Tag Archives: New Mexico

Romney +5 in 12-State Battleground Poll — USA Today/Gallup

Mitt Romney holds a 5-point lead, 51 to 46, among the Battleground States identified by USA Today which include my ten plus North Carolina and New Mexico.

The states in USA Today’s survey are: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.  This is huge for Romney because the only true red state is North Carolins and it is balanced by New Mexico’s inclusion.  So no state is unnecessarily skewing the results one way of the other and if anything the inclusion of Michigan and Pennsylvania unnecessarily help Obama. The most surprising takeaway is Romney support among the women surveyed was dead even at 48 a piece.  If it is anywhere near that on election day, look for a blowout with Romney carrying all of the above mentioned states:

Mitt Romney leads President Obama by five percentage points among likely voters in the nation’s top battlegrounds, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, and he has growing enthusiasm among women to thank. As the presidential campaign heads into its final weeks, the survey of voters in 12 crucial swing states finds female voters much more engaged in the election and increasingly concerned about the deficit and debt issues that favor Romney. The Republican nominee now ties the president among women who are likely voters, 48%-48%, while he leads by 12 points among men.

“In every poll, we’ve seen a major surge among women in favorability for Romney” since his strong performance in the first debate, veteran Democratic pollster Celinda Lake says. “Women went into the debate actively disliking Romney, and they came out thinking he might understand their lives and might be able to get something done for them.” While Lake believes Obama retains an edge among women voters, the changed views of Romney could be “a precursor to movement” to the Republican candidate, she says. “It opens them up to take a second look, and that’s the danger for Obama.”

Romney’s Debate Dividends

Karl Rove checks in on voter registration efforts and find Mitt Romney capitalizing in more area than just the polls following his thrashing of Obama in the debates:

How big an impact did Mitt Romney’s performance in last week’s debate have? Huge. Mr. Romney not only won the night, he changed the arc of the election—and perhaps its outcome.

Enthusiasm

An Oct. 7 Pew Research report found that before the debate, Romney voters were four points more likely than Obama voters to give the election “a lot of thought.” After it, Romney-voter engagement was 15 points higher than that of Obama voters. This enthusiasm gap already expresses itself in voter registration and is now influencing early voting.

Voter registration

In the eight battleground states that register voters by party, Republicans have maintained their advantage or cut into the Democrats’ in all but one (Nevada). Since September 2008, Republicans have kept their registration advantages in Colorado and New Hampshire. They’ve added more new Republican registrations than Democrats did in Florida, Iowa and North Carolina. And they’ve lost fewer voters from the rolls than Democrats did in New Mexico and Pennsylvania.

Early voting

  • Republicans are also getting the better of Mr. Obama in early voting. In 2008, Democrats made up 51% of the North Carolina early vote while Republicans were 30%. This year, Republicans have cast 54% of the ballots returned so far, Democrats only 28%, according to state data compiled by George Mason University’s Michael McDonald for his United States Election Project.
  • In Florida, 46% of absentee ballots returned by September’s end came from Republicans (compared with 37% in 2008) while just 38% came from Democrats (they were 46% of the total in 2008). More Republicans have requested absentee ballots in Colorado, a state where Democrats edged out Republicans in early voting last time.
  • Republicans have also made up ground in Ohio. For example, in 2008 Democrats requested 5% more absentee ballots in Franklin County (Columbus), 4% more in Greene County (Xenia), and 11% more in Wood County (Bowling Green). This election, Republicans have more ballot requests than Democrats in these counties by 5%, 19% and 1% respectively.

Fundraising

The Romney campaign saw a $12 million surge in online contributions following the debate, and major GOP fundraisers are again opening their checkbooks. True enough, Hollywood stars and rich San Francisco liberals wrote big checks during Mr. Obama’s two-day California swing this week. But it isn’t clear what overall impact the president’s poor debate performance will have on his fundraising. The small Internet donors that produced an eye-popping $181 million fundraising total in September may be disappointed in his debate skills and waiting to see if he improves.

Voter Registration: GOP Ground Game by the Numbers

To set the stage for the below voter contact numbers, according to Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign operative Adrian Gray: “[the Romney-Ryan campaign has made] 26 million volunteer contacts (per @rick_wiley memo). In 2004, BC’04 had made 7,451,466 by now”

A few days ago I blogged the incredible voter contacts Romney Victory Offices were achieving across the battleground: 1,000,000 contacts in Nevada and Colorado, 1,000,000 contacts in Iowa, 3,000,000 contacts in Ohio and 6,000,000 contacts in Florida. But that is only the first step in re-branding the GOP and turning out the vote. The next step is registering these people to offset the incredible advantage Barack Obama enjoyed on election day in 2008. You don’t have to win every one of these battles but Republicans definitely need to shrink Democrat’s lead.  Jim Geraghty at National Review’s Campaign Spot has a rundown on the latest voter registration figures across a great many Battlegrounds and the results are impressive:

  • Iowa — Today 20,000 more registered Republicans in Iowa than registered Democrats. In January 2009, Iowa Democrats enjoyed a 110,000 voter registration advantage. Net gain for the GOP 140,000 votes
  • Florida — This is a state with a large “Unaffiliated” segment.  However, in a state with 11.5 million registered voters, today Democrats have a 454,752-voter advantage, down from 694,147-voter advantage in 2008. Net gain for the GOP 240,000 votes
  • Nevada — In a state with 1.4 million registered voters, Democrats have an advantage of 47,000, down from 100,000 in 2008. Net gain for the GOP 53,000 votes
  • Pennsylvania — Democrats have a 1,086,006-vote advantage.  Bad right?  Many of those vote straight like Republican and the advantage is down -150,000 since 2008 (25% of Obama’s entire winning margin). Net gain for the GOP 150,000 votes
  • Colorado — GOP advantage today is 98,000, up from 9,000 in 2008. Net gain for the GOP 91,000 votes

Outer Burroughs:

  • New Mexico — Democrat advantage today of 196,758 voters, down 20,000 from 2008.
  • North Carolina — Today: Democrat advantage of 769,926 voters, down 95,000 from 2008. Like Pennsylvania, many of these Democrats are straight-line Republican voters.

Note: Virginia does not register by party affiliation

New Mexico? Obama +5 in the Land of Enchantment — Albuquerque Journal

The drumbeat of Obama surrogates masquerading as independent journalists repeatedly talk about minor trends in favor of Obama as certifying the inevitability of his victory in November.  But a stubborn thing keeps cropping up — independent polls show the race dead even and even fringe battlegrounds remain close.  The latest is from the Albuquerque Journal showing President Obama with a 5-point lead and plenty of votes still up for grabs:

The presidential race in New Mexico may be more competitive than national pundits and polls have suggested.

According to a Journal Poll, President Barack Obama appears to have a small lead over Republican Mitt Romney in New Mexico, but Obama has not topped 50 percent, and 8 percent of voters were undecided in a close race with nine weeks remaining.

Obama drew support from 45 percent of the New Mexico voters surveyed between Sept. 3 and Sept. 6, while Romney stayed within striking distance at 40 percent.

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate for president, who also will be on the Nov. 6 ballot, had 7 percent support. Johnson subtracted almost equal numbers of votes from Obama and Romney, according to the poll, meaning his third-party candidacy was not more damaging to one than the other.

Results of the statewide Journal Poll of likely voters have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

“When we look at the other polls that have come out over the last number of months, this race seems to be narrowing in New Mexico,” said Journal pollster Brian Sanderoff.

Other recent surveys of the presidential contest in New Mexico by national polling firms found Obama leading Romney by as much as 13 percentage points, causing some political analysts to suggest New Mexico would break in Obama’s favor without much of a campaign in the state.

Sanderoff said the Journal Poll indicates a notable shift in Obama’s strength here.

“Most pundits categorized New Mexico as ‘lean Democrat,’ but we might be moving back to battleground status,” Sanderoff said.

Obama’s strength in New Mexico is with Hispanic voters, according to the Journal Poll.

Obama had 56 percent support among voters identifying themselves as Hispanic. Romney claimed less than half that, with 26 percent. About 12 percent of the Hispanics surveyed were undecided, according to the poll.

Romney took a larger share of voters who identified themselves as Anglo. About 48 percent of Anglos said they would vote for Romney, while 39 percent said they would vote for Obama.

Although national polls have shown Obama with an advantage among female voters, the Journal Poll found that he does not have as much of an edge in New Mexico. Obama was backed by about 46 percent of women in the poll, while Romney had 40 percent.

Romney, however, appeared to have more backing among Democrats than Obama did among Republicans. Fifteen percent of the Democrats said they would likely vote for Romney, while 8 percent of the Republicans said they would vote for Obama.

Because just 32 percent of New Mexico voters are registered Republicans -compared with 48 percent registered Democrats – Romney has to draw votes away from the Democratic base to win in New Mexico, Sanderoff said.

“We see Romney pulling more D’s than Obama is pulling R’s, although that’s not unusual,” Sanderoff said. “That’s essential for a Republican to have a chance.”

Independent voters are a growing category in New Mexico, now accounting for 17 percent of all registered voters. But independents’ spread between Romney and Obama in the Journal Poll was 3 percentage points.

Romney had 38 percent of the independent voters (and a few voters affiliated with minor parties), compared with 35 percent for Obama. Johnson drew 12 percent of independents. Meanwhile, 15 percent of all independent voters were undecided.

The Journal Poll was conducted by Research & Polling Inc. of Albuquerque. The scientific sample is based on land line and cellphone interviews statewide with 667 likely voters. The margin of error for the full, statewide sample is plus or minus 3.8 percentage points. The margin of error grows for subsamples.

Governor Susana Martinez Speech

Battleground State Strategizing

The Wall Street Journal has a good look at the state of play across the Battlegrounds and finds some interesting campaign maneuvering:

The presidential candidates are being forced to adjust assumptions about the path to victory as voter sentiments shift in some of the battleground states that are important to winning a majority in the Electoral College. In a heartening development for Republican challenger Mitt Romney, Wisconsin is now a tossup, recent polls show, forcing President Barack Obama to consider investing in a state that wasn’t considered to be in play.

At the same time, Republicans hold a lead in opinion polling in North Carolina, a state that Mr. Obama narrowly carried in 2008. That shift complicates one of a handful of routes to re-election the Obama campaign has laid out, relying on victories in the mid-Atlantic states of North Carolina and Virginia. Stronger showings by Mr. Romney in opinion polls of Colorado also suggest a narrowing of Mr. Obama’s prospects for another path to victory he had laid out, which entails winning the Western swing states of Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico.

Benefiting Mr. Obama, several polls show the president retaining a lead in two voter-rich states, Ohio and Virginia. Should Mr. Obama carry those states, Mr. Romney would be hard pressed to win the White House without capturing one of two states that Democrats have consistently won since 1992: Pennsylvania and Michigan. Overall, polling shows that Mr. Obama continues to hold a lead in the Electoral College at this point.

Recent travel and ad buys show the candidates trying to expand the electoral map to the greatest extent possible for themselves, while closing off viable paths to the magic number of 270 electoral votes for their opponents. Mr. Romney on Thursday talked about his energy plan in New Mexico, a state that Mr. Obama won last time around and that figures into his Western strategy. Recent surveys show Mr. Obama with a significant lead there, suggesting that the state’s role as a battleground is receding. For his part, Mr. Obama is currently devoting a huge chunk of time to Iowa, where the race looks to be close. The president spent three days there last week on a bus trip and plans to return next week as part of a college tour.

For the Obama campaign, the focus on Iowa serves two purposes. One of the Obama campaign’s paths to an Electoral College win envisions victories in both Ohio and Iowa. But success in Iowa would also help to foil a strategy developed by the Romney campaign. Romney strategists call it the “Granite Hawkeye” path, envisioning wins in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, New Hampshire and Iowa.

“If you had said a year ago that Wisconsin, Nevada, New Hampshire and Colorado would all in be play, that we would have a $60 million cash advantage on the president, and that we would be within the margin of error in every important state, that would have been as good as it gets,” Mr. Beeson said. “And that’s where we are.”

In assessing the landscape, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report said that Mr. Obama can count on winning 17 states, with 201 electoral votes, while Mr. Romney’s standing is solid in 23 states, with 191 votes. That leaves 11 battlegrounds where the campaign will be fought most intensely, with 146 votes at stake. To win, a candidate needs 270 electoral votes.

Mitt Romney Releases Energy Plan in New Mexico

Mitt Romney stumps in the expanded Battleground state of New Mexico today and launched his plan for rapidly expanding energy production in the US and putting the country on a the towards energy independence:

Seeking to refocus his presidential campaign on the economy after days of distraction, Republican is promoting energy proposals aimed at creating more than 3 million new jobs and opening up more areas for drilling off the coast of two politically critical states, Virginia and North Carolina. Romney is traveling from Arkansas to New Mexico on Thursday to discuss what aides cast as a comprehensive energy plan that would result in more than $1 trillion in revenue for federal, state and local governments, plus millions of jobs.

The most significant aspects of Romney’s plans hinge on opening up more areas for offshore oil drilling, including in the mid-Atlantic, where it is currently banned. Romney also wants to give states the power to establish all forms of energy production on federal lands, a significant shift in current policy that could face strong opposition in Congress.

In a supporting document, Romney says it now takes up to 307 days to receive permits to drill a well on federal land. By contrast, states such as North Dakota issue permits within 10 days and Colorado within 27 days, Romney said. “States are far better able to develop, adopt and enforce regulations based on their unique resources, geology and local concerns,” the statement said.

In an effort to appease environmentalists, Romney says he would prevent energy production on federal lands designated as off-limits. Romney’s plan focuses heavily on boosting domestic oil production, including approving the Keystone XL pipeline that would run from Canada to U.S. refineries in Texas.

The proposal would establish a new five-year leasing plan for offshore oil production that “aggressively opens” new areas for drilling, starting with the coasts of Virginia and North Carolina. Virginia’s Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell has pushed to expand offshore drilling as a boost to Virginia’s economy.

The Obama administration has proposed a plan that would allow energy companies to begin seismic testing to find oil and natural reserves in the Atlantic Ocean. Companies would use the information to determine where to apply for energy leases, although no leases would be available until at least 2017.

Obama +3 in 12-State Battleground Poll — USA Today

Interesting and counter-intuitive results in the USA Today poll released this morning.  While President Obama leads by 3 in the twelve battleground states surveyed, he trails by 2 in the other 38 states leaving the candidates ties at 44 a piece nationwide:

In USA TODAY/Gallup survey nationwide and in the 12 top battleground states, most voters say the situation for them and their families hasn’t improved over the past four years, the first time that has happened since Ronald Reagan famously posed the question in his debate with President Carter in 1980 — a contest Carter lost.

Even so, President Obama, who in 2008 became the first African-American elected president, maintains a lead over challenger Mitt Romney in the battleground states likely to decide the election, 47%-44%. That’s better than his standing in the non-battleground states, where Romney leads 47%-45%.

Despite airing millions of dollars in TV ads and taking a high-profile trip abroad, Romney has failed to budge in the swing states, stuck at 44% or 45% since April. In that time, Obama has maintained a steady 47% despite a string of disappointing monthly jobs reports and an 8.3% unemployment rate.

The president’s vulnerabilities on the economy have opened the door to a re-election rebuke, analysts of all stripes agree, but so far Romney has failed to walk through that opening. In the survey and follow-up interviews, voters say they have lost much of their faith that Obama can fix the economy but aren’t convinced they can trust Romney to watch out for them and their interests.

In the Swing States poll, just 14% call the current economy good. The overwhelming majority describe it as “only fair” (44%) or poor (41%). Economic woes are fueling unease about the country’s direction. Seven of 10 in the swing states and 72% nationwide say they are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States. Just 28% in the swing states and 26% nationwide are satisfied.

The battleground states surveyed are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin — competitive states most likely to swing the Electoral College.

Americans for Prosperity Carpetbombs the Battlegrounds

The Koch brothers are unloading with both barrels over the coming month across a wide swath of Battleground states according to multiple news outlets:

Americans For Prosperity, the conservative group funded by the Koch brothers, is spending between $24 and $25 million on a month-long ad buy in 11 swing states, a Republican media buyer has confirmed. The AFP ads will run in western swing states of Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico, the midwestern battlegrounds of Ohio, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, as well as Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. The ad will begin running next week and continue through the first week of September. Prior to this latest buy, AFP had already spent $17.6 million on ads in the presidential race.

Battleground State Poll Dead Heat (if Obama Repeats 2008 Turnout) — NPR

NPR ran two polls, both a nationwide poll and a 12-state Battleground state poll. Both showed the race basically even but the Battleground state poll was exactly tied 46 – 46, with one important caveat — they weighted the poll as if turnout were the same as 2008 when the Democrat wave struck and they out-represented Republicans by a 7-point margin.  That ain’t happening in 2012 which means this poll is great news for Mitt Romney. Here are the details on the survey:

  • 1000 likely voters surveyed, including an oversample to reach 462 voters in 12 battleground states, selected randomly from a random-digit-dialing sample including both cellular and landline telephone numbers. Interviews were conducted July 9-12, 2012
  • The 12 battleground states included: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin
  • The sample was weighted so the total interviews in the battleground states reflects the proportion of the national electorate
  • The sample includes a Democratic advantage of 7 points over Republicans. The sample is 36 percent Democrat, 31 percent Independent, and 29 percent Republican

Battleground voters opinions:

  • Right track/Wrong track for the county was 31% to 65% (-34 points underwater)
  • Approve/Disapprove of Obama’s job was 48% to 49% (-1 point underwater)
  • Support/Oppose Obamacare was 39% to 52% (-13 points underwater)

Battleground state poll Presidential race results

For President Percent
Barack Obama 46
Mitt Romney 46
Undecided 3

916,643 Swing Voters

This blog focuses on 10 swing states that will decide this year’s election.  But Paul Begala goes to an even more micro-level and estimates 916,643 swing voters spread across six states will decide the election:

Democratic strategist Paul Begala surmises in a Newsweek column that 916,643 in six swing states will be the decisive factor in the 2012 elections. Begala, best known for helping win the White House for Bill Clinton in 1992, takes an educated guess that it’ll come down to 4% of the voters in the swing states of Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, New Mexico and Colorado. “That’s it. The American president will be selected by fewer than half the number of people who paid to get into a Houston Astros home game last year,” Begala writes.

If Romney gets his act together and makes his case to the public, the election won’t be that close.  But even if he doesn’t, all of Obama’s mud slinging hasn’t moved the polls either so Begala may just be right.

How Obama is Losing in a Poll Where He Leads by +2 — Purple Strategies

Purple Strategies had another Battleground state polling release today with plenty of juicy details that basically says after a $100 million dollar scorched earth campaign of slash and burn from Barack Obama, he can’t pull away from Romney — and that’s the good news for Obama.

When we first heard from Purple Strategies on June 7, Barack Obama was up +2 points across 12 Battleground states that included North Carolina, New Mexico and Minnesota (but not Michigan). Now after a month of the most aggressive early campaigning in election history (and most of it negative ads against Romney) we find President Barack Obama leading by  …. +2 points, within the margin of error. Considering Obama likely has double digit leads in two states included in the overall results (Minnesota and New Mexico), this +2 point lead is HUGELY bad news for Obama. this doesn’t even mention that Pennsylvania averages a +7.8% lead for Obama. The bottom line: Romney can lose all three of those states and still comfortably win the election, Barack Obama cannot.

Takeaways from today’s release:

  • Barack Obama leads across the 12 purple states 47 – 45 with 8% undecided, this is flat from June by down from a 4 point lead in April
  • Obama leads by +1 in Colorado (down 1 from June), by +2 in Virginia (down 1 from June) and by +3 in Ohio (up 6 from June) — all within the margin of error +/- 4
  • Note: Ohio has been all over the map in these polls. April has Obama +5, June had Romney +3 and July has Obama +3
  • Romney leads by +3 in Florida (down 1 from June)
  • Obama overall job approval/disapproval is -3 (46 to 49)
  • State specific job approval is also negative: -6 in Colorado, -5 in Virginia, -3 in Ohio and -9 in Florida; It is also meaningfully negative in each region polled except when including Minnesota
  • Romney retains a 5-point lead among Independents (47% to 42%), essentially unchanged from his 6-point lead in June
  • The gender gap also continues: Romney leads by 8 points among men (50% to 42%), while Obama leads by 11 among women (52% to 41%)
  • 28% of voters believe that the economy is getting better, a decline of 8 points from April. Forty-two percent (42%) believe that the economy is getting worse, up 7 points from April
  • Voters’ perception of the economy on their presidential choice is now more predictive of vote choice than any other question we ask – including partisanship

NOTE: Purple Strategies does individual polling only for the four states mentioned: Ohio, Florida, Colorado and Virginia.

Why New Mexico is Not a Battleground State

When drilling down on the states that will decide this year’s election, in my very first post I identified New Mexico, along with North Carolina, as states that politicos would like you to believe are Battleground states but quite frankly they are not. I have spent more time disabusing this notion about North Carolina mainly because so much money and TV coverage is being spent on the state that easily misleads political watchers but New Mexico creeps into a discussion here and there.  Well, today we received one more confirmation that New Mexico is not a Battleground state.

The polling group We Ask America, who if anything gets accused of a bias towards the GOP, released a poll showing President Obama with an 11-point lead in the Land of Enchantment:

President Obama holds an 11-percentage-point lead over Mitt Romney in the critical swing (sic)  state of New Mexico, according to a We Ask America poll released on Wednesday. Obama took 51 percent support in the poll, while Romney took 40. That’s in line with the Real Clear Politics average of polls, which shows Obama leading by 13.6 points in the state. New Mexico is one of 12 key swing states that Obama won in 2008 that will be critical in determining the outcome of the 2012 election. Obama won New Mexico by 15 percent over Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008. The presidential race has tightened in recent weeks in the Mountain West swing states of Colorado and Nevada, but New Mexico appears to be firmly in Obama’s column at this point. The poll of 1,295 likely voters was conducted between July 9-10 and has a 2.8 percent margin of error.

In conclusion, neither campaign spending anything beyond a pittance in the state, Obama has a double-digit lead.  New Mexico is not a Battleground state.

What Happens if Obama’s Voters Don’t Show Up?

Over the weeks we have seen many posts identifying the enthusiasm gap among Obama voters.  We saw where Obama made his extra-Constitutional immigration ploy to recapture Hispanic enthusiasm which appears to be back-firing. The President also has problems with the youth vote and also a reversion to enthusiasm norm among African-Americans from 2008 heights.

The USA Today/Gallup survey of registered voters showed Obama with a 2-point lead.  However, within those results, swing state voters maintain an enthusiasm gap that may make all the difference in November:

The June swing-states poll showed 47% of registered voters across the 12 swing states backing President Barack Obama for president and 45% backing the presumptive Republican nominee, Mitt Romney. However, voters in swing states who support Romney for president are more likely than those backing Obama to say they feel “extremely enthusiastic” about voting — 31% to 23%. The same pattern is seen by party, with 32% of Republicans in the swing states and 25% of Democrats reporting extreme enthusiasm.

The 8-point enthusiasm lead for Romney shrinks to 4-points when aggregating “Extremely Enthusiastic” and “Very Enthusiastic” voters but in a tight election, that may be all the difference Romney needs:

Voter Enthusiasm Extremely Very Total
Barack Obama voters 23% 24% 47%
Mitt Romney voters 31% 20% 51%

The “Extremely Enthusiastic” segment is even more interesting in that these results are a 5-point bump for Romney versus a Spring survey by Gallup/USA Today and a 3-point drop for Obama despite his pandering on HHS mandates, immigration, student loans, and now middle class tax policy.

Obama +2 in Actual Battleground States

USA Today and Gallup jointly polled the Presidential race both nationwide and just the Battlegrounds. Unlike the CNN 15-state cut that included too many GOP states making the poll of little value,this survey of 12-states includes only two states outside my battleground but both are at least worthy of discussion. The 12-state survey included:  Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Nevada, Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New Mexico and North Carolina.  Interestingly these were the exact states mentioned in my very first post. While I would dismiss both New Mexico and North Carolina, each at least has a basis for broader election discussions and likely cancels one another out from the overall margin.  According to the write-up in USA Today:

In the 12 battleground states, the race is all but tied. Obama leads Romney 47%-45% among 1,200 registered voters in the poll June 22-29 — a tick closer than Obama’s 48%-44% lead among 2,404 voters in the rest of the USA over the same period. The swing states survey focuses on a dozen states that aren’t firmly aligned with either Democrats or Republicans. That puts them in a position to tip the outcome in the Electoral College.  The states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Ad barrage

More than three of four voters in the battlegrounds say they’ve seen campaign ads on TV over the past month. They’re more likely to recall the negative ones, which have included a barrage attacking the president’s stewardship of the economy and depicting Romney as a heartless corporate executive. Nearly two-thirds have seen negative ads about Romney and almost seven in 10 negative ones about Obama.

Last week alone, the presidential candidates and outside groups supporting them spent nearly $15 million on advertising in the Sunshine State and other battlegrounds, according to data from the ad-tracking firm SMG Delta as reported by NBC. The Romney campaign bought $4.3 million in ads, and the conservative super PAC Americans for Prosperity another $2.6 million. The Obama campaign bought $6.5 million and the pro-Obama Priorities USA Action $1.4 million.

It’s about to get even more intense: The two sides are poised to spend $100 million on ads over the next month, The Washington Post calculates. Since advertising began for the general election, Romney and his allies have spent $85 million on TV spots, according to NBC/SMG Delta. Obama and his supporters have spent $110 million.

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Republican Governors Decrease Employment, Democrats? Not So Much

Robert Elliot at Examiner.com ran the numbers and if you elected a Republican Governor in 2010, pat yourself on the back.  If you elected a Democrat, go back to the unemployment line.  Tony Lee at Breitbart.com writes it up thusly:

In 2010, influenced by the Tea Party and its focus on fiscal issues, 17 states elected Republican governors. And, according to an Examiner.com analysis, every one of those states saw a drop in their unemployment rates since January of 2011. Furthermore, the average drop in the unemployment rate in these states was 1.35%, compared to the national decline of .9%, which means, according to the analysis, that the job market in these Republican states is improving 50% faster than the national rate.  Since January of 2011, here is how much the unemployment rate declined in each of the 17 states that elected Republican governors in 2010, according to the Examiner:

  • Florida – 10.9% to 8.6% = a decline of 2.3%
  • Nevada – 13.8% to 11.6% = a decline of 2.2%
  • Iowa – 6.1% to 5.1% = a decline of 1.0%
  • Ohio – 9.0% to 7.3% = a decline of 1.7%
  • Michigan – 10.9% to 8.5% = a decline of 2.4%
  • Pennsylvania – 8.0% to 7.4% = a decline of 0.6%
  • Wisconsin – 7.7% to 6.8% = a decline of 0.9%
  • New Mexico – 7.7% to 6.7% = a decline of 1.0%
  • Kansas – 6.9% to 6.1% = a decline of 0.8%
  • Maine – 8.0% to 7.4% = a decline of 0.6%
  • Oklahoma – 6.2% to 4.8% = a decline of 1.4%
  • Tennessee – 9.5% to 7.9% = a decline of 1.6%
  • Wyoming – 6.3% to 5.2% = a decline of 1.1%
  • Alabama – 9.3% to 7.4% = a decline of 1.9%
  • Georgia – 10.1% to 8.9% = a decline of 1.2%
  • South Carolina – 10.6% to 9.1% = a decline of 1.5%
  • South Dakota – 5.0% to 4.3% = a decline of 0.7%

On the other hand, the unemployment rate in states that elected Democrats in 2010 dropped, on average, as much as the national rate decline and, in some states such as New York, the unemployment rate has risen since January of 2011.

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Mountain West States in Focus — Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico

Our friends at the Financial Times take a look at the electorally less valuable but almost equally important Mountain West states and the aggressive Obama infrastructure expected to give him an advantage in the Fall:

Renowned for its grassroots organisation in 2008, Mr Obama’s campaign is building a structure in states such as Colorado that dwarfs his efforts four years ago. Often bit players in the US presidential election, Colorado, along with New Mexico and Nevada in the so-called mountain west region , now make up the country’s swing region and will be vital in deciding the winner in November. If Mr Obama can hold the three states, which he won in 2008, Mitt Romney will have a mountain of his own to climb in the industrial midwest to have any chance of returning a Republican to the White House. With the mountain west’s 20 electoral college votes under his belt, Mr Obama could lose perennial bellwether states like Ohio and Florida and still win, unless Mr Romney manages to flip a Democratic stronghold like Michigan into his corner.

Coalition of the ascendent

Colorado in particular is a microcosm of the trends Mr Obama is relying on to overcome worries about the economy: relatively socially liberal and environmentally friendly and with a growing number of Hispanics. The state also has a high proportion of educated women, another group that leans heavily towards Mr Obama and that he needs to motivate in order to win. As in Nevada and New Mexico, strong Hispanic support for Mr Obama will be crucial, as long as his campaign can get a traditionally low-voting community to the polls.

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Romney leads by +8 in the Battleground States … Sort Of

Now I decry biased battleground state samples and unrealistic party ID breakdowns wherever I see them.  And almost always they are in favor of the Democrats.  Today’s CNN poll shows Obama with a +3 point lead nationally.  But national polls are not what this blog is about.  Interestingly, beneath the headline number is what we like, a 15-state Battleground state polling breakout showing Mitt Romney with an +8 point lead.  Break out the champagne, right?  Not so fast.

We like our 9-state battleground map and most all of the polling and news has justified each state’s inclusion despite various organizations disagreements notwithstanding.

Today’s CNN 15-state Battleground is wholly justified if this were mid-2011 and we were simply looking at the Obama 2008 election results.  Obama won Indiana and came within a whisker (less than 4000 votes) of winning Missouri.  Arizona is a state where Democrats believed their immigration hopes might carry the state.  So each state’s inclusion had a basis looking at Obama’s 2008 success.  However, today Indiana is back to being solidly Republican (thanks in no small part to eliminating massive voter fraud from 2008), Missouri is not being contested by Obama and Arizona lacks the “coalition of the ascendent” Democrats rely on for victories in Battleground states. Their inclusion in this survey biases the overall number too much to put a lot of stock in the Battleground state lead (heck, we wouldn’t even include North Carolina although it is balanced by New Mexico’s inclusion).

Despite these fair criticisms, it is still nice to be leading any poll and especially a Battleground poll by +8 points.  I would just like to see a more reasonable battleground slice and greater granularity within any Battleground poll.

Concerned Women for America Enter the Battlegrounds

A female focused group–founded to counter the National Organization of Women — is entering the fray in a big way this election season.  Notably they are playing deep in Obama territory targeting Minnesota and New Mexico among their otherwise Battleground states:

A conservative women’s advocacy group on Wednesday announced a major ad buy aimed against President Barack Obama’s sweeping health care reform. Concerned Women for America said it’s dropping a whopping $6 million on a commercial that will begin airing Wednesday nationwide on cable and in six key swing states. The 60-second ad features a family practitioner, Dr. Ami Siems, expressing concern about the health care measure, which was passed in 2010 with Democratic support but now awaits a decision on its constitutionality by the Supreme Court. The ad buy comes one week after the group announced a get-out-the-vote initiative that targets women in certain battleground states.  The six states in the ad buy include Minnesota, New Mexico, and Wisconsin-three states that lean toward Obama, according to CNN’s Electoral Map. The ad will also run in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Virginia, all of which fall under the “toss-up” category, according to CNN analysis.

Five States That Could Be Union Battlegrounds

Following the success of Scott Walker’s reforms and the resounding defeat of unions, many Governors may enact Wisconsin-style reforms to reverse state deficits. Mitt Romney already said on election night that Walker’s win would “echo throughout the country” and it is very possible Romney may try to harness these economic turnarounds and stump on the reforms in Battleground states and beyond.

The Associated Press identified five states that could see a repeat of the Wisconsin reforms. These states are all either Battleground states or right on the fringe for both campaigns:

States that could see renewed efforts to pass anti-union measures in the wake of Wisconsin’s recall election:

MICHIGAN: Republicans in the state Legislature are eager to pass right-to-work legislation that would limit unions’ ability to collect fees from nonunion workers. Gov. Rick Snyder has discouraged the measure for now, but unions are trying to collect enough signatures for a ballot initiative this November that would amend the state constitution to prohibit right-to-work laws. Earlier this year, Snyder signed into law a measure prohibiting schools from deducting union dues from employees’ paychecks.

MINNESOTA: Republicans want to revive efforts to pass a constitutional amendment to make Minnesota a right-to-work state.

MISSOURI: GOP lawmakers want to pare back mandatory wages on public works projects and halt the perpetual deduction of union dues from public employee paychecks by requiring annual written authorization.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Last year, Democratic Gov. John Lynch vetoed a bill last year that would have made New Hampshire a right-to-work state. The House passed it again this year, but it died when Republicans realized they did not have a veto-proof majority. House Speaker William O’Brien says he will try to pass the measure again next year, when the state could have a Republican governor.

NEW MEXICO: Gov. Susana Martinez has tried to limit the state’s collective bargaining law. Through legal action, she has won control of a board that oversees public worker contract disputes.

Romney Leads in Ohio and Florida — 2012 Purple Poll

Consistent with the theme of this blog, the folks over at Purple Strategies, identified 12 “purple” states they believe will decide this year’s election: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Although with today’s Michigan poll showing Romney leading 46-45, maybe they need to add one more “purple” state.

That said, today Purple Strategies released a comprehensive poll of “purple states” revealing a number of hugely important insights. Although the headline result shows a +2 point lead for President Obama, a look at the included “purple” states sees both Minnesota and Pennsylvania included among their survey.  While I very much would like Minnesota to be a Battleground and knowledgeable Democrats argue persuasively that Pennsylvania is “in play,” the reality is right now Barack Obama has an averaged double digit lead in both states so today they are likely Blue states within the Battleground context.  Their inclusion in these polls dramatically swings the aggregate polling numbers far in favor of Obama meaning his +2 point lead is not as comforting to his campaign as you might think.  Mitt Romney can comfortably win the election without either of these states while Barack Obama cannot. At the same time, without the combination of Ohio and Florida, the difficulty in Obama’s path to victory increases dramatically.  He could lose one, but not both.  This is why my headline focuses on Romney’s lead in those two Battleground states.

As for the treasure trove of data, here goes:

  • Barack Obama leads across the 12 purple states 48 – 46 with 7% undecided, this is down from a 4 point lead in April
  • Obama leads in Colorado (+2, up 1pt from April) and Virginia (+3, up 1); Romney almost certainly needs to win one of these to clear 270
  • Romney leads in Ohio (+3 from down -5 in April) and Florida (+4, up 2)
  • Romney’s aggregate vote total is his highest since they began tracking in September of 2011
  • Obama leads Romney among women by 9 points, down from 11 in April
  • In no state or region is Obama above 50% in preference or in job approval

NOTE: Purple Strategies does individual polling only for the four states mentioned: Ohio, Florida, Colorado and Virginia.  It would have been incredibly helpful to see the individual state performance if for no other reason than to back out Minnesota and Pennsylvania. The other “purple” states were clustered together into four regional 3-state groupings.  Three of the regions were within the margin of error and one region that included Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa showed a commanding lead for Obama at 54-38. If you back out that one region, Romney probably leads the other 9 swing states in aggregate by 3.

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Romney Secret Weapon in Battleground States? Joe Biden

As a Republican you have to love USA Today’s headline:

Swing states show dim view of Biden

The article goes on to explain:

In the 12 swing states likely to determine the outcome of the presidential election, only 40% of registered voters view Biden favorably, while 54% view him unfavorably. These numbers are worse than President Obama’s who is seen favorably by 50% of registered voters in those same states and unfavorably by 49%.

The 12 swing states in the poll are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Independents are also down on the VP, with 50% saying they view him unfavorably and 35% holding a favorable view.

Note the survey includes two states I do not view as Battlegrounds (New Mexico and North Carolina) but the anti-Biden takeaway is unmistakable. For a frame of reference, Dick Chaney had a favorable-unfavorable rating of 46-42 at a similar point in 2004.

Battleground States, Polls and News that Impact the 2012 Presidential Election

The 2012 Presidential Election will be decided by a more narrow slice of states than any election in recent memory. In the spring of 2000, George W. Bush and Al Gore fought an air war in close to 20 states. In early 2004, there were the “Swing Seventeen.” And in 2008, the Obama campaign included 18 states in its June advertising offensive. Today, there are arguably only 10 Battleground state.

Because of this, rather than get bogged down and distracted by national polls which can skew results by sampling states whose outcome is certain (like Mississippi or Maryland) I intend to make this blog all about the only states that matter for the 2012 Presidential Election. For my purposes. I am designating the following states Battlegrounds:

I have seen arguments for New Mexico (with its popular GOP governor) and North Carolina (which Obama won in 2008) as being Battleground states, but I believe both states are fools errands absent a blow-out result either way which still leaves the aforementioned Battleground states as the ones to watch.  To be clear, my own electoral map gives New Mexico to the Democrats and North Carolina to the Republicans.  Other than that, I expect the Battleground states to remain unchanged well into the summer with states like Michigan trending to the GOP and Colorado trending to the Democrats.  But until consistent polling tells me otherwise, they are Battlegrounds in my blog!