Saturday, November 03, 2012
Too close to call: That’s where we’re at. With eight states, all carried by Barack Obama in 2008, likely to decide the winner.
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll finds President Obama and Mitt Romney tied nationally with 48% support each.
Our Electoral College Projections show that the president can reasonably assume he has 237 votes locked up to Romney’s 206. The winner needs 270. Eight states, with a total of 95 Electoral College votes, remain toss-ups and will determine whose sworn in as president in January: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Here’s your checklist for Tuesday night: Florida and Virginia are absolute must-win states for the Romney campaign. After that, Romney has to win either Ohio or Wisconsin. If he wins Ohio, chances are he wins the election. If Romney loses Ohio but wins Wisconsin, he also needs to get Colorado and either Iowa or Nevada to be the next president. Short of that, Obama will be reelected.
So what’s our latest polling in those eight states? Obama is ahead by two points in Nevada. Romney leads by one in Iowa, two in Florida and New Hampshire and three in Colorado and Virginia. The candidates are tied in Ohio and Wisconsin. But in every case those findings are within the margin of error.
Other states we looked at this week are more predictable. Obama is still up by five points in Michigan, although that’s the closest the race has been in that state all year. He’s ahead by 19 in Massachusetts. Romney posts a six-point lead in North Carolina.
Why is it so close? Because the economy remains the number one issue, and “neither candidate has really convinced voters that they know what the nation needs,” Scott Rasmussen argues in his latest weekly newspaper column. “Most Americans do not feel better off than they were four years ago, but most are not feeling worse off either.”
Thirty-nine percent (39%) of voters, in fact, now say the country is heading in the right direction. That’s not overwhelming, by any means, but it’s the highest level of optimism since May 2009. The latest finding is up 15 points from 24% at the beginning of the year and up 22 points from 17% a year ago. Still, 57% continue to think the country is heading down the wrong track.
The election and the economy will be hot topics on this weekend’s edition of What America Thinks, Scott Rasmussen’s new television program now seen in over 60 markets nationwide.
Those who don't like uncertainty should focus on the congressional races. It appears that the Democrats are likely to retain control of the Senate and Republicans to keep control of the House.
Thirty-three Senate seats are at stake on Election Day, and with more Democratic-held seats in play, Republicans had hopes of taking control of the Senate. But the Rasmussen Reports Senate Balance of Power rankings now show Democrats ahead in 17 races and Republicans out front in nine. Seven Senate races – Florida, Indiana, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Virginia – remain Toss-Ups, but our latest numbers show Democrats slightly ahead in every case but one. The Wisconsin race is tied.
In the only other Senate race we looked at this week, Democrat Chris Murphy has now moved six points ahead of Republican Linda McMahon in Connecticut.
Republicans lead Democrats by three points – 46% to 43% - on the latest Generic Congressional Ballot. That’s the highest level of support for the GOP candidate since mid-April. Republicans have consistently held a modest advantage over Democrats on the ballot with few exceptions since June 2009.
Republicans still have a slight edge in voter trust when it comes to the economy and six other major issues – taxes, health care, immigration, national security, Social Security and government ethics - regularly tracked by Rasmussen Reports. Democrats have the advantage in voter trust in education and energy policy. The two are tied when it comes to the war in Afghanistan.
Rasmussen Reports is based in Asbury Park, New Jersey, and we were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. Our survey interview calls are placed from a different location, so data gathering was able to continue. But the Rasmussen Challenge is on hold until next week due to the weather.
In other surveys last week:
-- Romney says he will repeal the president’s national health care law if he is elected, and most voters continue to believe that’s a good idea.
-- Even with Americans poised to pick a president and one-third of the nation’s senators, 60% of voters continue to feel the federal government today does not have the consent of the governed.
-- Fifty-two percent (52%) of Americans believe it’s too easy to get food stamps. They’re more likely to blame the government rather than the bad economy for making it easier to be a food stamp recipient.
-- Republican Ovide Lamontagne runs slightly ahead of Democrat Maggie Hassan – 48% to 46% - in the race to be New Hampshire’s next governor. New Hampshire is one of 11 states holding gubernatorial elections this November.
-- Most Americans continue to feel their fellow citizens are becoming ruder and less civilized, and half say they have actually confronted someone over their behavior.
-- More Americans planned to dress up for Halloween (22%) and decorate their houses for the holiday (37%) than a year ago. But adults of all ages remain narrowly divided over whom the holiday is most intended for: 43% say Halloween’s just for kids, but slightly more (50%) think it’s for children and adults.
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Wall Street Journal profile called Scott Rasmussen "America's Insurgent Pollster." The Washington Post described him as "a driving force in American politics." If you'd like Scott to speak at your conference or event, contact Premiere Speakers Bureau.
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