What does the new USA Today/Gallup Poll Tell us about the 2012 presidential contest?
By Dave Andrusko
Let’s use the last NRL News Today item for Tuesday to connect a few dots and see what the picture tells us about the presidential race between pro-life Mitt Romney and pro-abortion President Barack Obama.
First, the results of a USA Today/Gallup poll which focused on the difference in opinions and political attentiveness of the “millennials (18-29) and Seniors (65 and older). To no one’s surprise, they vary substantially.
For our purposes, these are most important results. Obama leads among Millennials 61% to 33% while Romney leads among Seniors 51% to 43%. If you were just skimming, you’d miss what Susan Page tells us in the middle of the story–that if you look at a longer period of time, Gallup’s aggregate polls show Obama leading among registered voters under 30 not by 28 points but by 14 points! (Romney leads among Seniors by 10 points, not 8 points.) She tells us these poll aggregates have “larger samples and lower margins of error.” Oh.
Seniors have given a lot more thought to the election (75% to 40%). Historically, they are much more likely to vote than those 18-29.
Second, pro-abortion former President Bill Clinton will be playing a central role in the Democratic National Convention which will be held next month in Charlotte, North Carolina. This “is an acknowledgment by President Obama and his inner political circle of two things,” writes the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza. “First, that there is no better economic messenger in the party than the former president. And, second, that Obama needs Clinton.”
Cillizza buys into the notion that Clinton can turn a sow’s ear—the weakened American economy—into a silk purse—put Gov. Romney on the defensive. He concludes, however, “Putting Clinton in such a critical role is a recognition of Obama’s new political reality — this ain’t 2008, after all — and, his team hopes, a way to put their best players on the field in the final moments of the campaign.”
Finally, ABC News reported yesterday that President Obama hinted to a group of high-dollar donors at a New York City fundraiser “that his re-election campaign will transition to a more positive and forward-looking message by the end of next month and into the fall.” ABC News’s Devin Dwyer wrote that “Obama has faced criticism from some members of his party and key constituencies for not laying out clearly enough what his priorities will be if he’s re-elected. He has also taken heat for running a predominantly negative, anti-Romney TV ad campaign in battleground states.”
The next three paragraphs need to be read to be (almost) believed:
“This phase of the campaign I think you’re seeing a lot of negative ads and a lot of contrast ads, although when people start saying how terrible it is I just have to remind them to take a look at what Jefferson and Adams had to say about each other, and democracy has always been pretty rough and pretty messy,” Obama said.
“There is going to be, though, as the summer winds down and we get into the fall, the need for voters in these swing states to know not just what they’re voting against but also what they’re voting for,” he said. “And so we’ll be spending a lot of time talking about the specific agenda that I intend to pursue in the second term, which I think will make sure that this economy is going full guns.”
(If you believe that, you will believe anything.)
For good measure, the President added,
“So the upshot is if the election were held today, I think it would be close, but I think we’d win. And we now have 99 days left. If I can say that every single day for the next 99 days, then we will be able to embark on the next phase of this journey.”
But Mr. Obama is correct in this respect. We have 98 days left to make sure his journey at the White House ends quickly.
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