President Obama leads by 4-points in Iowa, 50 to 46 in the latest Gravis Marketing survey. But something tells me if Mitt Romney wins the Iowa Independent vote by 12-points like he is in this poll he’s going to carry Iowa. Independents make up 33% of the Iowa vote. It’s one of the rare states where it really is divided almost evenly 33% Democrats, 33% Republicans, 33% Independents. It can vary by a percent or two between the popular party of the moment but not much. If each candidate locks down their base, it’s the Independent vote that decides Iowa. In 2008 Obama won Iowa Independents by 15-points and carried the state by 9-points.
So he actually lost the vote when combining only the pure partisans by 6-points. [I got some spread-shseets crossed and that’s wrong, Obama carried the partisan by ~4.5 points. Thx Tim]. In the Gravis poll we have a 27-point swing towards Romney among Independents and this poll wants me to believe Obama is winning among the pure partisan Democrats and Republicans by 12-points in a more traditional party breakdown? I have a better chance of Kate Upton escorting me to Romney’s Inaugural Ball than that being true. This may well be the most encouraging poll for Romney in Iowa that I have seen.
Like I said above the partisan identification is surprisingly stable in Iowa which makes this poll all the more unrealistic for Iowa today. The party ID is D +6 (Dem 41, Rep 35, Ind 24). This compares to 2008 of D +1 (Dem 34, Rep 33, Ind 33) and 2004 R +2 (Dem 34, Rep 36, Ind 30). It is simply not the case that President Obama will enjoy a 6-point partisan advantage at the voting both this election, substantially greater than his 2008 advantage.
- Gender gap: Romney leads by 18 percent among men while President Obama leads by 23 percent with women.
- Obama job approval +1 but below 50%: 47 percent approve of his performance while 46 percent do not approve of President Obama’s job performance.
- Right track/wrong track: Iowans are more likely to think the country is headed in the wrong direction than the right direction by a 4 percentage point margin, 47 percent to 43 percent.
Just imagine how bad Obama’s #s would be if the poll were reasonably balanced? Yikes.