Main map

Presidential polls: CA CO FL MA ME MI NH OH VA WI
Dem pickups: (None)
GOP pickups: IN NC

Previous | Next


Downloadable data

News from the Votemaster

A third of Voters Less Likely to Support Romney Due to Video

A new Gallup poll shows that 36% of voters are less likely to vote for Mitt Romney as a result of the video in which he said that 47% of of Americans are dependent on government and consider themselves victims. In contrast, 20% said they were more likely to vote for him. The rest weren't swayed one way or the other. Among independents, 29% said they were now less likely to vote for him while only 15% were more likely.

An Ipsos poll also just released has similar results: 43% of the registered voters view Romney less favorably as a result of the video. Only 26% felt better about Romney. While the details of the video will be forgotten in a few weeks, the lingering image of Romney as someone who does not care about half the country could remain and hurt him.

Romney Tries to Change the Subject

After a devastating week of criticism over his all-too-hasty remarks about the events in Egypt and Libya, and two devastating days of attacks over the "47% video" what does Romney do to right his ship? He brings up a 1998 audio clip of Barack Obama saying "I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level, to make sure that everybody's got a shot." It is hard to believe. There was no apology from Romney for anything he said, no major speech like Richard Nixon's 1952 "Checkers speech," no indication of any kind that he might have done something wrong or ill advised. Just more attacks, and then with a 14-year-old audio clip.

Romney appears to be completely oblivious to all the attacks coming from key Republicans. Peggy Noonan, Ronald Reagan's speechwriter, said he is running an incompetent campaign. Bill Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard, called Romney "arrogant and stupid." Rich Lowry, editor of the National Review skewered Romney for making a "bad point badly." These people are not Obama's campaign aides. They are highly experienced, very partisan Republicans. In addition, Republican candidates, including Scott Brown, Linda McMahon, and Dean Heller, have also criticized Romney. Politico put it bluntly: "Mitt Romney needs poll vault to win." None of this friendly fire seems to have made an impression, though. Romney just keeps doing what he has been doing all year, attacking his opponents instead of talking about himself. If he ends up losing, the post mortems are all going to be about his tin ear.

One might have expected a businessman to see things differently. If a company's product is not doing as well as the CEO would like, he generally tries to improve the product or at least its image. He doesn't exclusively tell people how bad the competition is. It is as though Microsoft didn't tell anyone how great its products are but only what's wrong with Apple's products.

Republicans Afraid that Romney Could Cost Them the Senate

Presidents often have coattails and Republicans are now worried that Obama's coattails in states like Ohio and Virginia could cost them control of the Senate. John Weaver, a senior advisor to John McCain in 2008, said: "If your guy wins the White House, he's going to sweep in one or two or three Senate races that might not happen otherwise." Other states where a big Obama win could bring in a Senate seat are Nevada, Wisconsin, and Connecticut, all of which have very tight Senate races.

Republican candidates for Congress are now trying to detach themselves from Romney. One said: "I just don't think that any of our members are tied to Romney at all." But this is just opportunism. When the top of the ticket is polling well, congressional candidates tell the voters they are needed in Congress to help carry out the President's program. There is none of that among Republicans this year.

Just a few months ago, Republican control of the Senate seemed probable. Today's map shows the Democrats ahead in 53 seats, with Maine unknown. If Angus King in Maine decides he is a Democrat after all, the Democrats could end up with 54 seats in the Senate, a net gain of one from where they are now. It would be an enormous reversal from the expectation not that long ago.

Obama in Better Shape Than Any Nominee Since Clinton

A new Pew Poll of likely voters gives President Obama a lead of 51% to 43% over Mitt Romney. This is the largest lead any presidential nominee of either party has held in September since 1996, when Bill Clinton led Bob Dole 50% to 38%. In 2008 at this point, Obama and John McCain were tied in the Pew poll at 46% each. The Pew poll was taken after both conventions but before the leaked video was posted.

Obama Discovers Where the Levers of Power Are

For three years, many Democrats have been hitting President Obama for not being Lyndon Johnson. For example, during the fight in Congress about the ACA, he refused to use his power to threaten recalcitrant members of Congress (as in: "Senator, you know that big Air Force base in your state? To reduce the deficit, I have decided to close it"). But now he is beginning to use the power of incumbency in the campaign. He went to Ohio to personally announce a lawsuit against China's subsidizing auto parts that compete with those made in Ohio. He just announced a new National Monument in Colorado, a state that thrives on outdoor tourism. Earlier this year he instituted a policy of not deporting young Latinos who had been brought to the U.S. illegally as children but had done well here, and so on.

Incumbents can create news like this, making it easy for people to view them as presidential. Challengers can't do this. This is why 7 out of 10 postwar Presidents who have run for (re) election have won, and one of the three who lost, Gerald Ford, wasn't elected in the first place, but moved into the oval office after Richard Nixon resigned. Republicans are complaining about Obama using the powers of the office to help his campaign, but the party in power always uses whatever tools it has.

Warren and Brown to Debate Today

Democratic Senatorial candidate Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) will meet for the first of four debates today. Normally it is the challenger who needs the debates most, but four recent polls have shown Warren with the lead, so maybe it is Brown who has the most to gain. Warren will certainly tie him to Mitt Romney, who is trailing Obama badly in Massachusetts, even though he governed the state only a few years ago. Warren knows a thing or two about debating: she attended George Washington University on a full debate scholarship that paid her tuition, room and board, and books. That was a long time ago, however, and college debates are more about knowing more than your opponents while political debates require agility and capitalizing on your opponent's mistakes.

Today's Presidential Polls

The polling circus has hit the road, with 14 presidential and 13 Senate polls today. Especially noteworthy are Fox News polls showing Obama with substantial leads in Florida, Ohio, and Virginia, three states Romney absolutely must win. The only good news items for Romney are a Rasmussen poll showing he has a slight lead in New Hampshire and a Quinnipiac race showing the Colorado is tightening.

State Obama Romney   Start End Pollster
California 58% 34%   Sep 05 Sep 17 Field Poll
Colorado 48% 47%   Sep 11 Sep 17 Quinnipiac U.
Florida 49% 44%   Sep 16 Sep 18 Fox News
Massachusetts 59% 31%   Sep 15 Sep 17 MassINC
Massachusetts 59% 36%   Sep 13 Sep 17 U. of Mass.
Maine 54% 37%   Sep 15 Sep 17 Maine Peoples Res. Ctr.
Maine 55% 39%   Sep 17 Sep 18 PPP
Michigan 52% 44%   Sep 14 Sep 18 ORC International
New Hampshire 45% 48%   Sep 18 Sep 18 Rasmussen
Ohio 49% 42%   Sep 16 Sep 18 Fox News
Virginia 50% 43%   Sep 16 Sep 18 Fox News
Virginia 50% 46%   Sep 11 Sep 17 Quinnipiac U.
Wisconsin 51% 45%   Sep 11 Sep 17 Quinnipiac U.
Wisconsin 54% 40%   Sep 13 Sep 16 Marquette Law School

Today's Senate Polls

A new University of Connecticut poll reverses the recent Quinnipiac poll that showed Linda McMahon leading Chris Murphy. Averaging these two together and we have a surprisingly tight race, especially considering that McMahon was crushed in her 2010 Senate race against now-senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

Also noteworthy are two polls in Massachusetts showing Elizabeth Warren pulling away from Scott Brown for the first time and also three polls in Virginia showing Tim Kaine also pulling away from George Allen. The Marquette Law School poll with Tammy Baldwin up 9 points on Tommy Thompson is preposterous. Its poll of the presidential race is equally skewed. Clearly there was a very bad sample.

State Democrat D % Republican R % I I % Start End Pollster
Connecticut Chris Murphy 37% Linda McMahon 33%     Sep 11 Sep 16 U. of Connecticut
Florida Bill Nelson* 49% Connie McGillicuddy 35%     Sep 16 Sep 18 Fox News
Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren 45% Scott Brown* 49%     Sep 13 Sep 17 U. of Mass.
Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren 47% Scott Brown* 42%     Sep 15 Sep 17 MassINC
Maine Cynthia Dill 14% Charlie Summers 35% Angus King 43% Sep 17 Sep 18 PPP
Maine Cynthia Dill 15% Charlie Summers 28% Angus King 44% Sep 15 Sep 17 Maine Peoples Res. Ctr.
New Jersey Bob Menendez* 43% Joseph Kyrillos 32%     Sep 09 Sep 12 Global Strategy
Ohio Sherrod Brown* 47% Josh Mandel 40%     Sep 16 Sep 18 Fox News
Virginia Tim Kaine 47% George Allen 43%     Sep 16 Sep 18 Fox News
Virginia Tim Kaine 51% George Allen 43%     Sep 12 Sep 16 Washington Post
Virginia Tim Kaine 51% George Allen 44%     Sep 11 Sep 17 Quinnipiac U.
Wisconsin Tammy Baldwin 47% Tommy Thompson 47%     Sep 11 Sep 17 Quinnipiac U.
Wisconsin Tammy Baldwin 50% Tommy Thompson 41%     Sep 13 Sep 16 Marquette Law School

* Denotes incumbent