23 January 2011

Presidential match-up numbers for 2012 - early bird

Looking toward 2012:

It is, of course, very, very early in the 2012 presidential election game, but presidential match-up data is already coming in, both on the national level and also for individual states. Tom Jenson from PPP starting polling key states shortly after the 2010 congressional elections, to see how President Obama is faring against the presumed GOP contenders for the nomination of their party. Please remember, after the mid-terms, Obama's approval numbers were still stuck at around 45-46%. He is now between 50-53% in most approval polls.

Of the 9 democratic pick-up states from 2008, Jenson has now polled 6 of them: FL, IA, OH, NV, NC and VA. He has not yet polled NM, IN or CO. But he has polled 7 other states: TX, NJ, MN, MI, MA, MT, PA

Jenson has also polled some states that were clearly not battlegrounds in 2008, namely TX and NJ. I think he is polling certain bedrock states to have a baseline to work with, which makes sense. He also polled two states that were considered battlegrounds in 2008, but which remained by their respective parties vis-a-vis 2004: PA and MT.

I have taken the current data and put it into two tables, one for the state match-ups and one for the national. The winning number in each match-up is in bold. Blue=DEM /red=GOP. In the rightmost column is the exact winning margin from 2008, to compare.

Obama versus:

State
Pollster
Date
Romney
Huckabee
Gingrich.
Palin
other
Margin '08
OH
01/20/11
--
--
--
--
44 / 39*
D +4.58
TX
01/20/11
42 / 49
39 / 55
43 / 48
46 / 47
45 / 45
R +11.76
IA
01/12/11
47 / 41
47 / 43
51 / 38
53 / 37
---
D +9.53
NJ
01/11/11
52 / 37
53 / 36
54 / 37
59 / 29
55 / 38
D +15.53
NV
01/07/11
47 / 46
51 / 41
51 / 40
52 / 39
----
D +12.49
PA
01/06/11
46 / 42
47 / 44
50 / 40
51 / 36
----
D +10.31
FL
12/22/10
46 / 44
49 / 44
47 / 42
52 / 38
48 / 40
D +2.81
NC
12/22/10
46 / 43
45 / 46
48 / 42
52 / 38
---
D +0.33
OH
12/14/10
44 / 42
45 / 44
47 / 41
49 / 42
----
D +4.58
MN
12/08/10
47 / 42
50 / 40
51 / 38
54 / 36
51 / 43
D +10.24
MI
12/07/10
47 / 43
51 /39
52 / 37
56 / 35
49 / 38
D +16.44
MA
12/03/10
52 / 43
57 / 33
57 / 33
61 / 32
51 / 43
D +25.81
MO
12/02/10
41 / 47
42 / 49
44 / 45
46 / 43
---
R +0.13
NC
11/29/10
47 / 46
48 / 45
49 / 43
51 / 42
--
D +0.33
MT
11/17/10
29 / 50
49 / 44
41 / 51
45 / 47
----
R +2.38
VA
11/16/10
48 / 43
49 / 44
52 / 41
51 / 40
----
D +6.30

*generic match-up.

We are seeing certain patterns emerge:

-Obama is winning in all 6 of the pick-up states from 2008. He is also winning in PA, which McCain had tried to turn into a battleground, but where he ultimately lost to Obama by a landslide 10.31%. One of the most telling polls is VA, which was polled shortly after the mid-terms, in which democrats also lost house seats in the old Dominion. But here, Obama is still winning between +5 and +11. He won VA with +6.30% in 2008 and I wrote then that the demographic shift in this state points statistically to a virtual cementing of VA into the democratic column. This first data for 2012 is supporting my argument.

-Of the 25 individual match-ups from the 6 pick-up states, Obama wins 24 and Huckabee wins 1 (NC). Of some of those Obama wins, the numbers are, however, statistical ties, for instance, against Romney in NV (which has a large mormon population). Rubio is in the mix in FL; he fares poorly against the president.

-The margins vary in extreme between match-up candidates. Romney and Huckabee have generally the narrowest margins, Gingrich is in third place every time,while Palin fares the worst in all cases save one. Excepting TX, where Palin edges Obama out by 1 point, Palin loses to Obama by between 13 and 30 points. Her average is roughly -11.7 in all 10 races and -12.5 in the Dem pick-up states.. And in TX, the only candidate that she fares better than is Rick Perry. Not since the days of Barry Goldwater in 1964 have we seen these kind of numbers for a GOP prospective candidate against a sitting democratic president – and in battleground states at that.

-Region plays a role in all of this, but the two front runners are quite obviously Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. In TX, part of the bible belt, Huckabee is the clear frontrunner, but in MT, up north, Romney posts the best numbers. Again, MT has a strong mormon contingent. In places like OH, PA, FL (the „Trifecta“), Obama's margins over both Huckabee and Romney are similar and similarly close.

There are three states I wish to see polled, for the data would be very telling:

-IN, which Obama won by +1.03% in '08
-NM, which continues to see large growth in its hispanic population.
-GA, where Obama lost by only 5.20%, the best showing for a democrat overall since 1976. The GA numbers would be interesting to see especially in the case of Mitt Romney. I assume that Gingrich and Huckabee would do exceptionally well here.

Additionally, it would be good to get a new snapshot of OH, now that Obama's numbers have demonstrably gone up. The buckeye state is still the bellwether of the nation, no matter how you slice it.

Here the national match-ups:


Pollster
Date
Obama
Romney
Huckabee
Gingrich.
Palin
other
Average:
 
 
43 /39
43.67/ 39
51/39
50.50/37
44 /32.75
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
01/20/11

48/43
49/44
51/39
55/38
51/33
01/03/11

41/41
42/39
----
45/38
40/43
12/17/10

---
---
---
54/39
---
12/17/10
**
--
--
--
47/31
18
12/15/10

40/33
40/34
----
48/33
38/37

Nationally,it looks closer than in the battleground states. And once again, Palin is at the bottom of the pile.

Possible criticisms that could be levied at this point of time are: with only one pollster doing all the polling work, it is impossible to get a healthy gene pool of numbers to average. This criticism is justified,but a start must be made somewhere.

Another criticism coming almost exclusively from the right is that Tom Jenson at PPP is trying to „drive the narrative“ with so many polls. If this is the case, the RASMUSSEN drove the entire narrative of 2010.

So, shortly before the starting gate for 2012, the electoral math is looking good for President Obama. He of course, can be beaten by a GOP candidate, but it is going to be a very uphill climb for the nominee once he (or she) is picked.

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