Read write-up which I would give a “F” if I were an English teacher grading this. They mix in registered voter preferences with likely voter preferences and rarely distinguish which is which. Conflating these two groups makes it impossible to draw decent conclusions. Journalism FAIL. Of course they’ll never provide this raw data to the public so we are left to rely on their shoddy journalism:
- Obama leads among African Americans (92 percent to 5 percent) — close to the historic average of 90% and not the absurd 95% he got in 2008
- Latinos (winning about seven in 10 of them) — why did they not give us the #? But that phrasing means 68 or 69%, barely higher than his 67% in 2008
- Romney, meanwhile, has the edge among seniors (60 percent to 35 percent) — but Chuck Todd incessantly told me Paul Ryan would hurt Romney with seniors? I told you otherwise
- Romney lead with whites (55 percent to 38 percent)– Here we are below the magic 40% mark which is the danger zone for Obama. But again, you already knew that
For some professionally incompetent reason they now switch to likely voters
But Romney’s gender gap narrows when you move from registered voters to likely voters —
- Obama’s lead with women shrinks to eight points (51 percent to 43 percent)
- Romney’s advantage with men grows to 10 points (53 percent to 43 percent)
These likely voters #s on the gender gap are a big freaking deal. Democrats gap with women almost always exceeds Republicans gap with men and Obama even won the male vote in 2008. Are we to assume the prior #s are all registered voter preferences? If so, is Obama at 35% among whites in the Likely Voter screen? That’s a huge story buried in this incompetently written paragraph on racial demographic preferences in the NBC/WSJ poll. Why even give the registered voter numbers? Any reasonable observer wants to know the likely voter preferences.
Just as bad for Obama is that his support is softer than Romney’s (Question 14). Of each candidate’s support:
- Romney: 84% will definitely vote for him, 10% will probably vote for him and 6% are just leaning towards him
- Obama: 82% will definitely vote for him, 9% will probably vote for him and 8% are just leaning towards him and 1% are not sure
Fewer “definite,” fewer “probably,” more “leaners” and an unsure … not a good place for an incumbent.