Rasmussen Daily Presidential Tracking Poll Tuesday, September 18, 2012: Romney 47% — President Obama 45%

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows Mitt Romney attracting support from 47% of voters nationwide, while President Obama earns 45% of the vote. Four percent (4%) prefer some other candidate, and three percent (3%) are undecided. See daily tracking history.

When “leaners” are included, the race is tied with both Obama and Romney at 48%. Leaners are those who are initially uncommitted to the two leading candidates but lean towards one of them when asked a follow-up question.

Matchup results are updated daily at 9:30 a.m. Eastern (sign up for free daily e-mail update).

Kristen Soltis of The Winston Group and Emily Tisch Sussman from the Young Democrats of America joined Scott Rasmussen on What America Thinks to discuss the generation gap in American politics.  Rich Benjamin of Demos and Kyle Harrington of Harrington Capital discussed the auto bailouts.

Republicans are up one in the Generic Congressional Ballot.  In the Virginia Senate race, Democrat Tim Kaine has a two-point edge.

In the North Carolina governor’s race, Republican Pat McCrory has a double-digit lead.

The Swing State Daily Tracking Survey shows the race remains close in the battlegrounds.

Take the Rasmussen Challenge for a chance to win an IPad.  Today’s challenge asks you to guess what percentage of voters think merit pay for teachers is a good idea.

(Presidential Job Approval Data Below)


Romney vs. Obama - September 18, 2012

A president’s job approval rating is one of the best indicators for assessing his chances of reelection. Typically, the president’s job approval rating on Election Day will be close to the share of the vote he receives. Currently, 49% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the president’s job performance. Fifty percent (50%) at least somewhat disapprove (see trends).

In Virginia  and Ohio, Obama leads by a point. In Florida,  the president is up two. Romney has edged back into the lead in Missouri and is up six in North Carolina.  See the latest  Rasmussen Reports Electoral College Projections.

In the Ohio Senate race, Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown has the advantage over Republican challenger Josh Mandel. Democrat Bill Nelson has the lead in the Florida Senate race. See the Rasmussen Reports Senate Balance of Power projections.

Platinum Members can see demographic breakdowns and additional information from the tracking poll on a daily basis.

Voters are fairly evenly divided as to which candidate they trust more to handle events in the Middle East: 48% say Obama, 45% Romney. Unaffiliated voters have a slight preference for Romney. By an overwhelming 72% to 15% margin, voters believe it is more important to guarantee freedom of speech rather than making sure nothing is done to offend other nations and cultures. Half (51%) think it’s likely the government of Libya was involved in the murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens  and three other Americans.

As of this morning, only seven percent (7%) of voters rate national security issues as the most important in Election 2012.

Most voters continue to favor repeal of the president’s health care law.  In his weekly newspaper column, Scott Rasmussen notes that “the health care debate is a great example of why Americans hate politics.” He adds that “building consensus on health care reform requires taking good ideas from both Democrats and Republicans. As far as voters are concerned, good ideas are the ones that give individuals more control over their own health care decisions.”

If you’d like Scott to speak to your organization, meeting or conference, please contact Premiere Speakers.

Four years ago this week, the collapse in consumer confidence began following the closing of Lehman Brothers. On September 15, 2008, 43% rated their own finances as good or excellent. By the time Obama won the election, only 38% thought their finances were in good shape. As the Wall Street meltdown continued, only 35% rated their finances that well on the day the president was inaugurated. By the summer of 2011, the number of Americans rating their finances as good or excellent fell as low as 27%.

Today, 33% are that upbeat.  That’s down two since Obama took office and down 10 from the peak just before Lehman Brothers collapsed. Those numbers help explain why the race for the White House remains so close. Americans aren’t feeling better off than they were four years ago, but they’re not feeling much worse off either. That’s not great for the incumbent, but it’s not terrible.

It’s worth remembering that at this time four years ago, John McCain’s convention bounce ended abruptly. Then Obama moved ahead for good in what turned out to be a very stable race. During the final 40 days of the campaign, Obama’s support stayed between 50% and 52% every day in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll. Only once during that entire time did his lead fall below four points, and it occasionally expanded to eight.

Rasmussen Reports is a media company whose work is followed by millions on a wide variety of platforms. In addition to the new TV show, we regularly release our work at RasmussenReports.com, through a daily email newsletter, a nationally syndicated radio news service, an online video service and a weekly newspaper column distributed by Creators Syndicate.

To get a sense of longer-term Job Approval trends for the president, Rasmussen Reports compiles our tracking data on a full month-by-month basis.

(Approval Index data below)

Obama Total Approval - September 18, 2012

Intensity of support or opposition can have an impact on campaigns. Currently, 28% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way Obama is performing as president. Forty-three percent (43%) Strongly Disapprove, giving him a Presidential Approval Index rating of -15 (see trends).

During midterm elections, intensity of support can have a tremendous impact on turnout. That was demonstrated in 2010 when Republicans and unaffiliated voters turned out in large numbers to express opposition to the Obama administration’s policies. However, in presidential election years, there is a smaller impact on turnout.

(More below)

Obama Approval Index - September 18, 2012

Rasmussen Reports has been a pioneer in the use of automated telephone polling techniques, but many other firms still utilize their own operator-assisted technology (see methodology). Pollsters for Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton have cited our “unchallenged record for both integrity and accuracy.” During Election 2008, Rasmussen Reports projected that Barack Obama would defeat John McCain by a 52% to 46% margin. Obama was 53% to 46%. In 2004, Rasmussen Reports was the only firm to project the vote totals for both candidates within half a percentage point. Learn more about the Rasmussen Reports track record over the years.

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Results are also compiled on a full-week basis and crosstabs for full-week results are available for Platinum Members.


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