Friday, October 19, 2012
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows Mitt Romney and President Obama each attracting support from 48% of voters nationwide. One percent (1%) prefers some other candidate, and another two percent (2%) are undecided. See daily tracking history.
These updates are based upon nightly polling and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. As a result, roughly one-third of the interviews for today’s update were completed before Tuesday night’s presidential debate. In the two nights of polling conducted since the debate, Romney has a slight advantage. Tomorrow morning (Saturday) will be the first update based entirely upon interviews conducted after the second debate.
A president’s prospects for reelection are closely tied to his job approval ratings. Those who Strongly Approve or Strongly Disapprove vote for or against the incumbent almost regardless of who is challenging him.
It is interesting, though, to look at those whose feelings about the president are less firm. Among those who Somewhat Approve of Obama’s performance, eight percent (8%) favor Romney. When George W. Bush ran for reelection in 2004, his opponent, Senator John Kerry, got 15% support from those who Somewhat Approved of Bush’s record.
Among those who Somewhat Disapprove of Obama’s performance, Romney gets just 68% of the vote. Kerry got 80% support from those who Somewhat Disapproved of Bush. This may suggest that some who are disappointed by Obama’s performance remain unconvinced that the Republican challenger would do any better.
Matchup results are updated daily at 9:30 a.m. Eastern (sign up for free daily e-mail update).
The race remains a Toss-Up in Ohio but Romney is up by three in Virginia has opened a bit of a lead in North Carolina That moves North Carolina into the Leans Republican column in the Rasmussen Reports Electoral College projections. However, the president still has a slight Electoral College lead. Nine states with 105 Electoral Votes remain in the Toss-Up category.
Scott Rasmussen’s weekly newspaper column notes that while momentum in the presidential race has shifted in Romney’s direction, the Senate is leaning the Democrats’ way. The Rasmussen Reports Senate Balance of Power rankings project that Democrats will end up with 48 Senate seats, the Republicans 47, with five remaining Toss-Ups—Massachusetts, Montana, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Be sure to watch this weekend’s edition of Scott Rasmussen’s television show, What America Thinks . The show airs on more than 60 stations nationwide. Find a station near you.[LINK] If you’d like Scott to speak to your organization, meeting or conference, please contact Premiere Speakers.
(Presidential Job Approval Data Below)
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, 48% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the president’s job performance. Fifty-one percent (51%) at least somewhat disapprove (see trends).
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.
Rasmussen Reports polling tends to show less volatility than other polls for a variety of reasons. In 2008, we showed virtually no change during the final 40 days of the campaign. Then-candidate Obama was between 50% and 52% in our polling every single day. He generally held a five- or six-point lead, occasionally bouncing up to an eight-point advantage and only once falling below a four point-lead. This stable assessment of the race is consistent with the reality of what we know about voter behavior. Obama won the election by a 53% to 46% margin.
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)
Intensity of support or opposition can have an impact on campaigns. Currently, 29% 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 -14 (see trends).
Platinum Members can review additional information from the tracking poll on a daily basis.
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. Still, all indications so far for Election 2012 suggest that Republicans are more engaged and more likely to turn out.
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.