Saturday, October 13, 2012
The math is pretty simple: The Big Three are Florida, Ohio and Virginia. It is virtually impossible for Mitt Romney to win the White House without winning at least two of the three, and right now he’s ahead by two in Virginia and has widened his lead in Florida to four.
If Romney wins all three states, he is likely to win the election. President Obama can keep his job if he wins two out of the three, and the president is still holding on in Ohio where he leads by one.
Yet while many pundits have suggested that the president’s reelection campaign is in free fall since his subpar debate performance, Scott Rasmussen argues in his latest weekly syndicated column that it’s not quite that simple. “The reality is that a very close race shifted every so slightly from narrowly favoring President Obama to narrowly favoring Mitt Romney."
Don’t let the pundits’ preoccupations fool you, Scott warns. “If nothing changes in the real world, the race will remain close until Election Day.”
The Rasmussen Reports Electoral College Projections currently show Obama with 237 Electoral College votes locked up or leaning his way to Romney’s 181. Ten states with a total of 120 votes are Toss-Ups. The magic number is 270.
Despite his stumbling debate performance, Obama is still considered the favorite in the race for the White House. Fifty-five percent (55%) of Likely U.S. Voters believe that regardless of whom they want to win, Obama is most likely to win the presidential election this year.
Consumer and investor confidence is up following last week’s announcement that the national unemployment rate had fallen below 8% for the first time in three-and-a-half years.
Thirty-eight percent (38%) of voters now say the country is heading in the right direction, the highest level of optimism since June 2009. That‘s up 14 points from 24% at the beginning of the year and up 22 points from 16% a year ago. Fifty-seven percent (57%) continue to think the country is heading down the wrong track, up two points from the previous week.
But voter unhappiness with a couple of the president’s key initiatives is unchanged. Most voters continue to favor repeal of Obama’s national health care law, with fewer than one-in-five who believe the law will reduce health care costs as its supporters promised.
The president’s biggest legislative victory could, in fact, be his biggest liability, Scott Rasmussen points out in a new radio update. Senior citizens are the biggest opponents of the health care law and are highly motivated to vote this election cycle compared to four years ago, he says. (Catch Scott’s radio updates Monday through Friday on stations across the country.)
The auto bailouts still rankle a lot of car buyers. More Americans than ever are more likely to buy a Ford because it's made by the one Big Three automaker who didn't take a federal government bailout. By the same measure, most Americans are still unlikely to buy a General Motors product.
Voters again trust Romney slightly more than the president in five key policy areas regularly tracked by Rasmussen Reports. The widest gap in trust continues to be the economy where Romney has a seven-point lead.
The impact of the economy and health care on this year’s election will be the hot topics on this weekend’s edition of What America Thinks, Scott Rasmussen’s new television show airing in over 60 markets nationwide. Check the list of stations here.
Don’t expect last Thursday night’s debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Romney’s running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan, to change things. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of likely voters consider the performance of the vice presidential candidates in the debate to be at least somewhat important to how they will vote, but that includes just 18% who view it as Very Important. Four years ago just before Biden debated then-Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, 72% described their debate performances as important, with 34% who considered them Very Important to their vote.
Democrats now lead Republicans by one point on the Generic Congressional Ballot. This is the second time in the past five weeks that Democrats have led on the ballot after Republicans have been ahead virtually every week since June 2009.
The Rasmussen Reports Senate Balance of Power rankings suggest that GOP hopes of taking over the Senate are fast fading. Democrats have double-digit leads in the Senate races in Florida and New Mexico. Strong Republican candidates in Connecticut and Wisconsin now trail by five points and four points respectively. Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren has broken the tie in her race with GOP Senator Scott Brown in Massachusetts.
On the plus side for Republicans, incumbent Nevada Senator Dean Heller has moved ahead of his Democratic opponent by three. Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown is locked in a tie with his GOP foe Josh Mandel in Ohio, and Pennsylvania Democrat Bob Casey, Jr. has just a four-point lead on Republican Tom Smith.
In other surveys last week:
-- When John F. Kennedy ran for the presidency in 1960, many considered his Catholic faith a total disqualifier. Now fewer than half of voters regard a candidate’s religious beliefs as important at all to how they will vote, much less the deciding factor.
-- Most Americans say there are too many lawyers in the United States and that's it a bad thing most members of Congress are lawyers.
-- Most Americans also think it’s too easy to file a lawsuit nowadays, and even more believe dubious lawsuits are driving up the price of health care, insurance and other products and services.
-- The majority of adults continue to believe that government employees don't work as hard as those in the private sector but earn more money and have more job security anyway.
-- There’s a lot of football to be played before the replacement referees are forgotten and the Super Bowl champion is determined, but the early fan favorites are the San Francisco 49ers. However, there are a lot of teams in the hunt.
-- A third of baseball fans nationwide think New York Mets knuckleball pitcher R.A. Dickey and Detroit Tigers hurler Justin Verlander should win the Cy Young awards in the National and American leagues respectively. While Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera is the heavy favorite to win the AL Most Valuable Player award, the NL MVP race is a bit closer.
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