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MEMO: Pre-Convention Polling Update

RNC Communications - August 24, 2012

MEMO

FROM: RNC Political Director Rick Wiley
TO: Interested Parties
RE: Pre-Convention Polling Update

As we head to the Republican National Convention, polls across the country show a surge of support for the Republican ticket.  The Romney-Ryan momentum is building, while the enthusiasm for Obama and Biden dwindles.

Republicans remain more enthusiastic than Democrats about this election, with 53% of Republicans in a new national USA Today / Gallup survey saying they are "more enthusiastic than usual about voting this year", versus only 46% of Democrats.  A new CBS/NYT/Quinnipiac survey reports even higher enthusiasm gaps in the battleground states of Florida (17 point GOP enthusiasm advantage), Ohio (11 point GOP enthusiasm advantage), and Wisconsin (16 point GOP enthusiasm advantage).

Nationally, the polls have tightened up this week. An average of the past five national polls shows the race tied.  But the real news is in the battleground states, where Gov. Romney continues to close the polling gap. Perhaps the most stunning example is Wisconsin.  All the latest polls agree: Wisconsin is a tossup. It’s a dramatic shift for a state Obama won by 14 points and where he was leading by 6 points less than a month ago.  Now Chicago must be frantically redrawing their path to 270.

The RCP averages illustrate the tightening battleground races:

  • Ohio RCP average: Obama 47.2 / Romney 45.2
  • Florida RCP average: Obama 46.3 / Romney 46.3
  • Iowa RCP average: Obama 45.3 / Romney 44.3
  • Wisconsin RCP average: Obama 48.2 / Romney 46.8

The polls also capture frustration and disappointment with Obama and the economy:

  • WSJ/NBC poll: 6 in 10 believe the country is heading in the wrong direction.
  • WSJ/NBC poll: 54 percent disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy.
  • AP-Gfk poll: Two-thirds describe economy as poor.
  • AP-Gfk poll: Nine in 10 voters say economy is “important” issue.

As Romney and Ryan fight to save Medicare, seniors are putting their trust in the GOP ticket:

  • In the latest Fox News poll, Romney has the edge among seniors 50-41 nationally.
  • In Florida, 48 percent of seniors say Romney would do a better job on Medicare according to Quinnipiac; 44 percent say Obama. In Ohio, Romney leads 49-43 with seniors on the issue.

A recap of the headlines highlighting the building GOP momentum follows:

National

Gallup – Jeffrey Jones: “Swing-State Voters Say They Are No Better Off Than in 2008

Washington Post – JD Harrison: “Poll: Romney widens lead among small business voters

Washington Post – Aaron Blake: “Romney’s slight swing-state surge

Associated Press – Josh Lederman and Tom Raum: “AP-GfK poll shows White House race still tight

TPM - Kyle Leighton: Fox Poll: Romney Up 1 Point Nationally

Fox News: Fox News poll: Voters want Uncle Sam to 'Leave me alone'

New Hampshire

Politico – Maggie Haberman and Emily Schultheis: “New Hampshire race a jump ball

Florida

CBS News: “Poll: Obama lead narrows in key swing states

Wisconsin

CBS News – Brian Montopoli: “It's official, Wisconsin: You're a swing state

Michigan

Real Clear Politics – Erin McPike: “Romney Camp Sees Upper Midwest Coming Into Play

56 Percent Of Swing State Voters Say They Aren’t Better Off Than They Were Four Years Ago, Compared To 40 Percent Who Say They Are Better Off. (Jeffrey M. Jones, “Swing-State Voters Say They Are No Better Off Than In 2008,” Gallup, 8/20/12)

Romney Is “Winning The Favor Of Small Business Owners… And It’s Not Even Close.” “Main Street has already proved an important battleground in the presidential election. So which candidate is winning the favor of small business owners? Mitt Romney, and it’s not even close, according to a new poll.”(J.D. Harrison, “Poll: Romney Widens Lead Among Small Business Voters,” The Washington Post, 8/21/12)

“The President’s Numbers Have Fallen Six Points Since May, While Mitt Romney Has Picked Up Four Points With Business Owners.” (J.D. Harrison, “Poll: Romney Widens Lead Among Small Business Voters,” The Washington Post, 8/21/12)

Nine In 10 Voters Say The Economy Is “Important” For Them, While Half Say It Is “Extremely Important. “The frail economy, with the unemployment rate hovering at 8.3 percent more than three years after the deep recession officially ended, remains the No. 1 issue. Nine in 10 call it important for them and half of voters say it is ‘extremely important,’ outpacing all other issues tested by at least 10 percentage points.” (Josh Lederman and Tom Raum, “AP-GfK Poll Shows White House Race Still Tight,” The Associated Press, 8/21/12)

“Two-Thirds In The Poll Described The Economy As Poor.” (Josh Lederman and Tom Raum, “AP-GfK Poll Shows White House Race Still Tight,” The Associated Press, 8/21/12)

41 Percent Of Independents Support Romney Compared To 30 Percent Who Back Obama. “Among true independents, those who say they do not lean toward either party, the share of undecided voters is declining, with each candidate picking up new support at about the same pace. However, Romney maintains a small advantage with the group, with the backing of 41 percent of independents to Obama's 30 percent. Some 21 percent still say they support neither candidate.” (Josh Lederman and Tom Raum, “AP-GfK Poll Shows White House Race Still Tight,” The Associated Press, 8/21/12)

“More Than Six In 10 Believe The Country Is Headed In The Wrong Direction, Which Is Essentially Unchanged From Last Month.” (Mark Murray, “NBC/WSJ Poll: Heading Into Conventions, Obama Has Four-Point Lead,” NBC News, 8/21/12)

The Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll:  “Not Surprisingly, Romney Holds A Six-Point Advantage Over Obama (44 Percent To 38 Percent) On Which Candidate Has Better Ideas On How To Improve The Economy.” (Mark Murray, “NBC/WSJ Poll: Heading Into Conventions, Obama Has Four-Point Lead,” NBC News, 8/21/12)

The Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll: 54 Percent Of Voters Disapprove Of Obama’s Handling Of The Economy, While 44 Percent Approve. (NBC/The Wall Street Journal Poll, 1000 RV, MoE 3.1%, 8/16-20/12)

45 Percent Of Voters Say That Romney Has Better “Executive And Managerial Skills” Compared To 32 Percent Who Say Obama Does. (NBC/The Wall Street Journal Poll, 1000 RV, MoE 3.1%, 8/16-20/12)

37 Percent Of Voters Say Romney Would Be Better At “Changing Business As Usual In Washington” Compared To 31 Percent Who Say Obama Would Be Better. (NBC/The Wall Street Journal Poll, 1000 RV, MoE 3.1%, 8/16-20/12)

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