Public opinion polls by state indicate President Obama would coast to re-election if race were held today.
Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are making sure Barack Obama gets re-elected. As I suggested last year, for the eventual G.O.P. nominee, Romney, to have any real chance in this years election, the nomination needed to be solidified by the time the Florida primary rolled around. With Santorum giving Romney a run for his money in Michigan, this continued G.O.P. family feud is ruining Romney’s chances in November. The core of the problem is that Republicans just don’t like their candidates.
There is more bad news for the G.O.P. President Barack Obama’s approval rating is back to 50% for the first time in more than eight months, and he currently holds an edge against all the remaining Republican presidential candidates in hypothetical head-to-head match-ups, according to a new national survey. And a CNN/ORC International Poll released Wednesday also indicates that the GOP’s advantage on enthusiasm has been erased, and that the number of Americans who think things are going well in the country is on the rise. Six out of ten say things are going poorly in the country, but four out of ten say things are going well, up 15 points since November. “Does that mean it’s morning in America? It is for Democrats – a solid majority of them now say things are going well in the country. But overall, six in ten still have a gloomy outlook about the state of the country,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “Optimism is on the rise among independent voters, with a notable increase among men as well, although a majority of both groups still think things are going poorly.”
The rise of Americans who say things are going well appears to be helping the president, whose approval rating now stands at 50%, with 48% saying they disapprove of the job Obama’s doing in the White House. The president’s approval rating has edged up three points from last month and is up six points from November. The last time Obama’s approval rating was at 50% or above was last May, as a result of the killing of Osama bin Laden, and it stayed there for about a month before fading. “Independents now have a net-positive view of President Obama,” says Holland. “His approval rating has also reached 50% in the suburbs.”
Looking ahead to November, the poll indicates that the president’s re-election chances are on the rise. In hypothetical matchups among registered voters, Obama holds a 51%-46% margin over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, leads both former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas by the same 52%-45% advantage, and beats former House Speaker Newt Gingrich 55%-42%.
The president appears to have gained ground since January against Romney, Paul, and Gingrich. Only Santorum has held steady. The poll also indicates that Obama wins a majority of independent voters in all four general election match-ups. “More than six in ten Americans believe that the policies of Romney and Gingrich favor the rich; Santorum and Paul do better on that measure, but only a quarter feel that way about Obama,” says Holland.
The survey suggests that the contentious Republican primary season has decreased enthusiasm among Republican voters, virtually erasing the “enthusiasm gap” that promised to provide the ultimate GOP presidential nominee with a major advantage in the fall. In October, 64% of Republicans said that they were extremely or very enthusiastic about voting for president, compared to only 43% of Democratic voters. GOP enthusiasm since that time has tumbled 13 points, to 51%, virtually the same as the Democrats’ level of enthusiasm. Other findings in the poll: 67% of the public says they are either very or somewhat angry about the way things are going in the country, down five points from September. And 31% approve of the job Democrats in Congress are doing, with 22% giving congressional Republicans a thumbs up. Both numbers are virtually unchanged from last autumn. The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International from February 10-13, with 1,026 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey’s overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points. Thirty-four percent (34%) of Likely U.S. Voters say the country is heading in the right direction, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey taken the week ending Sunday, February 12.
The latest finding is up five points from a week agoand the highest level of optimism since April 2010. From July 25 through December 11 of last year, the number of voters who were confident in the nation’s current course resembled levels measured in the final months of the Bush administration, with voter confidence remaining in the narrow range of 14% to 19%. But that finding has climbed steadily since then. In a potential Election 2012 matchup, the president posts a 47% to 43% lead over former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. If former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum is the Republican nominee, the president leads 48% to 42%.