Obama +4 in Iowa, Trails by 12 Among Independents — Gravis Marketing

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.

Party identification

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.

For President Percent
Barack Obama 50
Mitt Romney 46
Undecided 4


  1. Tom
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink | Reply

    It used to amaze me how the leftist polls create these numbers so that it can show a story they want to project. Intellectual honesty is out the window long ago. If Romney wins independents by 12 in Iowa he will win Iowa. Mitt-Mentum

    • stephanie
      Posted October 26, 2012 at 11:28 am | Permalink | Reply

      Heard on the news today, the lefties are very happy about the storm thats is brewing, they said this is the oct. Surprise from heaven that will greatly help Obama. I bet O will be all over the place showing how much he really care just to get some votes. Sadly, there are low information voters will totally go with this. I have never been so nervous durig any presidential election, i am fearful for the future of our country, this country is more like the socialist countries.

  2. Eric
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 10:26 am | Permalink | Reply

    Check out this release from Gallup!


    The headline is misleading. Look at the numbers. If that’s anywhere close to accurate, we’re looking at a landslide!

    Gallup says the electorate is R+1 and Romney is winning independents by 10% nationally. The electorate is more favorable to Republicans than 2004. It’s over.

    BTW, these Gallup numbers line up nicely with Rasmussen’s numbers on the electorate.

    • Tom
      Posted October 26, 2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink | Reply

      As I’ve said, a mini-landslide for the GOP. Mitt-Mentum

    • Jon
      Posted October 26, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink | Reply

      Using the Gallup breakdown of a even electorate.

      Romney at 51 to 49


      Romney 50 to 50 (slight Romney win with .4 more of the vote


      Romney 52 to 48

      Damn, this will be close. At least Gallup is on the money at projecting Dem turnout for the past 2 cycles.

    • Evan3457
      Posted October 26, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Oh, yes, the electorate in 2012 will be just like 2008.

      Oh, except for 6% more Republicans, and 4% fewer Democrats.
      Oh, and 10% of the indepedents shifting away from Obama.

      Nothing to see here; move along, move along.

  3. Pete
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink | Reply

    Jay Cost says incumbents tend to get w/in a point or 2 of their job approval. If so, this poll has issues.

    • Svigor
      Posted October 26, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

      If anything, this year should give the incumbent less of an advantage on this front due to the Bradley Effect; “gosh no, we love the black guy” *pulls lever for white guy*

  4. Eric
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 10:30 am | Permalink | Reply

    The Iowa electorate should be somewhere between R+1 and R+5. It was R+4 in 2010. Romney’s leading Iowa.

  5. Edward
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 10:31 am | Permalink | Reply

    Drudge has WI tie 49-49….

  6. Eric
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 10:34 am | Permalink | Reply

    Even if you use a 2008 turnout model for Iowa it’s still a tie. It was D+1 in 2008.

    The normal for Iowa is slightly more Republicans than Democrats with independents leaning a bit towards the Democrats. Bush narrowly won Iowa in 2004, but lost independents by 8%. If Republicans win independents in Iowa, then it won’t be very close because there should be more Republicans than Democrats.

  7. novahockey
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 10:36 am | Permalink | Reply

    “I have a better chance of Kate Upton”

    IIRC You’ve mentioned her before in a post. somebody has a bit of a crush 🙂

    • Posted October 26, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink | Reply

      Can’t blame him. She’s hot and apparently Republican. They’ve got Rachel Maddow, we’ve got Kate Upton. I’m cool with that.

  8. No Tribe
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 10:36 am | Permalink | Reply

    rofl, if you need a laugh:

    …Obama is largely reduced to trawling college campuses for political jailbait, stroking the shreds of his coalition in the increasingly desperate hope of getting at least a few salvageable video clips out of each day. Big Bird, binders, and bayonets don’t comprise a sweeping vision of a second Obama term and it shows. Vice-President Malaprop wanders Ohio diners, touching people’s food and getting biker chicks to sit in his lap. It’s a campaign in trouble, and they know it.

    • Tom
      Posted October 26, 2012 at 10:52 am | Permalink | Reply

      Awesome link, I’m still laughing!

  9. Posted October 26, 2012 at 10:36 am | Permalink | Reply

    I tend to agree with Gallup’s numbers. Rasmussen has also seen a slight advantage in party ID for Republicans. If it’s R+1 nationally and he’s winning indies by a good margin (many polls show double digit leads) then I do expect a landslide. I also expect more Democrats to defect than Republicans, increasing the margin.

  10. allthingsgeography1
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 10:46 am | Permalink | Reply

    I re-weighted the poll using a party-ID of R+1 with a balance of D-R-I a bit closer to what might look like on election day (at least based on the previous two elections). This is what I got…tell me if the calculations appear incorrect. I used the data off the Gravis page to get DRI support for each candidate.

    Gravis Poll 10/26/2012 Iowa

    D34-R35-I31 R+1 (original 41-35-24 D+6 Obama +4)

    Obama: 31.96+3.15+11.16 = 46%
    Romney: 2.04+32.2+14.88 = 49%

    Romney +3

    • Eric
      Posted October 26, 2012 at 10:54 am | Permalink | Reply

      Those are the numbers that I came up with too. Looks good.

      • allthingsgeography1
        Posted October 26, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink

        Thanks. I hope the Obama people turn out and help the man out a bit. But I think R+1 for Iowa is a reasonable expectation based on the enthusiasm gap. The margin of error is still +/- 4.3% so it’s still quite a toss up.

    • Posted October 26, 2012 at 11:01 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thank you. I think the hard thing in Iowa for Obama is the independents. Iowa does swing where they go. I think I also read that nationally no candidate in recent memory has won by carrying less than 49% of the independent vote. I think Obama will struggle to get to that.

      • allthingsgeography1
        Posted October 26, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        Yeah, I have to grudgingly admit, with the damage being done in the independent vote and Obama under 48% in this re-weighted poll (assuming Republicans turnout in this way), Obama chances of winning Iowa appear grim. I looked at the final RCP averages last night for the 2008 election and for states McCain (running for the incumbent party in the White House) lost were all states where he average below 48%…states where he won, even close like Montana, he averaged above 48%. Indiana he averaged just below and lost. It seems, at least in that election to be a magic number where support for victory simply crumbles.

    • MikeN
      Posted October 26, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Two problems:
      I would go with 33-34-33, which I think helps Romney.
      The numbers are off in the poll due to rounding. For example, even without Independents, your R numbers add up to 35.35 out of 35.
      End result is the same.

  11. Dave
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 10:50 am | Permalink | Reply

    Big economic news of the day..GDP beats, consumer sentiment 5 year high…big nightly news stories…how convienent…Obama and his band of merry data crunchers have been polishing turds like this for the last 4 years for the nightly news.

    • Tom
      Posted October 26, 2012 at 10:55 am | Permalink | Reply

      The thing the media doesn’t understand is that people, even if they see this story, aren’t living this story. Many people know the truth. The msm credibility is at an all time low and dropping.

    • MattWestfall
      Posted October 26, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink | Reply

      I wonder how much consumer sentiment is tied to the well perceived “surge” in Romney’s chances? I know I’ve got more spring in my step since October 3. 🙂

      • beach91
        Posted October 26, 2012 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        Agree and was going to post along the same reasoning. The Mitt-mentum will begin to have effects and we are already seeing it…

    • John
      Posted October 26, 2012 at 10:58 am | Permalink | Reply

      Well, the markets certainly aren’t buying it knowing full well the coming adjustments will be downward (as always recently) and that 2% growth drivne mostly by large Govt purchases per the internals is still perilously close to recessionary tipping point. Also, isn’t it possible consumer sentiment is rising because of increasingly likely Romney win?

      BTW – does anybody still watch the nightly network news – especially on Friday evening?

    • No Tribe
      Posted October 26, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink | Reply

      Am still surprised that they didn’t manipulate the gas prices down to $3


      I am sure they tried.

      • MikeN
        Posted October 26, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        Ohio gas prices have dropped 50c in a month.

      • MikeN
        Posted October 26, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        I wonder if BP is behind it.

    • Evan3457
      Posted October 26, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

      About 1/3 of that 2% increase is…who’dathunkit? Increases in government spending.

  12. Big Mac
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink | Reply

    The MSM is dead to me.

  13. Posted October 26, 2012 at 11:23 am | Permalink | Reply

    I don’t think the math works the way you are assuming. You cannot just subtract the percentages. I don’t think Obama lost the partisan vote in 2008.

    • Posted October 26, 2012 at 11:31 am | Permalink | Reply

      I’ll re-run that again.

    • Posted October 26, 2012 at 11:39 am | Permalink | Reply

      It’s fixed now. I knew better but just transposed the numbers from a scrap spreadsheet I was running scenarios on. Thanks for catching that.

  14. Stephen
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink | Reply

    Oh, this Iowa poll is nothing compared to their Nevada poll. In Nevada, Romney is winning Ind 68-32! Yet, somehow he is losing by 1!

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