Obama Leads Romney 52-45 In New Reason-Rupe Poll; In Three-Way Race Obama Leads Romney 49-42, Johnson Gets 6 Percent

A new national Reason-Rupe poll of likely voters finds President Barack Obama leading Republican Mitt Romney 48 percent to 43 percent in the presidential race. When undecided voters are asked which way they are leaning Obama’s lead over Romney grows to 52-45.  

President Obama holds large advantages among women (53-37), African-Americans (92-2) and Hispanics (71-18). Fifty-two percent of likely voters view Obama favorably, while 45 view him unfavorably. In contrast, 49 percent of likely voters have an unfavorable view of Mitt Romney and 41 percent have a favorable view of him. 

In a three-way presidential race, Obama drops to 49 percent among likely voters and Romney falls to 42 percent as the Libertarian Party’s Gary Johnson gets six percent of support. Johnson is already on the presidential ballot in 47 states.

The Reason-Rupe poll conducted live interviews with 1,006 adults, including 787 likely voters, via landlines  (602) and cell phones (404) from September 13-17, 2012. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.8 percent, 4.3 percent for the likely voters sample. Princeton Survey Research Associates International executed the Reason-Rupe poll.

Government’s Role and Influence 

As the presidential candidates debate the role of government, the Reason-Rupe poll finds 55 percent of Americans believe the federal government has too much influence over their lives, 36 percent say the amount of influence is about right and just 7 percent say the government does not have enough influence.

Over two-thirds, 67 percent, of likely voters say it is not the government’s responsibility to reduce income differences between Americans, while 29 percent say it is the government’s responsibility.  Similarly, 61 percent of likely voters tell Reason-Rupe that today’s levels of income inequality are an acceptable part of America’s economic system, 35 percent say income inequalities need to be fixed. 

Today, 59 percent of voters believe all Americans have equal opportunities to succeed, whereas 39 percent do not believe everyone has equal opportunities.

When asked if they are better off than they were four years ago, 44 percent of likely voters feel they are better off, 41 percent say worse off. 

Taxes

A majority of Americans, 57 percent, support raising income tax rates on incomes over $250,000.  However, the very same number—57 percent—says the top 5 percent of earners shouldn’t have to contribute more than 40 percent of the total federal income taxes paid to government. In 2009, the top 5 percent of earners contributed 59 percent of total federal income taxes paid.

Medicare

When it comes to future Medicare benefits, 68 percent of voters say they’d be willing to accept some cuts to their own Medicare benefits as long as they’re guaranteed to receive benefits equal to what they and their employers pay into the system.  When presented with the basic details of Rep. Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan, 61 percent of voters think out-of-pocket health care costs would go up for seniors as a result of the plan. Yet, despite assuming out-of-pocket costs would rise, voters prefer Medicare reforms built around giving seniors a credit to purchase health insurance over reforms like President Obama’s, which include a payment board to help determine which medical treatments are effective and covered. By a margin of 47 percent to 38 percent, voters favor a Medicare credit system over a payment board system.  

Audit the Fed

Just 16 percent of voters approve, and 77 percent disapprove, of the job Congress is doing. And though many pundits say this has been a “do-nothing” Congress, Americans think that’s a feature not a bug. In fact, 45 percent of Americans wish Congress would pass even fewer laws than it does now, while 27 percent would like Congress to pass more laws. There is, however, one law Americans would overwhelmingly like to see: 70 percent tell Reason-Rupe they are in favor of auditing the Federal Reserve. Twenty-one percent are opposed to a congressional-led audit of the Fed.

Full Poll 

The complete Reason-Rupe survey is online here and here.

 This is the latest in a series of Reason-Rupe public opinion surveys dedicated to exploring what Americans really think about government and major issues.  This Reason Foundation project is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • sharkiness||

    This poll just shows how woefully ignorant the American public really is.

  • ||

    92-2 and 71-18? We are so fucked as a society...

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Identity politics, brother. Get on board or get out.

  • Mo||

    This shows how much the GOP backtracked with Hispanics since Bush. In 2004, it was 53-44 and in 2008 it was 67-31. Though even in 2004, AA went 88-11 for Bush.

  • Randian||

    It shows the power of perception over reality, to be sure.

  • The Derider||

    Bush tried to reform the immigration system. Republicans balked. No republicans support the policy now.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....5Jan1.html

    Maybe Latinos accurately perceive reality.

  • Your Old TV||

    Your white. You don't get an identity group. Besides fascist.

  • mr simple||

    (In Barry White voice): Hey, we're all black when the lights go out, baby.

  • deified||

    *You're

  • VG Zaytsev||

    92-2 and 71-18? We are so fucked as a society...

    Clearly the solution is to import more clients for the welfare state.

  • Randian||

    Dog whistle much?

  • Zeb||

    A tricky thing about freedom is that it applies even to poor people and people who you disagree with.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    Tricky thing about having a government which makes decisions about who is allowed to move here is that it is always a political decision. Even if you put your fingers in you ears and say "Na-Na-Na I can't hear you because you are racist".

  • Killazontherun||

    The trickiest aspect of freedom to understand, it really has nothing to do with democracy.

  • Calidissident||

    Yes, because as we all know, if only blacks and Hispanics voted for Republicans, everything would be good. We know Republicans would never spend massive amounts of money, run up the debt, shred civil liberties, and start unnecessary wars abroad.

  • Mensan||

    What? Yes, they would/have.

  • Calidissident||

    Obviously. My post was sarcasm. I was pointing out how idiotic it is when people try to blame minorities voting for Democrats as the problem (or at least a big one) with the country, as if we would be living in a thriving libertarian paradise if only the country was more white and we elected Republicans. The problem is people of all races voting for shitty establishment candidates in both parties, not just brown people voting for TEAM BLUE

  • Mensan||

    Sorry. I miss sarcasm sometimes. I blame the Asperger's.

  • deified||

    * Ass Burgers

  • Cavpitalist||

    I'm pretty sure the point is any group voting in those blocks is obviously voting based on nothing more than identity politics.

    Which party it is has nothing to do with it. Find another machine to rage against.

  • ||

    Cavpitalist gets it.

  • entropy||

    D/R/I 36/28/29. D+8.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Democrats are everywhere, even hiding in the bushes under your window.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    I blame bushes

  • John||

    Maybe they will vote for Obama. You would like to think that the incredible corruption and incompetence of a second Obama administration would damage the liberal brand to such a degree that it would be irreparable.

    But that is probably wishful thinking. I don't think there is anything Obama could do up to and including murder and declaring himself dictator and refusing to leave office that would get his supporters or the media to stop supporting him. I always like to ask Obama supporters "what would Obama have to do to get you not to vote for him?". I have yet to find one who can give an answer.

  • T o n y||

    Get a botched lobotomy and come out a Republican?

  • John||

    I know you are a sock puppet and not an actual person. But there is a grain of truth in your stupidity. Basically the only reason why Obama hasn't decided to murder and or imprison his opponents is because he chooses not to. It is not like any of his supporters would have a problem with it.

  • T o n y||

    The level of delusion that you have to sustain day in and out is breathtaking in its intensity. FOX News raises my blood pressure to what must be unhealthy levels. I can't imagine what it does to people who actually believe their endless paranoid partisan bullshit.

  • Lord Humungus||

    I can't imagine being a liberal everyday. Oh wait, I used to be one, but grew up.

  • sarcasmic||

    Oh wait, I used to be one, but grew up.

    I used to feel the way liberals do. Now I think.

  • John||

    He murdered two Americans in Yemen Tony, including a teenage kid who was guilty of nothing except being where his father was. And you think it is great. So you are telling me that if he started arresting and killing members of Congress you wouldn't cheer him on.

    Look at the hatred that comes out in you and Shreek's posts. You are just sick with it. You don't just disagree with people, you hate them and want to kill them. The only thing that stops you is the fact that it is not acceptable to act on your fantasies. The day it is, you will do it or more likely celebrate as the government does it. I have no doubt.

  • T o n y||

    When did I cheer him on for that?

    Mitt's bad polls have really sent you over the edge. If it's any consolation, I had to live through 8 years of Bush, and talk about cheering on mass death and destruction. (That would be you back then.)

  • John||

    When did I cheer him on for that?

    Every day Tony. You never have any criticism of Obama. There is nothing he could do that would cause you to not vote for him. You don't have to be a Republican. There is a Green Party candidate. And she cares about this stuff. You will vote for Obama because you are so filled with hatred for the other side, you like it when he does things like that.

  • T o n y||

    From a constitutional perspective I am not fond of some of our antiterrorism policies. I'd take Obama's drone strikes over the neocons' massive land invasions in the wrong country any day, though.

    I am not under the delusion that there are more than two choices here.

  • John||

    Shorter Tony,

    No matter how Obama is, he will always get my vote.

    Thanks for showing what I am talking about Tony.

    And killing US citizens without due process is a whole lot worse for the future than going to war in Iraq.

  • T o n y||

    Citizens whose deaths you would be cheering on loudly if the president had an (R) after his name, you disingenuous blowhole.

    Bush's mind-blowingly disastrous tenure is the primary reason I will never vote for a Republican. That and because Republicans don't believe in facts their only economic plan to loot the country for the wealthy elite and favored corporations.

    Yeah it would take a lot for Obama to lose my vote. That's the fault of your party entirely. I'd much prefer to have two viable choices.

  • Proprietist||

    Tony vs. Red Tony slap fight! Both passed through the twilight zone and are now forced to confront their 2-dimensional mirror image in a bloody concern troll duel to the death! Both come wielding the sharpest fallacies money can buy! Tickets $5

  • John||

    Shorter Proprietist

    I have lost so many arguments to John I really don't want to talk about them anymore. So instead I will just yell red tony and forget about it.

  • Proprietist||

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Normally I'd protest, but it eventually becomes gratuitous to remind anyone here how fallacious a liar you are, how blind you are to your own hypocrisies and how circular your pathetic excuse for logic is.

  • Zeb||

    There are more than two choices here.

  • T o n y||

    Really because I have a standing $10,000 wager for anyone who will take it that either a Republican or a Democrat will be the next president.

  • Zeb||

    They are still choices, dickhead. I am under no illusion about who is likely to win. Choice includes more than just the popular choices.

  • Proprietist||

    Civil rights was unpopular and politically impossible for centuries. Thank god no one ever spoke out to start changing the status quo or building popular consensus, right Tony?

    By your logic, if what you believe in is unpopular, you should shut up and get back in line.

  • Cavpitalist||

    I'd take Obama's drone strikes over the neocons' massive land invasions in the wrong country any day, though.

    Of course you would. You're a chimp, with chimp logic.

    To you, the invasion of a recently belligerent state-sponsor of terrorism who tried to murder a former US President, an invasion overwhelmingly approved of by Congress, is far worse than the assassination of American citizens by the executive, high-fatality strikes into countries we aren't at war with to kill people we face no threat from, illegal use of the military in combat without consulting Congress, the condensing of "due process" into "executive deliberation" and all of that...because Obamacare, that's why.

    I served in Iraq. Lost a lot of friends there. It was, to put it mildly, a poor choice poorly executed. Shrub will carry that war with him into the history books forever.

    The results of the war in Iraq will be mostly borne by those who served in Iraq, their friends and loved ones, and those agents of history that sent them there.

    The results of the Imperial Presidency will be borne in the death of the American Experiment.

    You know which I prefer? Neither. Because I have basic human morality, and I'm not willing to sell my soul for the smug self-satisfaction that results from wrapping yourself in the warm cocoon of ignorance, bigotry and obliviousness that is partisanship.

    By the way, Barack Obama is a neoconservative in his foreign policy. Much moreso than shrub was.

    Chimp.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    This morning, Tony has written on his hands "From the skies/death!"

  • John||

    And don't think Obama doesn't know it. If he wins, he will spend his entire second term pushing and pushing and being more and more lawless. I would love to think that he will finally go to far and the country will turn on him. But then I look at Tony and Shreek and I realize that at least 45% or more of the country are too far gone. So maybe half of the country will get mad. But there will be so many people like Tony that there will be nothing to be done about it short of civil war. Meanwhile the media will continue to write off every scandal and lawless action as either not worth reporting on or just some partisan fight no one should worry about. A pox on both houses you know.

    I always wondered how people could ever do the things that the did in revolutionary France or Nazi Germany. Now I know. The last four years have taught me that occasionally large numbers of people in a society just go crazy and believe crazy things. Thank God our bout of insanity has only run us bankrupt so far.

  • entropy||

    If the election goes D+8 you kulaks out there better kiss your farms goodbye.

  • Randian||

    I gotta go dig some more of those delicious Obama Pledgetard Pics off of Twitter.

  • ||

    Get a botched lobotomy and come out a Republican?

    Yesterday you were calling me a Republican.

    Ever hear of the story of "The Boy who Called Wolf"?

  • mad libertarian guy||

    But that is probably wishful thinking. I don't think there is anything Obama could do up to and including murder and declaring himself dictator and refusing to leave office that would get his supporters or the media to stop supporting him.

    He's already done one of those things, having killed al Awlawki (sp) and his teenaged son, without a shred of due process. Leftists cheered him on.

  • John||

    Yes he has. The son is really the big deal. He was a US citizen and there was no evidence he was a part of Al Quada.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Too bad the only principled leftist to call him on it is Greenwald. The rest cheer him on like he's some kind of fucking hero.

  • T o n y||

    Which leftists would those be?

    John is just perplexed as to why Obama's faults don't make all liberals vote for Republicans. Because, you know, at least they are honest about their total disdain for the constitution and human life.

  • John||

    How many American citizens did Bush assassinate Tony?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I'm starting to think you're right about these goofballs, John (as much as it pains me to admit). I'm having a hard time imagining Obama doing anything, ANYTHING, that they wouldn't rationalize with "Well, the other guy would be WORSE!!!!!!"

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Of course, if Romney gets in and starts throwing even more money into the money fires, you know his supporters are gonna be saying "But the other guy woulda been worse!"

  • John||

    I don't think so. Most people on the right are not Romney fans. If Romney really sells out he will get primaried like Bush I did. The only reason Bush II didn't get primaried in 04 was because of 9-11.

  • entropy||

    We are talking about people who wear t-shirts glorifying Che Guevera, after all.

  • The Derider||

    Because there's nobody with a Thomas Jefferson t-shirt on the right.

  • T o n y||

    Somewhere around 5,000 I'd say.

  • Zeb||

    at least they are honest about their total disdain for the constitution and human life.

    Wait, who is "they" in this sentence?

  • R C Dean||

    You would like to think that the incredible corruption and incompetence of a second Obama administration would damage the liberal brand to such a degree that it would be irreparable.

    This country is littered with cities that have incredibly corrupt and incompetent administrations, and the TEAM never fails to rack up a huge margin at the polls.

  • John||

    See California, Illinois, New York, Detroit. Leftist destroy everything they touch. And then use the destruction as an justification to give them one more chance.

  • T o n y||

    Yeah New York is such a shithole compared to Mississippi.

  • John||

    It is on its way. Detroit certainly is. And seventy years ago it was the most productive city in the world.

    Classic liberal technique, take over something nice, do tremendous damage, and then claim that whatever nice is left is because of their efforts.

  • Lord Humungus||

    and Detroit?

  • Randian||

    You know Mississippi is damn-near 40% black, right? Why do you hate black people, Tony?

  • KDN||

    New York is such a shithole compared to Mississippi.

    You do realize that NYC's has been governed by a centrist Republican and a centrist Democrat for the last 20 years, right? Two men that are pretty much conservatives on matters of municipal governance (i.e. schools and cops).

    And if you're talking the state as a whole, the answer is yes, it is. Buffalo makes Detroit look like Paris.

  • Randian||

    I am still resentful about France.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    You know who else was resentful of France?

  • Randian||

    Damn, you burned me. I got nothin'

  • Lord Humungus||

    King Richard?

  • John||

    Richard was French. Henry V.

  • entropy||

    North African Car-B-Que connoiseurs?

  • ||

    Cornwallis?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I don't think there is anything Obama could do up to and including murder and declaring himself dictator and refusing to leave office that would get his supporters or the media to stop supporting him.

    Ho come one John,

    It's not like he's redesigned the flag in his image, asks people to pledge allegiance to him personally or asks that people send him the money that they otherwise would have spent on birthday and wedding gifts.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Top line should be:

    Oh come on John,

  • mr simple||

    Actually, I think you meant "Oh come on, John," unless you were giving a command.

  • Pip||

    That birthday gift? You didn't want that.

  • Mensan||

    "I don't think there is anything Obama could do up to and including murder ..."

    Already done

    "... and declaring himself dictator ..."

    Working on it. At least by actions, if not by words.

    "... and refusing to leave office that would get his supporters or the media to stop supporting him."

    I guess we'll have to see what happens when his term is up.

  • Skyhawk||

    Get impetigo and turn white like Michael Jackson.

  • deified||

    * vitilago

  • entropy||

    These kind of numbers (and 1 poll doesn't matter, but just about every poll is using D+8, D+9, D+13) would mean democrats turn out harder than HopeChange; in 08.

    I don't know what the deal is, but I don't buy 2008 style turnout that is not only going to re-elect Obama by higher margin than the first time, but also swing the house to the dems.

  • Mo||

    According to Nate Silver, the average of polls has been D+5. That's halfway between 2008 (D+7) and the historical average (D+3). Assuming nothing wacky between now and November, I think we'll likely see something closer to the historical average.

  • Randian||

    Does he have any conjecture on why the oversampling is so bad?

  • Mo||

    What he heard from the pollsters was, "That's how the sample we got came out after making our demographic adjustments, we didn't want to screw too much with them because for all we know that's how things will end up." So while D+11 and R+1* are obvious outliers, if you screw too much with it to fit historical averages, you can miss thing like 2010 (D+0) and 2008 (D+8). D+5 is higher than average, but I could totally see it happening just due to depressed turnout.

    * Rassmussen's sample

  • John||

    Oddly enough, a lot of the samples in 04 were skewed too much towards Republicans. Did Republicans stop answering their phones in the last 8 years?

  • Randian||

    I don't see D+5 happening, but that's just a personal feeling and not scientific.

  • Mo||

    I don't think it's likely, but I wouldn't be shocked. I would be a lot more shocked at D+0 because that's what you get in Republican wave elections like 2010 and 1994.

  • John||

    I think D plus two or three is probably likely MO. Black and youth turnout is not going to be what it was in 2008. And most polls I see show Romney getting like 96% of the R vote and Johnson surprisingly drawing about equally from both sides. I hate that guy is always a good motivator to get out the vote.

  • Randian||

    If you factor in the wild oversampling and the fact that Gary Johnson is not going to get 6%, plus the undecideds breaking against the incumbent, I think InTrade is calling my name.

  • Mo||

    What Silver finds is that the break is mean reversion, but the break doesn't flip the winner. As in, it will end up closer, but the polls are good at predicting the winner.

  • Randian||

    Yes, but it isn't just the break this year. I don't understand this oversampling thing as a regular practice at all.

  • The Derider||

    Intrade conspiracy theorists think that a Romney surrogate is buying huge lots of "Romney wins" which is keeping his numbers from hitting the floor.

    Wait a few weeks and Romney wins will be paying out 5 to 1. Right now its more like 2 to 1.

  • John||

    But this poll was D+11.

  • entropy||

    According to Nate Silver, the average of polls has been D+5. That's halfway between 2008 (D+7) and the historical average (D+3).

    So, what's the deal with all these 2012 polls sampling D+8 (this one), D+9 (the Pew poll yesterday)?

    It's hard to find this data on a lot of polls. I'd love to see the D/R/I on the last few up at realclearpolitics. I can't find it, so I can only guess, but I would guess the poll showing Obama up 13 has D+12 and the Gallup poll showing them tied probably has D+3. I wish I could find out.

  • R C Dean||

    According to Nate Silver, the average of polls has been D+5.

    Interesting. A quick Google didn't produce the 2010 turnout by party. Presidential elections always have higher turnout, of course, but I would be interested to know the midpoint between 2008 and 2010. That strikes me as a good benchmark.

  • Mo||

    2010 was D+0 (or R+0 if you prefer).

  • R C Dean||

    How weird is it that a D+0 turnout is a massive Republican win? How does that work?

  • Mo||

    More people self-identify as Democrats than as Republicans. You would probably see a team blue wave election if self-identified liberals equaled self-identified conservatives in an exit poll.

  • Randian||

    Right, so it's Self-ID / Registered voters v. Likely Voters.

  • Mo||

    The Self-ID thing holds in likely voter models too. It's actually a higher number in registered voter polls.

  • Randian||

    That would be D+4.

  • R C Dean||

    If I understand it, then, to "correct" the polls, I would add subtract the difference between the D+ number and D+4 (D+19 in the 08/02 Pew poll - D+4 = 15), divide by 2 (to get 7.5), and add 7.5 to Romney and subtract 7.5 from Obama.

    So, corrected, the 08/02 Pew poll goes from 51% Obama/41% Romney to 42.5% Obama/48.5% Romney.

  • R C Dean||

    And, if the Reason poll is "corrected" to D+4, you get Romney 49/Obama 48.

  • R C Dean||

    Which is pretty much exactly what Gallup shows, with their D+3.7.

    Interesting. It looks like the variation in poll results comes down to the weighting used to adjust raw results to predicted/assumed voter turnout. Revert to the mean (historical average, average of 2008/2010) and this campaign is a dead heat, nationally.

  • Mo||

    One interesting thing is Obama outperforms in phone polls that hit cell phones as well as land lines. Considering the fact that 33% of people have no land line, this is meaningful.

  • entropy||

    I guess all these polls are assuming since Tea Partiers are old, they all died last year.

    Cuz they're sure as hell not reflected in such a turnout sample.

  • PapayaSF||

    Indeed. Lots of people were surprised at the R blowouts in 1994 and 2010, and think Obama is more popular now than he was two years? Or that they are happier with the way things are going than in 1994? No frickin' way. Romney is no dream candidate, but six weeks is a long time in a campaign, and he hasn't even really been spending his money yet.

    I am worried that Obama might win, which will of course be a disaster. Second terms tend to be, but his will be especially awful.

  • ||

    Tea Party leaders killed themselves by not going all the way when the debt limit was up for a vote.

    "We are going to cut government!!"

    *gets chance to cut government

    "We chose not to cut government!!"

  • ||

    Cuz they're sure as hell not reflected in such a turnout sample.

    They are too stupid to vote for Johnson....and so their choices are Obama and Romney.

    I think they are well reflected in polls.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    Unbelievable Totally believable.

    I give up.

    We are DOOOOOOOOOOOOOMED.

  • John||

    However, the very same number—57 percent—says the top 5 percent of earners shouldn’t have to contribute more than 40 percent of the total federal income taxes paid to government. In 2009, the top 5 percent of earners contributed 59 percent of total federal income taxes paid.

    That is the result of decades of coordinated media lying.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    You did not put in the part that really makes this astounding,

    A majority of Americans, 57 percent, support raising income tax rates on incomes over $250,000.

    Those evil rich bastards need to have the tax rates increased, but should not have to pay over 40%. Yet they pay 59%, so we need to reduce their rates, right?

  • John||

    That is because they have no idea how much taxes people making that much money actually pay. That is because the media lies so much about that fact.

  • Randian||

    Don't blame the media entirely, John. People have natural wealth-envy and a professional ability to deny reality vis-a-vis income and outlays.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The broad media never reports how much the rich actually pay.

  • ||

    I propose the top 1% pay for everything.

    Let's vote on it.

  • ||

    So long as "everything" is cut by 90% we have a deal.

    I always did like Coolidge's revenue/spending structure.

  • Ken Shultz||

    That is the result of decades of coordinated media lying.

    It's not as if Romney is an especially appealing figure--and people just can't see that.

    And it's not like Romney's made this a campaign about issues. He's done exactly the opposite.

  • John||

    But that result has nothing to do with Romney or Obama. It just shows that the majority of the people have no idea how taxes actually work.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Look, Obama is a more charismatic figure than Romney. And that isn't just because of Bias. Reagan was more charismatic than Carter. If you can't beat someone on charisma, then you need to beat them on the issues. Romney has made this an issueless campaign...

    Why?

    I think he thought the economy was so bad, there's no way Obama could win. So why cloud that situation up with issues? Why do something risky like bring up issues?

    What he didn't count on was the charisma factor and Obama exploiting class resentment against rich people--like him.

    When you go after someone who is substantially more charismatic than you are, you have to go after him on the issues. You have to be specific. The bad economy can make otherwise divisive stuff okay--the bad economy doesn't mean you don't have to go after you opponent on the issues.

    If a bad economy were enough to get rid of a president, then FDR would have only had one term.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Reagan was more charismatic than Carter.

    And, believe me, the media was more hostile to Reagan then than they are to Romney now.

    You'd have thought Ronald Reagan was the Beast of Revelation 13.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    They were more hostile to Reagan, but they sure didn't prop Carter up the way they have with Obama.

  • PapayaSF||

    This is true. Carter got a lot of mainstream press criticism and mockery, but they still worship Obama.

  • Eric||

    I don't get why people call Obama charismatic. He's always come off as aloof, stiff, and kind of a jerk to me. Charisma requires a self depricating humor that Obama just doesn't have.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I don't understand why chicks like Justin Bieber, but if they do, then I guess he's charismatic.

    It sure ain't the quality of the music.

  • The Derider||

    Also, this poll showed that people thought they were better off than 4 years ago, 44 to 41.

    So relying on "bad economy" to win isn't going to work, no matter what.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "President Obama holds large advantages among...African-Americans (92-2)."

    Racist.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    Miss me yet?

  • Randian||

    Hell no.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    This just in: The average American has no fucking clue what he wants unless it involves getting free shit!

  • Randian||

    Bingo!

  • John||

    And making the evil rich pay for it. Don't forget that.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I'd say I'd like to see the numbers broken down by state the way the electoral college works, but in the states needed to win, I'm sure Obama is doing better--not worse.

    It's time to start spending that ad money, Mittens.

    And go for the throat. Even if Mitt can't kick the blood sucking parasite to the curb, at least take this as an opportunity to hobble Obama for next four years.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    One can't be hobbled after having received a loud and clear mandate from 51% of the people!

  • Lord Humungus||

    or even 50.01%

  • R C Dean||

    And go for the throat.

    It is such a target-rich environment, with absolutely no personal attacks required, I am baffled by the Romney campaign.

    Today's target-rich envionment includes the news that in the key swing state of Ohio, the median income is the lowest on record.

    http://www.dispatch.com/conten.....r-low.html

    For a positive, policy-oriented position, go after Wall Street based on the news that the exchanges are giving preferential treatment to hedge funds and high-speed traders.

    http://pointsandfigures.com/20.....exchanges/

    A goddam sixth grader could win this in a walk, I swear.

  • Tim||

    Romney doesn't play to win, it all makes sense when you keep that in mind.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Even I just like Romney becasue Obama sucks.

    Romney could be exploiting Obama's abuse of Catholics. I don't even know what Romney's economic plan is. I just know that Obama sucks.

    Why should people who don't know Obama sucks vote for Romney? That's the question.

    He should have been going after the president for the last three months with all that ad money he's been sitting on. And he isn't about to outperform Obama in the debates.

    It's only gonna get worse.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I'm starting to think that Romneys plan all along was to lose the election and keep a couple of hundred million in unspent campaign cash.

  • Randian||

    I would respect him more for that.

  • Ken Shultz||

    If he were in it for the money, he wouldn't have left a private equity firm to run for office.

    He's been wanting to do this since his dad's ass got kicked out of contention.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Want to read something interesting?

    Romney's greatest weakness was a lack of foreign policy expertise and a need for a clear position on the Vietnam War.[164][166] The press coverage of the trip focused on Vietnam and reporters were frustrated by Romney's initial reluctance to speak about it.[166] The qualities that helped Romney as an industry executive worked against him as a presidential candidate;[35] he had difficulty being articulate, often speaking at length and too forthrightly on a topic and then later correcting himself while maintaining he was not.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G.....l_campaign

    Mitt Romney sounds exactly like his father, and it sounds like he's gonna lose for the same reason his father did.

    Romney a management guy--not an ideologue.

    His position is what works to get the job done, which puts him head and shoulders above Obama--who's an ideologue that doesn't care whether his strategies really work or not. Point is, Romney can't seem to take a firm position on the issues of the day--just like his father--so he's lukewarm on everything.

    He's the freakin' Church of Laodicea.

  • T o n y||

    Problem is he's running against this guy.

  • Jordan||

    Er mah gerd, being rich and famous makes him happy?! What a monster! You seriously think that's a fucking insult? Is there anyone on this planet that doesn't want to be rich and famous? Or at the very least rich? You really are a fucking communist.

  • T o n y||

    I'd be happy being rich and famous too. I'm not running for president. That bizarre creature you see there is.

  • Jordan||

    In other words, you have no point. As usual.

  • John||

    Good thing Obama isn't filthy rich or anything.

  • T o n y||

    You're both willfully ducking the point: Mitt Romney is a walking caricature. His total inability to pretend to be other than an out-of-touch son of privilege is one thing. That's not even really his fault. The fact that he has no discernible beliefs about anything, and the volumes of video evidence of him taking every side of every possible issue, is what is so strange to me.

  • Jordan||

    Yes, the ability to pretend is very important in a president. *Rolls eyes*

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Obama has the pretending thing down pat, I'll give him that.

  • Zeb||

    Everyone who runs for president wants to be rich and famous.

    I am no supporter of Romney and it annoys me that I keep being put in a position where I want to defend him. There is plenty of real stuff to criticize Romney on without pretending that the fact he is rich is some sort of scandal or surprise or that he is some sort of radical Right Winger. What is he supposed to do? Pay more in taxes than he is legally obliged to?

  • Pip||

    From today's AJC vent:

    What's wrong with you? Of course Romney pays taxes, and proved it. Didn't pay "his fair share"? Who are YOU to decide what anybody's "fair share" is? "Fair share" is according to the tax code, not some liberal idiot's give-it-away idea.
  • Eric||

    The problem for Romney is that nothing on the Republican platform will help the economy in the short-term. In fact, it was govt spending that kept the bottom from falling out of the economy. There are two major policies that he can put forth that people will understand:

    1. Remove govt regulations on business...Will help growth in the long term, but not immediately.

    2. Cut government spending. Will plunge the fragile economy into a death spiral if done on a large scale. Cuts work when the economy is robust (see late 90's), not when it's on life support.

    So what exactly can he realistically put forth that the average voter will understand?

  • John||

    In fact, it was govt spending that kept the bottom from falling out of the economy.

    ONly if you believe in Keynesian voodoo.

  • The Derider||

    Like 95% of economists...

  • PapayaSF||

    I keep imagining a Romney ad consisting of just Obama's words: the rise of the oceans will slow, the Muslim world will love me, the 57 states, and on and on. If he really wanted to start a firestorm, include the "my sons" and especially the "my Muslim faith" quotes.

  • Tim||

    Although the liberal wailing and nashing of teeth would be be delicious after an Obama defeat, the fact is that Romney is a just a GOP placeholder.

  • Lord Humungus||

    true - with all the economic crap coming down the pipeline, who would want to be president? Not unless you were a power-hungry maniac.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    Lord H

    You asked and answered your own question.

  • Lord Humungus||

    I tend to do that.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    The most idiotic meme coming from the Dem side in this campaign is that Mittens is some kind of uber-conservative who would scare even Reagan and Goldwater. What's really scary is seeing a completely empty suit walking around the campaign trail.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, that is absurd. If Romney were running as a democrat (with a few slight alterations of a few of his recently proclaimed views), they would line up to vote for him. Trying to paint him as some sort of extremist is silly.

  • Eric||

    And vice-versa with Obama. Most of the Dems I know think he's the black George W Bush. They'll still vote for him, because he says shit they agree with - even if his policies are almost the same as W's were. But if he had an R after his name, most Republicans would hold their nose and vote for him too(just like they did with W in 2004).

    People are naturally loyal to their team regardless of performance. Just look at Cubs fans.

  • The Derider||

    He's taken so many positions that you can characterize him both as an Ultra Conservative or a Blue Dog Democrat.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I thought Mittens was chosen, not because of his conservative bona fides, but rather his electability?

  • Mo||

    He was chosen because the alternatives were Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. If Santorum was running, this would be a 1988 style landslide.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    For the republicans.

    At least a douchebag like Santorum would be attacking Obama.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Hah! No.

  • ||

    What it is you smoke ought to be legalized.

  • General Butt Naked||

    So you're saying that of three guys running the arguably most conservative one was not chosen because he'd lose the election?

    Isn't that what I just said?

  • Mo||

    I was saying he won because he was running against two big government lunatics.

  • General Butt Naked||

    That's a fair point, but I'd argue that Romney has Santorum beat handily in the big government area. Not that Santorum isn't a dangerous nut; I just think that he more accurately reflects the views of the average republican voter.

  • Ken Shultz||

    We should go back and look at why Obama won, too.

    Obama won becasue unlike just about everybody else (even other Democrats), Obama was against the Iraq War.

    It was about the issues.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, it's like Mo said.

    Electability is a relative thing.

    Also, I don't think Romney's losing because he's unelectable.

    I think Romney's losing because he's picked the wrong campaign strategy; he's sitting on a ton of cash that he wants to save for late in the race; he hasn't differentiated himself from Obama on the issues; ...

    ...not because he's somehow unelectable.

    If someone's unelectable--like Santorum--because of his stance on the issues, that's one thing. If having made a ton of money by being a businessman (and not saying anything much on the issues) makes a candidate unelectable? then this country is in some seriously deep shit.

  • John||

    Of course Obama spent the entire summer and over a hundred million dollars trying to destroy Romney and the race is still a tossup. That doesn't necessarily bode well for Obama.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, and if Romney had spent all his cash going after Obama the same way--on the issues?

    Then Romney wouldn't be staring defeat in the face.

    Like I said, it's not like Romney's about to beat the crap out of Obama in a debate.

  • R C Dean||

    He doesn't even have to spend any money to do the target-rich environment thing. Web ads, change up his speech, maybe run the web ad in few key markets.

    You wanna change the subject from 47%? Fucking change the subject every goddam day. When you get asked about the 47% thing, give exactly the same answer syllable for syllable, about Obama creating a culture of dependency (look at food stamps, the fact that we have fewer actual jobs now than we did when Obama took office), and then move onto the targets of the day.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Damn straight!

    Blast Obama for abusing Catholics!

    Blast Obama for being an environmental extremist.

    Blast Obama for being a warmonger.

    It may be too late now, but for God's sake, somebody blast Obama...

    I want him hobbled coming out of this election because as soon as he doesn't have to worry about getting reelected again, we're not gonna get the watered-down Obama we've had over the last two years...

    We're gonna get socialist on the warpath Obama, like we had the two years before the Tea Party took the House.

    Anybody else remember when the Tea Party victory scared Obama so bad, he backpedaled way back to the center as fast as he could?

    Anybody else remember when places like Wisconsin voted for a Republican governor--because he stood up of them on the issue of government employee unions?

    The Romney campaign is completely ignoring recent history. Just becasue issues like abortion don't win elections anymore--that doesn't mean issues don't win elections anymore. It just means those old issues don't win you an election anymore.

  • NoVAHockey||

    If you're going to lose, go down swinging. don't get racked up on a called 3rd strike.

  • Randian||

    Yeah, this campaign needs to get really, really aggressive. Like Chris Christie aggressive.

  • General Butt Naked||

    he hasn't differentiated himself from Obama on the issues; ...

    Wouldn't he have to, you know, be different than Obama on the issues to do that?

    The republicans overestimated the public's disgust with the Obama administration. They thought any empty suit who wasn't Obama would win in a breeze. Hell, you heard it around here. Things like, "There is no way Obama is going to win. He's toast!"

    I think that there is a great degree of 'devil you know' to these poll numbers; that, along with an undifferentiated, apathy inducing candidate will give Obama 4 more years.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Wouldn't he have to, you know, be different than Obama on the issues to do that?

    If Romney isn't any different from Obama on the issues, then it shouldn't matter to us who wins.

    It does matter. They are different. And if Romney needs to make more of those differences than there really are to win, then that's exactly what he should do.

  • Eric||

    How are they different? Really? Not just in their soundbites, but how would Romney not do exactly what Obama has done over the last four years?

    I'll give you that Obamacare might not be law, but with Romney's neo-con foreign policy team, we'd likely be at war with Iran - which is a wash from the "fucking huge government" standard.

    Also, Romney would have passed the stimulus as well. You know why? Because, the only thing that was going to stave off a depression was huge-government-spending, and no president nowadays is going to be the president that allowed the country to go into a depression (R or D - doesn't matter).

    This is why this country is fucked. Because both parties are the same for the most part, and nobody is willing to make choices that will be unpopular and get them kicked out of office.

  • Calidissident||

    Agreed up until the third paragraph. Though I think Romney would have signed off on a smaller stimulus to "compromise" with the Dems, like McCain would have

  • John||

    First, we would not be at war with Iran if McCain was President. Second, we are going to be at war with Iran no matter who wins this election. Israel is going to attack Iran. And when they do Iran is going to send missiles at our bases in Kuwait. You need start facing that reality rather than pretending the black Jesus can make the world all better.

  • Calidissident||

    John you could make a fortune betting on sports with that psychic ability! How exactly do you know we wouldn't be at war with Iran under McCain? Maybe we wouldn't, but it's a very real possibility. And if we told Iran that we would stay out of a war between them and Israel, they would be idiots to attack us. But it's good to know you have sources inside Tehran's leaderships telling you how they'll respond, so I guess you're right. Nowhere did that guy defend Obama. Criticizing Romney, or suggesting that Romney and the Republicans may be worse on a particular issue does not mean you think Obama is black Jesus, Red Tony

  • Calidissident||

    First off, don't act like you speak for everyone here. I really don't care who wins. I think there are small upsides and small downsides in both scenarios. They may be different, but it's only a matter of degree. Looking at the big picture, they both accept the vast majority of what the federal government does (whether it's on the economy, budget, foreign policy, policing, war on drugs, etc) as acceptable.

  • ||

    I thought Mittens was chosen, not because of his conservative bona fides, but rather his electability?

    I like Paul, but Paul can't beat Obama.

    /average voter

  • The Derider||

    Paul can't beat Obama.

  • The Derider||

    He was.

    Which candidate for the Republican nomination this year do you think would be in better shape?

  • NoVAHockey||

    Maybe its like the unemployment numbers. The figures will just be revised later. unexpectedly.

  • Randian||

    Or, you know, the 2004 poll numbers.

  • mr simple||

    Was it his campaign manager that said, "I'd like to be the first to congratulate you, President Kerry."?

    I loved reading the "This article goes to print too early, but I just know everyone came to their senses and voted in Kerry" articles on that Wednesday morning, just for the hubris. It's like these journalists had never read Greek tragedy.

    SLD: Not that Bush was a good choice for president.

  • Mo||

    Well 2004 wasn't a big unexpected change. There was a huge tightening in October and that ended up being right around the final result.

  • John||

    Polls have a way of starting to reflect reality, whatever that is, around mid November. I don't think I can remember a race since 1980 where the debates are going to be as important as this year.

  • Jeff||

    Mid-November... so I should start paying attention to the polls after the election?

  • John||

    Mid October.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Exit polls showed Kerry winning.

  • Virginian||

    Media's fault. Everyone knows you're supposed to like the Democrat. Democrats are the nice guys, the fun guys, the cool guys. So people lie on the exit polls.

    People lie in general. Someone had an interesting article about how in mid 2009 75% of voters claimed they had voted for Obama. Then sometime last summer it was below 50%. Except he won 52% of the vote, so millions of people were lying to an anonymous pollster for absolutely no gain whatsoever.

  • OldMexican||

    A Rasmussen poll places Obama and Mitt in a statistical dead heat, 46% to 45%.

    Also, it shows that: Sixty-four percent (64%) of Americans believe too many people in this country are dependent upon government.

  • R C Dean||

    Interesting "rebalancing" of poll results to reflect Rasmussen's actual current measure of D/R/I, as opposed to assumed/predicted turnout:

    http://forum.gon.com/showthread.php?p=7224390

    Shows Romney with a big lead.

    Weird. If nothing else, all this demonstrates that poll results are more about analysis and assumptions than actual data. Which I guess we knew, but its good to be reminded.

  • John||

    What is frustrating about this poll is that it doesn't break out the results by R/D/I. I can't remember an election where the winner didn't win the independents, can you? Since the country is damn near even among R and Ds, you can almost just look at the results among independents and know what is going on.

  • Randian||

    Weird. If nothing else, all this demonstrates that poll results are more about analysis and assumptions than actual data. Which I guess we knew, but its good to be reminded.

    I didn't know that, so this has been a very informative year for me.

  • Mo||

    Using Rassmussen seems like the wrong measurement. Rasmussen traditionally has a very strong pro-Republican house effect. The Rassmussen effect of R+4 would be unprecedented (considering 2010 and 94 were R+0). Adjusting a poll to those levels makes as much sense as adjusting polls to D+12.

  • R C Dean||

    The link above applies Rasmussen's data on party identification (and the amount by which Independents favor Romney) to adjust the raw data.

    Its a question of what your assumption is for turnout and voting. If you assume 2012 will be just like 2008, you get Obama winning just like 2008. If you assume its between 2008 and 2010, and/or the historical mean, you get a dead heat. If you assume the current data on party ID will hold, its a Romney landslide.

    Of the three, the first one seems the weakest to me, the second the safest, and the third is interesting. It would be nice to know how well September party ID converts to November voting.

  • The Derider||

    Rasmussen also doesn't call cell phones, which has the tendency to under-represent young people, who are overwhelmingly Obama voters.

  • NoVAHockey||

    I still think Obama's internals have to look like shit.

  • Proprietist||

    I still wonder how it's possible a nation with hundreds of millions of people can divide more or less equally in half between two totally incoherent political philosophies.

  • Eric||

    I've thought the same thing. I think that the answer is two-fold:

    1. There are only two parties. And they shift their platforms back and forth to capture the new "center" as political winds change. This allows them to reach an equilibrium of sorts with the electorate.

    2. If you actually speak to most people, you'll find that they don't fit neatly into any particular party. In fact, if you lop off the 20% of far right/far left extremes, the vast center doesn't fit neatly into either party...but most people like to be part of a team, so they join one.

  • The Derider||

    It's an artifact of having winner-take-all elections. If you don't form a party that will win the most votes, you lose.

  • ||

    between two totally incoherent political philosophies.

    I think it helps that in practice both pretty much follow the same incoherent dead-ender policies.

  • Mensan||

    I got a poll call from National Opinion Survey last night. It was automated:

    Are you planning to vote for Democrat Barack Obama, or Republican Mitt Romney?
    Press 1 for President Barack Obama.
    Press 2 for Mitt Romney.
    Press 9 if you are unsure.

    After being told that 0 was invalid, and that shouting "GARY JOHNSON!" was invalid, I reluctantly pressed 9.

    If you are unsure, do you lean more towards Democrat Barack Obama, or Republican Mitt Romney?
    Press 1 for President Barack Obama.
    Press 2 for Mitt Romney.
    Press 9 if you are still unsure.


    After shouting several obscenities at the robovoice, I pressed 9 again just so I would not be counted as a vote in favor of either of those assholes.

  • ||

    After being told that 0 was invalid, and that shouting "GARY JOHNSON!" was invalid, I reluctantly pressed 9.

    I would have just hung up from the start.

  • ||

    Hey Reason-Rupe made the Real Clear politics page...

    To bad it is 5 days late.

  • ||

    I don't think there is anything Obama could do up to and including murder

    I believe the PC term is "drone due process", not "murder".

    An admitted serial killer is likely to get reelected as President.

  • ||

    I propose the top 1% pay for everything.

    Let's vote on it.

    I would enthusiastically support having a government drastically downsized to only what could be paid for by, say, a 50% marginal tax rate starting at all income over $400,000 or so, and 0% for all income under that.

    A 90% cut in the federal government would be a libertarian dream.

  • Josh M.||

    Gary Johnson needs more support, help him out people - he's our only chance!

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    So am I reading this right? Johnson's 6% seems to come about equally from Obama and Romney?

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    If so, this would be objective evidence to support the assertion that the candidate himself has made, all along. Democrats who are disappointed with Obama might want to pay attention to Gary Johnson, who left office after two terms of popularity in a State that votes 2-1 Democrat.

  • Charlotte Falcon||

    Emily:

    You poll has a weighted Democrat-favorable Party ID spread of 8.8% (32.6% versus 23.8%).

    2008, which was a banner year for Democrats, saw a favorable 7% margin for Democrats (39% versus 32%).

    2004 saw an even split 37%-37%

    I think your sample is weighted way too much to Democrats. Do you have the polling split by Party ID? If so, we can use that to make an adjustment to fit the Party ID turnout distribution which to me seems much more likely.

    Thanks.

  • galtgulch||

    Imagine how high Gary Johnson will poll once he is included in the presidential debates?

    Are you aware that Gary Johnson and his running mate, former superior court judge Jim Gray, have filed an antitrust lawsuit against the Commission on Presidential Debates, the Republican and Democrat Parties foe excluding anyone who is on the ballot in enough states to theoretically get 270 Electoral College votes.

    http://tinyurl.com/8oxdkoc

    Think about it! Jim Gray will argue the case.

  • The Derider||

    Lolin' at the Libertarian party using anti-trust laws to sue a private corporation.

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