Monday, February 06, 2012

SERIOUSLY, GUYS, JUST STOP

Most of the news in the new ABC/Washington Post poll is very good for President Obama:

... Overall, 55 percent of those who are closely following the campaign say they disapprove of what the GOP candidates have been saying. By better than 2 to 1, Americans say the more they learn about Romney, the less they like him....

Obama's overall approval rating stands at 50 percent, the highest in a Post-ABC News poll since a brief run above 50 percent immediately after Osama bin Laden was killed in early May....

In a general-election test, Obama leads Romney 52 to 43 percent among all Americans; more narrowly, 51 to 45 percent, among registered voters....


I just want to point out a couple of things that suggest a slow learning curve on the right.

One concerns the way Romney and other Republicans, especially Rick Santorum, try to talk about Obama as if he's a sandal-wearing hippie out of touch with bellicose Real Americans. It ain't working, guys, so just give it up:

Challenged for lack of foreign policy and military knowledge in 2008, both are strong for [Obama] now: He leads Romney by 56-37 percent in trust to handle international affairs and by a similar 56-36 percent in trust to handle terrorism...

You can question some of the things Obama did to get to this point, but really: after the last forty years, did you ever think you'd see a Democrat with a double-digit lead over a Republican on questions like this?

The other number I want to point out concerns the GOP race for the nomination. Here's a poll question:

For each item I name, please tell me if it is a major reason to (support) that candidate, a major reason to (oppose) that candidate, or not a major factor?

The first item listed is "Romney's business experience" -- and, well, 48% of voters overall consider it a "major reason to support" Romney, while only 12% consider it a "major reason to oppose" him -- but among Republicans and Republican leaners, that jumps to 67% support, 5% oppose.

Newt Gingrich, are you listening? Republican voters love Mitt Romney's business experience. Every time you attack him on this, he seems more genuinely Republican in the voters' eyes, and you seem less so. Really, Newt, stick to attacking journalists and non-white people.

The stuff about Romney is a mixed bag. Voters overall think Romney doesn't pay enough taxes -- that's by more than a two-to-one margin -- and they think Obama is much more likely than Romney to protect the middle class. But they're split on whether Romney's wealth is a positive or a negative, they really think his business record is a positive, and they think he'd be better than Obama on the deficit.

In a sane country, nominating a heartless fat cat would be political suicide this year; right now, it appears to be, at worst, a moderately bad idea. That might be good enough for the Democrats, however.

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(Scan the poll's highlights here.)

8 comments:

Hurling Dervish said...

And it's only going to get better for Obama from here.

Many Americans haven't even begun to really focus on the Republican candidate. Romney has shown over and over again that the more you look, the less you like.

So Romney's numbers are at near-peak now.

c u n d gulag said...

I agree with HD above.

As a flip-flopper, Romney makes Kerry look like a block of granite.

And all Obama has to do is to keep painting Mitt as looking like the guy who comes to you company to fire you and your friends, not like the one who wants to hire you and your friends.

A Conservative Teacher said...

The poll is worthless. It didn't identify partisan leanings, and in the past the Washington Post has oversampled Democrats by an almost 2-1 margin- so maybe that happened here (we don't know). And it was a poll of everyone- not registered or likely voters- so is even more useless in predicting elections.

BH said...

Well, CT, maybe so, but I think I'll consult Nate Silver's opinion before agreeing on the poll's "worthlessness" - particularly since it's largely consistent with several other national polls, some among registered/likely voters. But don't mind me, you go right on ahead whistling past the elephant graveyard. In fact, I hope you conclude that Mitty's such a shoo-in that you don't even need to vote.

Steve M. said...

For a teacher, you don't read very well, do you, ACT? The poll was broken out into subgroups -- registered voters as well as likely voters, a general cross-section and a subcategory of just Republicans and Republican leaners. I made that clear in the post.

teadoust said...

much as i've come to dislike obama, i don't think either of the republican front-runners has a chance in hell of beating him in november. romney is just a horror show. the man has the almost magical ability to sound insincere every single time he opens his mouth no matter what the hell he's saying. gingrich is so obnoxious he makes chris christie look like a teddy bear.

Steve M. said...

Romney is going to beat one of the candidates -- either Obama or himself. Both seem equally likely to me.

BH said...

My money says Romney will lose, but not entirely thanks to himself; both O and The Newt will have played their parts too. Not to mention whatever loon ends up as this year's Jack Kemp.