Jay Cost is excellent at deciphering polls. His latest column deciphering yesterday’s ABC/Washington Post poll spells major trouble for President Obama. Here’s part of what he wrote:
Yesterday, a new ABC News/Washington Post poll seemed to confirm the meme that Barack Obama is pummeling Mitt Romney among women, helping the former open up a 7-point lead in the general election horse race.
What to make of this?
Well, for starters, the poll has an inexplicably large Democratic advantage; the party breakdown in the poll is 34 percent Democratic, 23 percent Republican, and 34 percent independent. As a point of historical comparison, the party spread in four of the last five elections since 2002 has basically been an even split between the two sides. In 2008, a “perfect storm” of bad news for the GOP, the party ID advantage was “only” +7. So, a Democratic advantage of +11 is an unjustifiable number, at least in terms of what the electorate is thinking.
You’re in trouble when you lead by 7 points but they oversampled your ‘supporters’ by 11 points. That’s like hearing your spouse say that there’s a 60% chance you’ll still be together a year from now. That isn’t a ringing endorsement.
Unfortunately for President Obama, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I’ll guarantee that this statistic has Axelrod drinking a bottle of Maalox each day:
President Obama’s handling of the economy: 23% strongly approve, 21% somewhat approve, 12% somewhat disapprove, 42% strongly disapprove
This result is more troubling for President Obama:
The situation with gas prices: 14% strongly approve, 14% somewhat approve, 12% somewhat disapprove, 50% strongly disapprove.
Remember, these numbers are actually propped up by the unjustifiable oversampling. If the sample accurately reflected the party identification figures, those results would look even worse for this president.
If President Obama can’t turn those figures around fast, he’ll get thumped this November. It’s a distinct possibility that he’ll get fewer EVs this year than McCain got last time.
Though I can’t find the link for it, I saw a poll yesterday that showed President Obama leading Mitt by 5 points in Michigan. That’s trouble for President Obama because President Obama thumped Sen. McCain in Michigan 57% to 41%. HINT: If President Obama is fighting to win Michigan, he’s heading for a thumping.
President Obama is rightly called incumbent now. If these polling figures don’t turn around by Election Day, the term one-term wonder will be most appropriate.